For most people, chess is just a game.
For Iryna Zenyuk, it’s a lifestyle.
Most mornings, Ms. Zenyuk, 23, of Squirrel Hill, wakes up before 6:30 a.m. She spends two hours studying chess with a coach she works with via the Internet before heading off to the labs of Carnegie Mellon University to study renewable energy fuel cells as part of her doctoral program.
In the midst of her academic studies, Ms. Zenyuk also finds time to write about chess. She authors a column on tips for amateur players for chess.com.
All this training, studying and writing about chess have paid off. This week, Ms. Zenyuk, a Woman International Master according to chess’s Elo ranking scale, will compete in the Super Bowl of chess matches: the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship.
This tournament, running Saturday through Oct. 13 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, brings the U.S. Chess Federation’s top 10 women players together. Ms. Zenyuk ranks eighth, and this is her fifth time competing in the national championships.
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– GM Susan Polgar