Chess Olympiad | St. Louis Public Radio

Chess Olympiad

The U.S. men took silver at the 2018 Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia on Oct. 5, 2018.
Goga Chanadiri

The United States made history with its victory in the 2016 Chess Olympiad held in Baku, Azerbaijan, its first success in the biannual team event in 40 years.

It nearly repeated this triumph two years later in Batumi, Georgia, tying for first with China and Russia, but finishing second to the former on tiebreak.

On Chess: The Batumi Chess Olympiad

Sep 13, 2018
The 2018 U.S. Olympic team. Seated (left to right): Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So. Standing: Ray Robson, John Donaldson, Sam Shankland.
Dilip Vishwanat / World Chess Hall of Fame

The Georgian resort city of Batumi, located on the Black Sea near the Turkish border, will host the 43 Chess Olympiad. More than 1,600 players from 185 countries will compete in the bi-annual event, which is separate from the Summer and Winter Olympics.

The two-week-long tournament, running from Sept. 24 to Oct. 6, will see the United States' team attempt to defend the gold medals it won as the top finisher in 2016 in Azerbaijan, its first victory in 40 years. Perennial powerhouses Russia, China and Ukraine, along with newcomers Azerbaijan and India, are among the other top-ranked teams in an event that traces its history back to 1927.

The Hamilton-Russell Cup is on display at the World Chess Hall of Fame. The American team gained possession of the trophy when it won the 2016 Chess Olympiad – for the first time in 40 years.
Austin Fuller | World Chess hall of Fame

In 2016, Americans made history by earning team gold in the Chess Olympiad, a biennial tournament in which teams of chess players represent their countries. The remarkable 2016 team included grandmasters Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Sam Shankland and Ray Robson, with international master John Donaldson as team captain and Aleksandr Lenderman as team coach.