Monday, November 24, 2008

U.S. Olympiad Teams in the hunt for Medals

Both U.S. Chess teams remain in the hunt for medals at the 38th chess Olympiad currently underway in Dresden, Germany. Each has 15 points out of 20 after ten of eleven scheduled rounds. The final matches will be contested on Tuesday, November 25th.

The Men's (Open) team trails Armenia and Ukraine by two points while the Women's team is behind Poland by the same margin. A total of 156 teams are competing and 152 countries are represented in the Open event. 119 teams are entered in the Women’s tournament.

Here are the standings in the Open Olympiad:
1st (tie) – Armenia (8W, 1D, 1L) and Ukraine (7W, 3D, 0L), 17 points
3rd (tie) -- China and Israel, 16 points
5th (tie) -- United States, Netherlands, Russia and Spain, 15 points

The U.S. Men's team entered the bi-annual tournament ranked 10th on the basis of average FIDE rating. All five of the players have plus scores for the event:
Gata Kamsky (2729) 5.5/9
Hikaru Nakamura (2704) 6/9
Alexander Onischuk (2644) 5.5/9
Yuri Shulman (2616) 4.5/7
Varuzhan Akobian (2606) 4/6

The key loss was an eighth round defeat 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 at the hands of the team from Russia. They will have their work cut out in the final match against Ukraine, where they will be outrated on all four boards:

USA vs. Ukraine, Round 11
Bd. 1 Kamsky vs. Vassily Ivanchuk (2786)
Bd. 2 Nakamura vs. Sergey Karjakin (2730)
Bd. 3 Onischuk vs. Pavel Eljanov (2720)
Bd. 4 Shulman vs. Zagar Efimenko (2680)

In other final round matches, China will play Armenia, Israel is matched up against Netherlands, and Russia takes on Spain.

Here is a link to the round by round results of the U.S. Men's (Open) Olympiad Team.

Here are the standings in the Women's Olympiad:
1st – Poland (8W, 1D, 1L), 17 points
2nd (tie) – Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia, 16 points
5th (tie) – United States (7W, 1D, 2L) and Russia, 15 points

The U.S. Women's team entered the tournament ranked 7th. Like the men, all of the players have plus scores for the event:
Irina Krush 2452 6.5/9
Anna Zatonskih 2440 7.5/9
Rusudan Goletiani 2359 8/10
Katerina Rohonyan 2334 5/9
Tatev Abrahamyan 2286 1/3

The U.S. women lost their key match to Poland 3-1 in Round 9. They will play France in the final round:
USA vs. France, Round 11
Bd. 1 Krush vs. Marie Sebag (2533)
Bd. 2 Zatonskih vs. Almira Skripchenko (2455)
Bd. 3 Goletiani vs. Sylvia Collas (2352)
Bd. 4 Rohonyan vs. Sophie Milliet (2366)

In the other final round matches, Poland will take on Ukraine, Georgia is slated to play Serbia, and Netherlands goes against Russia.

Here is a link to the round by round results of the U.S. Women's Olympiad Team.