Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Double Bronze for U.S. Chess Teams

The U.S. Women's Team, Bronze medal winners at the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresdan.

Both U.S. Chess teams finshed strong to win bronze medals at the 38th Chess Olympiad completed yesterday in Germany.

In the Open Olympiad, Armenia defended its 2006 title to win the gold with 19 points. Israel was second with 18. The United States won their last round match against Ukraine, despite being outrated on every board, to take bronze on tiebreak over the Ukraine. Both teams finished with 17 points out of 22 in the 11-round tournament.

In the Women's Olympiad, Georgia and Ukraine, both countries from the former Soviet Union, tied for first with 18 points. The team from Georgia took the gold medals on tiebreak (411.5 to 406.5). The U.S. won the tiebreak over Russia and Poland for the bronze. All three teams finished a point back of the leaders with 17 points.

The scoring system this year was based on two points for each match win and one point for a tie. The U.S. Open (Men's) Team was ranked 10th going into the event and the Women's team was ranked 7th.

Members of the U.S. Open Team (8 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses) were Gata Kamsky, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Onischuk, Yuri Shulman and Varuzhan Akobian. All five players finished with a winning record. The top three boards each scored 6 1/2 points out of ten games played. Complete results are here.

The U.S. Women's Team consisted of Irina Krush, Anna Zatonskih, Rusa Goletiani, Katerina Rohonyan and Tatev Abrahamyan. Complete results for the U.S. Women's team are here.

Anna Zatonskih won the individual gold medal for her 8/10 performance on Board 2. Rusa Goletiana played all 11 rounds and finished with a 9-2 record to take the silver medal for Board 3.

Thank you to Susan Polgar and Rob Huntington (AP) for their fast updates on the tournament. Please go to Susan Polgar's blog for detailed results and many, many photos of the 38th Chess Olympiad.