Today: Women's Speed Chess Championship Match Gunina-Krush

Today: Women's Speed Chess Championship Match Gunina-Krush

| 2 | Chess Event Coverage

The Women's Speed Chess Championship continues today with the third quarterfinals matchup between GM Valentina Gunina (Russia) and GM Irina Krush (USA). 

A day after Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated Anna Zatonskih we're having another match in the Women's Speed Chess Championship: Valentina Gunina vs. Irina Krush on Monday, May 27 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST). You can watch the match with live commentary by IM Sopiko Guramishvili and IM Anna Rudolf on and

Women's Speed Chess Championship bracket

The 30-year-old Gunina (@Vanina1989), from Murmansk but living in the Moscow region, is the only player to have won the women's European individual championship three times (in 2012, 2014 and 2018).

She has been a member of the Russian squad for many years, and has no less than seven team gold medals at home: those from the 2010, 2012 and 2014 Olympiads and the 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015 European Team Chess Championships.

Famous for her uncompromising style, Gunina proved to be a strong speed chess player as well when she won the 2016 London Chess Classic Super Rapidplay Open ahead of many strong grandmasters and with a tremendous score of 9/10.

Gunina was also the winner of the inaugural Cairns Cup in St. Louis, in February of this year. 

Valentina Gunina Women's Speed Chess Championship

The 35-year-old Krush (@Irochka83), born in Odessa, Ukraine but living in the USA since she was five, is a seven-time U.S. champion. Playing for the national team since 1998, Krush won the team silver medal at the 2004 Calvia Olympiad, and team bronze at the 2008 Dresden Olympiad.

Krush came third at the Cairns Cup won by Gunina. Their mutual game was in fact the first ever classical game they ever played. Krush was lost but escaped:

Before that, the players had only met in official blitz games: two at the 2010 world blitz in Moscow, and two at the IMSA Mind Games in 2016 in Huaian, China. Nine years ago, Gunina won both but in the first one she was dead lost after the opening:

In Huaian, the players exchanged wins. This was Krush's victory:

Irina Krush Women's Speed Chess Championship

Gunina goes into the match as the favorite, according to Krush: "She is higher rated in classical chess and has had some great results at the faster time controls, so relatively speaking she may be even better at fast chess than classical. However, it's always possible to surprise yourself. "

Krush will be playing from her home in Brooklyn, New York and plans to come to the match well prepared: "I've given some thought to the openings, and I'll practice online in the days leading up to the match."

Gunina has her own way of getting ready: "The best preparation I ever had was walking with my dog for hours!"

Besides preparing, she might also be playing in the proximity of a pet: "I will play from my home. It's a funny thing when I play with video, and my cat comes sitting on my knees and starts watching. So funny!"

Prizes Women's Speed Chess Championship

Krush might be the underdog, but she actually is the one with the most experience in online chess: "I don't play online much these days, but I used to play a lot when I was growing up, so using the mouse isn't a problem."

Gunina prefers to play over-the-board chess. "I like to touch pieces, and to feel my opponent."

The match will start with 90 minutes of 5|1 blitz, continue with 60 minutes of 3|1 blitz, and end with 30 minutes of 1|1 bullet. (Find all regulations here.) 

Krush: "I have no idea what to expect from myself in any of the time controls. For example, I don't play any bullet at all, but in my Death Match with Nadezhda Kosintseva, I actually won the match in the bullet portion. I don't really look at it as 'planning to strike' in any portion, more like, trying to play my best and see what happens. I guess you can make plans and set strategies when you are clearly stronger in some area, but that's not the situation here."

Gunina: "I think to play 1+1 is bad idea. I will scream a lot! "

The prize fund for the first-round matches is $2,000 each. The winner earns $1,000 and advances to round two, while the other $1,000 is split by win percentage.

The Women' Speed Chess Championship takes place May 22 - June 27 on the live server. All WSCC matches are broadcast live with chess-master commentary on and

Here's the full schedule:

  • Lagno vs. Elina Danielian (Round 2, Match 1): 13.0-14.0 (News post.)
  • Kosteniuk vs. Zatonskih (Round 2, Match 2): May 26, 2019
  • Gunina vs. Krush (Round 2, Match 3): May 27, 2019 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST)
  • Dronavalli vs. Sebag (Round 2, Match 4): May 30, 2019 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST)
  • Semifinal 1: (Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 4): June 20, 2019 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST)
  • Semifinal 2: (Winner Match 2 vs. Winner Match 3): June 25, 2019 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST)
  • WSCC Championship: June 27, 2019 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST)
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