Irina Krush looks to defend her title at 2021 U.S. Chess Championships


Krush is the eight-time United States champion in women.

The 2021 US Chess Championships are underway and Irina Krush is back to defend her title.

Krush is an eight-time United States champion and the only female American Grandmaster. She told ABC Audio’s Perspective podcast that becoming a Grandmaster isn’t easy.

“People will become great masters by creating things called standards, which is a certain performance, a certain high performance,” Krush said. [It’s] three rounds of three tournaments where they also play against other grandmasters, ”Krush said.“ When you set those standards and you get your rating at a certain point, which is a threshold of 2,500, then you earn your title a great master for life. “

Krush said she knew from a young age that she was better than most girls and boys in her age group.

“I became a master at 12 and won the US Women’s Championship for the first time at 14,” said Krush. “I was very serious about chess from a young age. I spent my weekends playing chess and sometimes my weekends and weekdays representing the United States in world competitions. young people around the world since the age of seven. “

Since then, Krush has been training.

“In my eyes, chess is definitely a sport,” Krush said. “It really does require a decent level of fitness, as it is not as easy as it looks to concentrate at full capacity. [for] four or five or sometimes six hours. “

According to Krush, becoming a Grandmaster requires mastering all parts of the game, from opening moves to intermediate tactics and endgame strategy.

“It requires being exposed to better and better competition, so playing with better people than you,” Krush said. “Since I was a young girl, I played adults, and it definitely helped me improve. Going to tournaments, traveling the country [then] later internationally. And you know, when you make a living out of it, you’ll see results. “

And playing chess isn’t the only part of his training. Krush said it also requires physical commitment.

“Certainly from the time I was a teenager I started to train physically, to jog regularly, to play table tennis, to swim,” Krush said. “You are not a basketball player or a tennis player, but you must be in good physical condition.”

The American Chess Championship runs until October 19.


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