Women Take Bronze!!
By FM Mike Klein   
November 25, 2008
Anna Zatonskih, Katerina Rohonyan, Irina Krush and Rusudan Goletiani on a snowy pregame walk. Photo courtesy Irina Krush.
The American team just finished off what might be their most impressive last round in history. The men and women  both needed wins for a chance to medal, and both teams won in style. WGM Rusudan Goletiani’s win left her with an unbeaten Olympiad, a good chance at a personal medal, and, most importantly, a team bronze. After her win the situation was still not clear – a drawn match on board one between Ukraine and Poland would leave them on the outside looking in – but that did not happen. In a curious twist of fate, the men were trying to beat Ukraine while the women were rooting for Ukraine. Ukraine’s 2.5-1.5 win over Poland means the U.S. women will take the bronze, edging Poland on tiebreaks. Our two top scorers also earned individual board medals: Anna Zatonskih earned a gold medal for 8/10 on board 2 while Rusudan Goletiani earned silver for 9/11 on board 3. Browse complete results, performance ratings and board prizes on chessresults.com

The situation for the men is still unclear as the tiebreaks are extremely convoluted. Team Captain IM John Donaldson was joined by GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Alex Onischuk and Yasser Seirewan, but despite furious calculations, Donaldson is still not absolutely sure the men took bronze (ignominious results from team like South Africa and New Zealand are factoring in greatly to the tiebreak formula that essentially takes your score against a team multiplied by the total team points each opponent scored – now you see why Donaldson asked for a calculator). Onischuk has been pacing in the press room for about 30 minutes. Update:  Chessresults.com as of 10:40 AM EST says men did get bronze. Check FM Mike Klein's report on the men for more details. 

For the women, they were again bolstered by wins on their bottom boards. Their first came from WGM Katerina Rohonyan, who has entered many double-edge positions but always seems to find clear air. Her 15…Nfe4! turned the position on its head. Her king took a leisurely stroll from the kingside to the queenside, but found a home on b7, and her extra bishop proved decisive.


From there, WGM Anna Zatonskih drew (she also finishes the Olympiad undefeated), and Goletiani closed it out. IM Irina Krush ended up losing her game, but it did not adversely affect the tiebreaks enough to cost them anything in the final standings.

Michael Khodarkovsky congratulates Rusudan Goletiani after her win. Photo FM Mike Klein

Ukraine and Georgia will take the top two places (their order has not been determined yet), while tournament leader Poland, who entered the round in clear first, will be the tough-luck fourth place finisher. Look for more on CLO about the men's 3.5-0.5 rout over Ukraine as well as tonight's awards ceremony.

Photo Gallery

The heroines of round 11: Katerina Rohonyan and Rusudan Goletiani.

Katerina Rohonyan, Tatev Abrahamyan, Rusudan Goletiani and Anna Zatonskih. Photo Irina Krush

Irina Krush in her final round game against Marie Sebag with captain Michael Khodarkovsky and another important spectator- Boris Spassky!

Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush shake hands with the top two board on the French team, Almira Skripchenko and Marie Sebag