Medal Chances for America
November 24, 2008
GM Hikaru Nakamura won a clutch game in the round ten U.S-Germany match. Photo FM Mike Klein
In the final round of the Dresden Olympiad , the U.S. men face Ukraine and the women play France. Both American teams have a chance at medaling, although destiny is not entirely in our hands- tiebreaks and the results of other teams are also a major factor. The women, who beat Uzbekistan in the penultimate round, 3.5-.5 have excellent tiebreaks, so they have even better medaling chances than the American men, who just came off a great 2.5-1.5 win against Germany (games below). The final matches will be played on Tuesday at 4 AM EST. 

Women's captain Michael Khodarkovsky said that against France, "We have to throw the kitchen at them." To medal U.S. needs to win the match of first of all, and then watch the other results come in. The best would be to have two decisive results in Poland-Ukraine (preference to Poland, to avoid a tiebreak comeback on their part) and Georgia-Serbia.

Anna Zatonskih in Dresden.Photo FM Mike Klein
The men's chances for medaling are even more difficult to compute because there are more teams, but it's clear that they first have to focus on winning their match. For an amusing rundown, check out Captain IM John Donaldson said, "These guys are stone-cold pros. They want it as bad as anyone wants it." USA has played 7 of the top 15 teams in their 11 rounds. "We are going through the grinder," John said, "We just have to play the match with Ukraine and do our best. If we catch a break here or there we will get a medal."

Round 10 Games





GM Yury Shulma. Photo FM Mike Klein