Path to Gold: The Story of the 2016 US Olympic Team

At the Global Moves opening. Back row: GM Ray Robson, IM John Donaldson and GM Sam Shankland Front row: GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So, Photo Carmody Creative Photography

The World Chess Hall of Fame just posted a short documentary, “Path to Gold”, featuring the US Chess Olympic team’s gold medal finish at the 2016 Olympiad in Baku. The doc, produced by Spectrum Studios, premiered at the opening of Global Moves: Americans at Chess Olympiads at the World Chess Hall of Fame on November 10th. It features interviews with all team members plus captain IM John Donaldson and coach GM Aleksander Lenderman.

IM John Donaldson concluded, “Winning the event was the most important moment for me for American Chess. Someday hopefully we’ll have an individual World Champion again but at the moment, this had to be number one.” To John’s point on a  future American World Chess Champion, Five Thirty-Eight posted a simulation predicting that Wesley has a 12.3% chance of challenging Magnus Carlsen, and that Fabiano Caruana has a 17.6% chance. If Baku 2016 is any indication, it never pays to underestimate our top players.

Donate to the US Chess Olympiad Fund with a tax deductible donation using our online form. 

GM Sam Shankland, Carmody Creative Photography


  1. Based upon sixty years of roaming this great nation’s backstreets ….THE GREATEST CHESS BOOM OF ALL TIME IS NOW REALLY ON..quietly. Please remember at all times that this epic archive was totally one thousand per cent caused by the fierce, unyielding billionaire chess sponsors/ wild child chess cheerleaders REX AND JEANNE SINQUEFIED of the St.Louis Chess foundation/chess club. The horrendous so-called US chess organization (one million dollar surplus just admitted in the bank!)with an amatuer organizational base ,filled with (admittedly now past) insane horrendous million dollar legal expenses, largely anti chess people AND largely adrift with real fierce jealousy, even hatred of epic world class pro chess promoters like Mr. Wiliam Goichberg and Grandmaster- 7 times national collegiate champ team coach/ pro chess event wizard Susan Polgar… infested with truly mickey mouse small time thinking organisers that are directly opposed to paying even full time world class professional gold medal winning grand master players EVER.. much less financing even their arrival in advance hotel rooms to insure our world training national chess squad does not play/pay dead on their feet off the plane..(Source: World championsip gold medal winning Olympaid US team captain Mr.John Donaldson) Keep it small so you can steal it all. These people likely do not care if So, Caruana ,Nakamura, Shankland, Robson or Donaldson live or die. In fact I believe it even possible the US chess board could not instantly name the entire United States world championship team and captain if pressed by surprise. Unbelievable anemic chess leadership. (My vote: No money ever to this dreadful (however well meaning) organization but save the fiercely improving pro levelstill necessary magazine Chess Life as US chess organization is eliminated totally …if at all possible. Yes THE US CHESS ORGANIZATION must die so chess can live..GREAT CHESS EVENTS MUST BE CREATED FOR MEDIA ATTENTION.OTHERWISE OUR PLAYERS WILL STARVE.The great,CENTURY LONG tragicly killed chess columns of the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and the New York Times had nothing to live for…The pro, FIERCELY INDEPENDENT, St. Louis Chess foundation with it’s already massive walk in pro chess teaching for St. Louis schools/ the general public really does thw job,,they dare enough, care enough to give their very best ..They lead the chess nation via their fierce closed shop goals.. to dare be grand you have to think grandly ..they must rule and take over all world chess rated competition for our nation..St.Louis all the way Jose. Time waits for no one.Friends, neighbors, countrymen. The time has come. Jude Acers/New Orleans

  2. Of course the typo corrected here is ” fierce unyielding billionaire chess sponsors/ wild child chess cheerleaders ..REX AND JEANNE SINQUEFIELD of the St. Louis chess foundation/ chess club”..I apologize for the stupid spelling error as well as for two other typos popped out of the keys. Thank everyone for reading, thinking about the direction however bitter we must now take…and of course to the US chess federation organization for allowing my totally uncensored view hardly shared by everyone….Some middle ground may be possible but I do not think so. We have to pack. Time to go… but we should carefully save the totally uncensored now rocketing US chess website and vast fast improving Chess Life magazine on the way to the airport. Jude Acers/ New Orleans

  3. This is, of course, the greatest United States chess team accomplishment since the 1930’s. I am so proud of them. It’s so fitting that Jude Acers, America’s great simultaneous exhibion player and showman, should be the one to write about it.

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