US Olympic Teams Set: “I Like Our Chances to Repeat”

The 2018 US Olympic teams are set, with a formidable Open squad featuring three of the top ten players in the World, including World Championship Challenger Fabiano Caruana.  Two years ago, the team captured gold medals in Baku, for the first time since 1976. Team captain IM John Donaldson told US Chess:

I like the U.S. team’s chances of being only the second country besides Armenia to repeat as champions in the post-Kasparov era. It won’t be easy as Russia and China will also field teams with similar average ratings to the U.S. and India (with Anand), Azerbaijan and Ukraine will be over 2700 average rating per board. It’s really great Fabiano is back again heading the team. The Olympiad should be the perfect final tune-up before the World Championship.

It also helps our chances that we have the entire team back from 2016 and Sam Shankland has recently made a huge leap forward.

GM Sam Shankland watching “Path to Gold”, which chronicles the US team’s victory in the 2016 Olympiad

The 2018 Olympiad will take place in Batumi, Georgia from September 23-October 6. Donaldson pointed out that the, “The U.S. has done well in team tournaments in the Caucasus of late finishing equal fourth (without our big three) in the 2015 World Team Championship in Armenia and winning the Olympiad two years ago in Baku.” Find more details on the Olympiad schedule on the official website. 

Open Squad

The Golden 2016 team: Robson, Donaldson, Shankland, Nakamura, Caruana and So. Not pictured: Coach Aleksander Lenderman 

GM Fabiano Caruana

GM Wesley So

GM Hikaru Nakamura

GM Sam Shankland

GM Ray Robson

Coach: GM Aleksander Lenderman

Captain: IM John Donaldson

Zatonskih at the 2016 Olympiad

Melikset Khachiyan will captain the Women’s team, and he told US Chess that he is thrilled and optimistic about our chances, even though US Women’s Champion Nazi Paikidze will not play. He had glowing things to say about all team-members. “Anna and Irina have tremendous experience. The most difficult job will be on their shoulders, to hold the top boards. Tatev is an important striker- she needs to be in good form and Sabina is a natural born leader and fighter.” As for youngster Jennifer Yu, Melik called her “an amazing talent with no fear.”

Women’s Squad

GM Irina Krush

IM Anna Zatonskih

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan

FM Jennifer Yu

WGM Sabina Foisor

Coach: GM Robert Hess

Captain: GM Melikset Khachiyan

Find out how you can become a part of history and support the Olympic team training here. 


  1. Men’s team looks like like it’s the team to beat. Nazi is a big loss for USA women, but still should be in the hunt for a for a medal.

  2. MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS WHAT IS THIS??..Do we find sudden serious no nonsense coverage of world class pro chess .incredible around the clock chess professional chess coverage appears on the horizon for US chess..CONGRATULATIONS CREW.NEXT WE NEED TO MASSIVELY BACK THE BILLION DOLLAR SET UP IN THE SINQUEFIELD FOUNDATION / ST LOUIS CHESS CLUB /REX AND JEANNE SINQUEFIELD ..BY BEING ABSOLUTEY CERTAIN THAT THEIR TOTALLY ACCIDENTAL AND MIRACULOUS LIASON MR. RANDY BAUER GOES TO EXECUTIVE US CHESS AND REPRESENTS US IN FIDE ALL WORLD CHESS FEDERATION PRO CHESS MATTERS. BAUER STARTED ALL OF THESE INCREDIBLE THINGS with Rex Sinquefield IN THE FIRST PLACE.. hear the electrifying unbelievable but true story on BEN JOHNSONS PERPETUAL POD CAST as Mr. Sinquefield personally UNCORKS MEETING Mr. Bauer via purely accidental totally unrelated city business..A chance meeting that almost certainly determined 10 US BIG MONEY CHESS championships/ a world title contender…and entire the world championship team USA itself. Bauer WITH DIPLOMACY AND STEALTH/ engineered the incredible/ absolutely necessary lateral handoff from US chess to St. Louis and PERSONALLY saved pro chess in America.He was also hit by the lucky truck as almost every person who has ever had monstrous great triumph will tell you is a must. Jude Acers / New Orleans

  3. Good morning beautiful people of this group allow me to register here I love chess this my hobby my name Minakeshor Arambam (Jamesmeitei)

  4. The team should have a big (or multiple) U.S. flag(s) for the podium ceremony. I will donate them if necessary. Go for the gold!

  5. […] This year’s camp had an additional surprise: It was taught by the reigning U.S. Champion, GM Sam Shankland. For those who have spent the last few months under a rock, Sam recently won three super-tournaments in a row, went more than 60 games undefeated, entered the Top 30 in the world, and raised his rating to an all-time high of 2727 FIDE. He’s now in Batumi to defend the United States gold medal performance.  […]

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