Gata Kamsky adds the chess Olympiad to his busy schedule
The United States Chess Federation (USCF) announced the teams and captains for the 38th Chess Olympiad scheduled for November 12 – 25, 2008, in Dresden, Germany. The news came through an open letter by Jerry Nash at the USCF website, cited by Susan Polgar
Men’s Olympiad Team: Varuzhan Akobian, Gata Kamsky, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Onischuk, Yury Shulman, Captain – John Donaldson.
Women’s Olympiad Team: Tatev Abrahamyan, Rusudan Goletiani, Irina Krush, Katerina Rohonyan, Anna Zatonskih, Captain – Michael Khodarkovsky and Coach – Gregory Kaidanov.
The players were selected by a formula which takes into account several factors including USCF and FIDE ratings. Yury Shulman and Anna Zatonskih also qualified by winning the 2008 US Men’s and Women’s Chess Championships.
The captains and coaches were selected by a vote of the players of each team.
The Chess Olympiads, begun in 1924, are the most prestigious of the world team tournaments organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).
Teams from more than 100 nations participate in this event scheduled every two years. In the previous two Olympiads, US teams achieved success in bringing home medals. In 2004, the US Women’s team won the Silver in Calvia, Spain, and in 2006, the US Men’s team captured the Bronze in Turin, Italy.
Significant modifications in the tournament format will impact the play at the 2008 Olympiad. The event has been reduced from 14 rounds to 11 rounds and scoring has been changed from game to match points. Another change is the composition of the teams themselves. The men’s teams have been reduced by one alternate player to the current Four Boards plus One Board alternate player. The women’s teams have been increased by one player to an identical 4+1 composition.