Irina Krush Wins 8th U.S. Women's Title
Irina Krush. Photo: Mike Klein/

Irina Krush Wins 8th U.S. Women's Title

| 58 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Irina Krush won the 2020 U.S. Women's Championship on Sunday, her eighth title in total. This year the tournament was held online due to the pandemic.

Krush scored an undefeated 8.5/11 in a 12-player single round-robin, played online at a time control of 25 minutes plus a five-second increment. It was held on October 21-24 and had a prize fund of $100,000.

Chasing Krush until the very last moment was IM Carissa Yip, who took clear second place. The biggest surprise of the event was 12th-seed IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who scored 7.5/11 points en route to earning third place.

Final Standings U.S. Women's Chess Championship 2020
The final standings. Image: Saint Louis Chess Club.

"After these four days of play, with all the stress, all the preparation, I mean for it to finally end in the way you want it to end, what you’ve been working for, I mean that just feels amazing," said Krush in the post-event interview.

Her eighth title came after Krush had contracted and "checkmated" COVID-19 earlier this year. "I feel the support of my friends, my family, my students, my coach, all these people that are supporting me and watching the games and hoping I do well. I want to make them happy," she said.

Krush scored a quick, attacking victory in round nine against WGM Tatev Abrahamyan—a game that saw an instructive moment early as Krush could have won more quickly:

A very interesting game was the clash with runner-up Yip in round three, where both players missed a win before the game ended in a repetition of moves.

Carissa Yip 2020 Cairns Cup
Carissa Yip during the 2020 Cairns Cup. Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar/

All games

It's very likely that the $25,000 first prize for Krush is the largest ever for an online women's event. It was made possible by the Saint Louis Chess Club and financially backed by billionaire Rex Sinquefield, who continues to sponsor numerous top-level chess events in the U.S. also during the pandemic, including the national championships.

Before the women's championship, three other U.S. Championships were held this month: for Juniors (won by GM John Burke), Girls (IM Carissa Yip), and Seniors (GM Joel Benjamin). The main 2020 U.S. Championship will be held October 26-29 with GMs Wesley So, Leinier Dominguez, Hikaru Nakamura, and Jeffery Xiong as the top seeds. The games will be played on lichess.

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