Krush to face 50 in Detroit

Pamela Marcil


GM Irina Krush to conduct 50-board simul
against Detroit City Chess Club!

January 3, 2014 (Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will host chess international grandmaster Irina Krush in a simultaneous (simul) competition with 50 members of the Detroit City Chess Club (DCCC) on Friday, Jan. 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The museum is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and the simul and other museum activities are free with museum admission and free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Krush won the U.S. Women’s Chess Championships in 1998, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013. The October 2013 International Chess Federation rating list for women places her as 16th best among active female players and first among active American female players.

Zatonskih-Krush (round 7)

GM Irina Krush
Photo by CCSCSL.

Krush was born in Odessa, formerly in the Soviet Union and now the Ukraine, in 1983. She learned to play chess at age five and emigrated with her parents to Brooklyn that same year. Krush attended Brooklyn’s Edward R. Murrow High School, whose chess team is considered to be one of the top high school teams in the U.S. At age 14, she won the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship to become the youngest U.S. women’s champion ever. Krush played first board (the player assigned to face the strongest opponents) on the U.S. Women’s team in the 38th Chess Olympiad, when the U.S. team scored a bronze medal.

Krush became widely known for her series of chess training videos, the “Krushing Attacks,” and gained additional fame both inside and outside chess circles during the well-publicized “Kasparov versus the World” chess competition in 1999. Garry Kasparov played the white pieces and the Internet public voted on moves for the black pieces, guided by the recommendations of Krush and three of her contemporaries, Étienne Bacrot, Elisabeth Pähtz and Florin Felecan.

Detroit City Chess Club members range from five to 18 years old and have won national, regional and state competitions, with several members currently holding impressive national rankings. The young players recently won three titles at Western Kentucky University Masterminds Chess Open and two state titles. DCCC practices at the DIA most Friday evenings.

Azola Martin of Detroit City Chess Club. Photo by Ricardo Thomas/The Detroit News.

DCCC will be ready!
Photo by Ricardo Thomas/The Detroit News.

Founder and Coach Kevin Fite uses simuls to develop the skills of his players, and they have competed in several such competitions at the DIA. They have played against international master and grandmaster Martha Fierro, grandmasters Ben Finegold, Maurice Ashley and John Brooks, and, in 2010, against the youngest Michigan master at the time, ninth grader Atula Shetty. Their most-recent simul at the DIA was with national chess master David Allen in 2012.

Kevin Fite observing the progress of Cornerstone players. Photo by Bill Bresler.

Fite started the club as a lunchtime activity at Detroit’s Duffield Elementary School in 2003. The program expanded and became the Detroit City Chess Club to allow the participation of former Duffield students as well as students from all over metropolitan Detroit. The clubs’ mission is to teach area students the game of chess and all the life lessons it has to offer. One of the most important, according to Fite, is “to teach children to think critically and make good judgments.”

Hours and Admission Museum hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. For more information contact Ken Morris 313-300-1599


  1. Pingback: Daily Chess News Links January 6, 2014 |
  2. Yeah, I didn’t know either. She got her final norm back in October.

    Congrats to Krush!

    Even though she’s been the best American woman with 4 U.S. Women’s titles, I never followed her closely because she was born in the Ukraine and that made me uncomfortable with her as an American prospect. But as far as I know she’s not even an indirect product of the Soviet machine. Reportedly, she started playing the year her family immigrated to the U.S.

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