Irina Krush of Sheepshead Bay won her third United States Women’s Chess Championship last Monday, skirting past competitors by just half a point.
The 26-year-old first made history in 1998, when she won the title at just 14 years old. She took the top prize again in 2007, but told Brooklyn Eagle that this year was her toughest yet.
“I actually think it was easier when I was young,” Krush told the paper. “There was no pressure then. It wasn’t a result that I expected of myself. The whole tournament became a little easier for me. This time, I definitely feel like it was a difficult tournament. There were three people in the race for first place. That doesn’t really give you a moment to breath.”
The Ukrainian-born Krush, an Edward R. Murrow High School alumnus, is an International Master that also earned Olympic Silver and Bronze on the U.S. Teams in 2004 and 2008.
For her next trick, Krush is aiming to become a FIDE-recognized grandmaster, the highest title a player can achieve.
“I’d be the first American woman ever to hold that title,” she told the Eagle. “It’s not something that a lot of women have done.”
We’re wondering why there are different leagues for men and women in chess. Can anyone lend insight?