Nov 25, 2008, 11:18 AM |

WooHoo!  Go USA!

I knew the women were in good standing but the men crept in there right at the end!

From US Chess. org :

The American men did the unthinkable at the last round of the Dresden Olympiad. And even that was just barely enough for a medal. They defeated previously unbeaten Ukraine with the massive rout 3.5-0.5, doing nearly everything they could to help their tiebreaks in the process. After Team Captain IM John Donaldson’s initial analysis, he concluded the team finished fourth. But ten minutes after somberly informing his team by voice mail of the news, the official results were posted, and the men got the bronze. Like Al Gore’s election-night call-back, Donaldson phoned again in a much different mood.

“We performed over 2700 as a team. I’ve never been on a team that did this well.” He said the U.S. played seven of the top 15 teams, defeating five of them. 

Heading into today’s clash with Ukraine, Donaldson dismissed the idea of trying to win big against Ukraine, a team that outrated the U.S. on all four boards. He said the focus was solely on winning – the topic of a rout was not even broached to his team. But as the situation unfolded today, the match win came quickly and the final score was the only result in doubt. 

GM Gata Kamsky got the ball rolling with a convincing win over GM Vassily Ivanchuk in less than three hours. 

This is great!  Check out the link above for all the games and some analysis.