They went, they played, said check and it was mate!
They have done it. History was made on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 as the US Men’s Olympic team defeated Canada in the last round to seal a memorable first place and take the Gold medal at the forty-second chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan. As Grandmaster Maurice Ashley suggested in a social media post before before the final round, by winning the Olympiad Open, the US Men’s team now has the bragging rights of best chess country in the world! The question that was on many people’s lips was, can the team pull off what has not happened in 4 decades? 40 years had gone by ever since the US Men’s Team won told at the Olympiad. Now the team is stronger than it’s ever been.
MAKE UP OF THE TEAM
So who was in the men’s team? The team was made up of Current US Champion Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Ray Robson, Sam Shankland. These players showed their mettle throughout the event especially Wesley So who scored a very impressive 8,5 points out of a possible 10 points on board 3.
FROM BELIEF TO REALITY
The belief was already there before the Baku Olympiad that the US had a very good chance of getting gold but would the team deliver? Would the team be able to withstand the pressure finally bring home the gold? Expectation is one thing but performance when it really counts is another thing altogether. The self belief and confidence of not just the players but the fans must have become even stronger towards the end as the US was one of the top teams over the last few rounds. It went through the entire event undefeated. That was a remarkable feat.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
US Chess is certainly on a high right now. It remains to be seen what’s going to be next. There is a great deal of momentum in chess. Will this see the US starting to dominate the chess scene. These are certainly exciting times for US Chess. Only time will tell!