Path to Gold recounts U.S. Olympiad team story

by Macauley Peterson
7/4/2018 – It's Independence Day in the United States, and therefore a day for cookouts, celebrating and fireworks. Or, why not take in a film? In this case, you only need spare 13 minutes to learn all about the 2016 Olympiad triumph of Team USA. Starring Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Sam Shankland and Ray Robson, with John Donaldson (as "captain") and Aleksandr Lenderman (as "coach"). Produced by the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Opening package: 1.b3 and Black Secrets in the Modern Italian Opening package: 1.b3 and Black Secrets in the Modern Italian

Wesley So published two new opening DVDs: 1.b3, the so called Nimzo-Larsen-Attack, for White and his black secrets in the modern Italian. Get them in a package and save money!


Defending champions reprise roles

The US Olympic teams for Batumi were announced last month, and with Sam Shankland's recent rating run-up, the team looks like it will be the clear favourites in the Open section. Two years ago, the identical squad captured gold medals in Baku, for the first time in over 30 years. International Master John Donaldson, the team's captain, told US Chess:

I like the U.S. team’s chances of being only the second country besides Armenia to repeat as champions in the post-Kasparov era. It won’t be easy as Russia and China will also field teams with similar average ratings to the U.S. and India (with Anand), Azerbaijan and Ukraine will be over 2700 average rating per board. It’s really great Fabiano is back again heading the team. The Olympiad should be the perfect final tune-up before the World Championship.

It also helps our chances that we have the entire team back from 2016 and Sam Shankland has recently made a huge leap forward.

Here's a short documentary recounting the feat two years ago:

Published in November 2017, this video has somehow has garnered just 1128 views to-date!

U.S. Women's team without Paikidze

Anna ZatonskihGM Irina Krush, IM Anna Zatonskih (pictured), WGM Tatev Abrahamyan and WGM Sabina Foisor all return to the U.S. Women's team, but Nazi Paikidze declined her invitation and is being replaced by FM Jennifer Yu.

GM Melikset Khachiyan will captain the team, and told US Chess:

Anna and Irina have tremendous experience. The most difficult job will be on their shoulders, to hold the top boards. Tatev is an important striker- she needs to be in good form and Sabina is a natural born leader and fighter. As for youngster Jennifer Yu, Melik called her “an amazing talent with no fear.”


Macauley served as the Editor in Chief of ChessBase News from July 2017 to March 2020. He is the producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast, and was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.


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