Hillary Clinton: looking for Irina Krush

by Frederic Friedel
4/1/2016 – It happened in the Steve Harvey Show. Recently the TV host had Democratic front runner in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton, as a guest, and in one segment the former First Lady and Secretary of State had to identify a "female groundbreaker" who was concealed between two imposters. The groundbreaker was Irina Krush, first and only US female grandmaster. Watch the video.

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Steve Harvey, 59, is an American comedian, television host, radio personality, actor, and author. He hosts a talk show called Steve Harvey, which is taped in Chicago and distributed by NBC. It is a one-hour daytime show that seeks to entertain, inform and inspire its audience on topics such as marriage, dating, finance, parenting, work place issues, friendship and "the daily dramas we face throughout our lives." Recently he had has a guest former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election. Here are some clips from the show:

Secretary Clinton and Steve Harvey discusses race in America

Hillary Clinton on "How I met Bill"

They also talked about gun control, religious freedom, and Clinton's new role as a grandmother. But the segment that is of greatest interest to us here is where Clinton and Harvey have to try to identify a Female Groundbreaker. "Senator Clinton has broken major ground for women everywhere," says Harvey. "But can she identify another woman who has done the same? Now she's gonna try, in this edition of 'two lies' and a truth."

Steve Harvey and Hillary Clinton are confronted with three women, one of whom is the female groundbreaker: "the only women in America to earn the grandmaster title in chess – and in the world of more than fourteen hundred grandmasters she is just one of 33 women. The other two women are imposters – probably can't even play chess." The ladies introduce themselves, all claiming to be GM Irina Krush.

The three put up a nice ruse, providing very plausible answers to all questions. In the end of Clinton and Harvey pick ... but we are not going to tell you. Watch the video clip and, in case you do not know the real Irina (as we have done, since her early teens), try to guess the answer yourself, before the video hits 5 minutes 35 seconds and the correct Irina Krush reveals herself.

Did you get it right? Did you spot the real Irina Krush?


Other Presidential Candidates and chess

Seven Days has this story of Democratic candidate Bernie Saunders playing against Vermont’s lone national chess master David Carter, who tells us that the whole Sanders family are chess fans. Both Bernie and his wife Jane played – she conceded after 68 minutes, he lasted 77.


In the February issue of Chess Life 1968 (which incidentally sold at 65¢ at the time) we find an attempt by the Republican front-runner Donald Trump, just 22 years old at the time, to establish himself as a chess problem composer:

Donald Trump, Chess Life 1968

White to play and mate in four moves

The solution given by Trump is: 1.Qxd7 h5 2.c8=N+! Ka6 3. b4 h4 4.Qc6#. Very nice, except that in the March isssue of Chess Life a reader pointed out that the problem had a dual: 2.c8=Q+ Kb6 3.Qdb7+ Ka5 4.Qca8#, making the main point – underpromotion to a knight – unnecessary. Trump threatened to sue the reader and the magazine, but then the reader published a second letter (in the April edition of CL) showing that 2.c8=B+ Kb6 3.b4 h4 4.Qb7# and 2.c8=R+ Ka6 3.Rb8 h4 4.Qa4# also work. "This makes the problem a classic allumwandlung," [which is a chess problem where, at some stage in the solution a pawn is promoted variously to a queen, rook, bishop, and knight] "so we must praise the composition as a valuable contribution to the art," he wrote. After this Trump said he "accepted the apology" and withdrew his lawsuit. We have not found any further compositions by the real estate tycoon.


Republican hopeful Ted Cruz tweeted a picture of a chessboard to Senator Mike Lee with the message: "Your Move" – unfortunately with the kings and queens misplaced, as the Huffington Post revealed.



Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.