Irina Krush | St. Louis Public Radio

Irina Krush

GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Fabiano Caruana, and GM Wesely So.
Chris Bauer | Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

As soon as the 2016 Sinquefield Cup ended, America’s top five players headed to Baku, Azerbijan, for the 42nd Chess Olympiad. The United States usually fields a formidable team, but this year is unprecedented, with three of the five teammates ranked in the top 10 in the world. Gone are the days when Russia, the perennial favorite for international competition, outranks other teams by a landslide. Team America, captained by International Master John Donaldson and coached by GM Alex Lenderman, is seeded second to Russia by just three rating points and is widely considered the favorite to take top honors.

On Chess: The American Chess family reunites in St. Louis

Apr 14, 2016
Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

April 13, 2016, will be remembered as the opening day of the strongest U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship in history. The excitement surrounding the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is palpable. Players, coaches, commentators, journalists and fans from all over the world are eagerly waiting to feast on the chess spectacle that this event is going to bring to the table. The mixture of styles, age and experience that this year’s fields created are quite the delight for anybody interested in the royal game.

Hikaru Nakamura and Irina Krush are defending champions.
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

In less than one month, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will once again become the most interesting chess club in the world. That is not because of some fluke; the American chess crème de la crème is set to step foot in the venue and engage in an unprecedented war over the chessboard.

Hikaru Nakamura
Provided by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis | File Photo

The Webster University challengers provided excitement in this year’s U.S. chess championships, but in the end the top ranking players — GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Irina Krush walked away with the titles.

Hikaru Nakamura is currently ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 7 in the world.
Provided by Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

Just one problem with being at the absolute peak of your game: There is nowhere to go but down.

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, the longtime American No. 1, is on absolute fire. A man on a mission, he spent the last half of 2014 making good on his intentions to become a World Champion candidate, and has spent the early portion of 2015 trampling on some of the world’s finer events.

On Chess: Krush earns elusive grandmaster title

Oct 11, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:

It’s a great time to be a woman in chess. I think.

To be sure, I should ask GM-elect Irina Krush, who is in town for the month as the resident grandmaster at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in the Central West End. Krush is the reigning U.S. Women’s Champion, a five-time winner of the event, and the 16th highest rated woman in the world. She will handle the club’s weekly programming while she is here, undoubtedly providing a boost to the Thursday night ladies’ class.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: “Live, from the basement of the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center...”

Flip to Fox Sports Midwest sometime two weeks from now, and in the place of Waino and Yadi, Steen and Backes, there will be Krush and Robson -- not on a field or a rink, but hunched over chess boards, their each and every move picked apart by a trio of announcers.