|U.S. Men’s and Women’s Chess Teams Take Bronze Medals in Germany|
|By Glen Peterson|
At the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden, Germany (November 12-25), the U.S. Women's and Men's teams both earned bronze medals, the first time ever that American women’s and men's teams scored medals in the same Olympiad.
The women's team consisted of Irina Krush of Brooklyn, reigning U.S. women's champion Anna Zatonskih of New York, Rusudan Goletiani of Westchester, New York , Katerina Rohonyan of Seattle, Washington and Tatev Abrahamyan of Los Angeles, California. Anna Zatonskih earned a gold medal for the best performance on board two of the women's Olympiad, with 8/10 while Rusudan Goletiani earned a silver medal for scoring 9/11 on board three. Grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov of Lexington, Kentucky coached while Michael Khodarkovsky captained the team.
The men defeated the former Gold Medal (2004) Ukrainian team in the final round with a 3.5-0.5 score, enough to win the bronze medal on tiebreak. The men's team consists of World Championship challenger Gata Kamsky of Brooklyn, Hikaru Nakamura of New York, Alexander Onischuk of Maryland, reigning U.S. Champion Yury Shulman of Illinois and Varuzhan Akobian of Los Angeles, California. IM John Donaldson of San Francisco, California was the captain.
Special thanks to the Kasparov Chess Foundation, official sponsor of the 2008 Olympiad teams.
146 teams participated in the Open event and the American men were ranked 10th going in. Participating in the women's competition were 110 teams, with the U.S. women ranked 7th .
FIDE, the International chess federation, awarded a host of International titles to Americans at the Dresden FIDE Congress, including three Grandmaster titles, Larry Kaufman of Maryland, Josh Friedel of the Bay Area and Reiner Gonzales of Miami, two International Master titles, (Raymond Kaufman of Maryland and Marc Arnold of New York), two Women International Masters (Iryna Zenyuk of New York and Alisa Melekhina of Philadelphia), one International Organize ( Sevan Muradian of Chicago) and four FIDE Arbiters (Chris Bird of Massachusetts, Alex Relyea of New Hampshire, Jon Haskel of Florida and Francisco Guadalupe of Houston).
The United States Chess Federation (USCF), founded in 1939, serves as the governing body for chess in the United States and is now headquartered in Crossville, Tennessee. USCF is devoted to extending the role of chess in American society. It promotes the study and knowledge of the game of chess, for its own sake as an art and enjoyment, and as a means for the improvement of society. The USCF is a not-for-profit membership organization with over 80,000 members.For additional information on the USCF see: http://www.uschess.org.