U.S. Men's Olympic Team wins bronze medals!
Press
By Jennifer Shahade   
June 5, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2006
Press Release #29

(TURIN, ITALY) The United States team, which was officially sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation, earned the bronze medals at the 37th Olympiad, held in Turin, Italy between May 21-June 4th. 150 teams from six continents competed in the biennial competition. The U.S. squad earned more points than higher ranked teams such as Russia, Ukraine and France. Armenia won the gold medals, and China won the silver. IM John Donaldson from San Francisco captained the U.S Men's team which included six Grandmasters: Gata Kamsky from Brooklyn, New York; Alexander Onischuk from Baltimore, Maryland; Hikaru Nakamura from White Plains, NY; Ildar Ibragimov from Hartford, Connecticut; Gregory Kaidanov from Lexington, Kentucky and Varuzhan Akobian from Los Angeles, California. In the last round the team crushed the Norwegians 3.5-.5 to catapult into third place. Last round winners were Nakamura, Onischuk and Akobian. The biggest scorer of the squad was Alexander Onischuk, the current U.S. Champion. He won four games and drew six with no losses. Eighteen-year-old Hikaru Nakamura won his last three games. Among these was a victory over Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk that clinched a victory against Russia, the top seed of the event. It was Nakamura's first Olympiad. Gata Kamsky had a solid, plus one first board performance. He held his own in a field that included "super GMs" Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand. Kamsky was playing on the heels of a magnificent tournament in Sofia (May, 2006) where he defeated Vishy Anand, and came in second in a field that included most of the top players in the world. Kaidanov, Ibragimov and Akobian also contributed to the team's success. Kaidanov won four games and lost only one. Ildar scored plus one in his first time representing the U.S. in an Olympiad. Akobian, also playing for the American team for the first time, went plus two and scored a crucial last round victory. The women's team had an excellent but bittersweet result. They came in fourth place, narrowly missing medals of their own. The team included current U.S. Women's Champion IM Anna Zatonskih(Long Island, New York), IM Irina Krush (Brooklyn, NY), WGM Rusudan Goletiani ( Westchester,NY) and WGM Camilla Baginskaite( Bay Area, CA) with GM Yury Shulman, from Chicago, serving as captain. Goletiani and Krush were the big scorers for the team. They both scored plus five. Medal winners in the women's section were Ukraine (gold), Russia (silver) and China (bronze). The United States combined placing (women and men) was the second best of the entire Olympiad, only after China. The United States Chess Federation would like to thank the Kasparov Chess Foundation, who was the official sponsor for the US Men's and Women's teams. We would also like to recognize the Internet Chess Club as a supporting sponsor. Many thanks also go out to the dozens who lent individual support.

Contact: Jennifer Shahade
jshahade@uschess.org