U.S. Consul General Judith Ravin Welcomes U.S. Olympiad Teams to Chennai

The U.S. Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin welcomed the United States Chess team to Mamallapuram today for the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad, organized by the Indian Chess Federation and the Government of Tamil Nadu from July 28 to Aug. 9, 2022.

U.S. Consul General Judith Ravin Welcomes U.S. Olympiad Team to Chennai
Consul General Judith Ravin is seen with (L-R) GM Alejandro Ramirez, WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, GM Melikset Khachiyan, IM Anna Zatonskih, GM Irina Krush, GM Levon Aronian, GM Leinier Dominguez, GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Robert Hess, GM Wesley So, GM Sam Shankland, and IM John Donaldson.

An ardent supporter of education and sports diplomacy, the Consul General greeted the chess players and wished them success in their matches and discussed with the players how the Chess Olympiad in Chennai helps popularize the sport of chess and serves to unite chess lovers around the world in a truly global competition.  

Addressing the group of United States players, captains, and coaches, the Consul General said, “I am extremely proud of you for representing the United States at the Chess Olympiad in Chennai. The deep ties between the U.S. and India are built on the people-to-people connections forged by sports diplomats just like you.”  

The Consul General added, “The U.S. Consulate is thrilled to see the Chess Olympiad take place in Chennai, especially during the 75th anniversary of U.S.-India relations.” 

IM John Donaldson, U.S. team captain in the open section, also spoke about the importance of this year’s Olympiad. “The U.S. teams are honored to compete in the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai,” he said. “India is considered by many to be the birthplace of chess so it is fitting this prestigious event will be held here for the first time. We are particularly grateful to the Indian Chess Federation, which with the support of national and local governments, has volunteered to organize this event late in the day. We look forward to an exciting competition this year in Chennai!”  

Melikset Khachiyan, U.S. women’s team captain, echoed John when he congratulated India for hosting the Olympiad for the first time. “India is a country with strong chess traditions,” Khachiyan said. “It is the country of five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Chennai itself also has a long history of chess. Back in 2013, Chennai hosted the World Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand-Magnus Carlsen, and it was the first time ever. India these days is becoming a leader in world chess, organizing many top chess events. Our U.S. team is excited to be a part of this World Chess Olympiad and looking forward to doing our best.” 

The U.S. team is seeded first among 187 teams in the open section and is comprised of GM  Fabiano Caruana, GM Levon Aronian, GM Wesley So, GM Leinier Dominguez, GM Sam Shankland, and is coached by GM Robert Hess. 

In the women’s section, the U.S. team led by captain GM Melikset Khachiyan is seeded eighth among 162 teams. GM Irina Krush, IM Carissa Yip, IM Anna Zatonskih, WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, and WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova comprise the women’s team, and are coached by GM Alejandro Ramirez. 


Grandmaster Sam Shankland is fantastic on summit locations ..especially fide Olympiads and the World Cup play. He hears the beat of a distant different drummer and no one really knows how he does this. I call it ghost chess. Only the shadow knows. Jude Acers/ New Orleans

What did Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova think of her first round opponent Natasha Morales Santos(who is legally blind)?

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