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Irina Krush

About Irina Krush

Ukrainian-American chess master who won the U.S. Women s Championship in 1998, 2007, 2010, and 2012.

Early life

She learned to play chess around the same time that she immigrated to the United States.


She was the youngest U.S. Women s Champion of all time and in 2013 FIDE ranked her the best American female chess player.

Family of Irina Krush

Her parents immigrated from the Soviet Union to Brooklyn when she was five.

Close associates of Irina Krush

She and Anna Ushenina are two of the best Ukrainian born players in the chess world.

Maia Chiburdanidze

About Maia Chiburdanidze

One of the top female chess players of all time who is best known for her record of nine Chess Olympiad wins.

Early life

She began playing chess at the age of eight and she became the USSR girls champion in 1976.


She was the youngest player to ever win the Women s World Championship in 1977 and in 1984 she became only the second woman ever to achieve the ranking of Grandmaster.

Family of Maia Chiburdanidze

She was born and raised in Georgia which, at the time, was a part of the Soviet Union.

Close associates of Maia Chiburdanidze

She was an inspiration to future female chess stars such as Judit Polgar.

Kira Zvorykina

About Kira Zvorykina

One of the most prolific female chess masters of the mid-20th century.

Early life

She excelled in both private and school run chess tournaments as a teenager and she attended he legendary Palace of Young Pioneers Chess Club where classes were given by rising chess stars.


She is a three time Soviet Women s Champion, winning in in 1951, 1953 and 1956.

Family of Kira Zvorykina

She married fellow chess master Alexey Suetin.

Close associates of Kira Zvorykina

She was a Ukrainian Women s Champion who paved the road for future masters like Anna Ushenina.

Yuri Averbakh

About Yuri Averbakh

A former Soviet-Russian chess player who was considered in 2013 to be the oldest living Grandmaster in the world.

Early life

He won the Moscow Championship in 1949, which launched his career.


He was considered to be one of the strongest defensive players in modern chess.

Family of Yuri Averbakh

His father was a German Jew and his mother was from Russia.

Close associates of Yuri Averbakh

He often competed against fellow Russian great Boris Spassky during his career.

Andrei Sokolov

About Andrei Sokolov

Russian born chess Grandmaster who won the Championship of the Soviet Union in 1984 and now resides in France.

Early life

He was coached by renowned chess master Alexei Suetin and he won the Junior World Chess Championship, held in Copenhagen, in 1982.


A series of unexpected losses in the late 1980s led to lesser chess activity.

Family of Andrei Sokolov

He learned to play chess from his father Yuri.

Close associates of Andrei Sokolov

He was one of the premier Russian players in the 1980s alongside Garry Kasparov.

Almira Skripchenko

About Almira Skripchenko

French chess Grandmaster who is highly regarded in the world of female chess playing.

Early life

She was able to become an “Under-16” chess champion after Moldova became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991.


She won the European Women s Chess Championship in 2001 and because of it was chosen “best sportsperson in 2001 in Moldova” and decorated with the Order of National Merit in her native country.

Family of Almira Skripchenko

Both of her parents were professional chess coaches.

Close associates of Almira Skripchenko

She is a chess Grandmaster much like Vladimir Kramnik.