team-usa-2016
Photo by Maria E.

Media Tabloid, False Narrative, Pattern of Ridiculousness?
By Paul Truong
 
A few days before the US won the historic Gold medal at the 2016 Baku Chess Olympiad, Susan Polgar wrote a piece about the history of Chess Olympiad and the current team (https://chessdailynews.com/on-the-verge-of-huge-history-in-baku). She clearly set the record that 4 of the 5 members (Caruana, Nakamura, Shankland, and Robson) of the US team are born US citizen and 1 (So) developed his world class talent in the US.
 
But that did not stop the media and a number of other people from attacking and demeaning the US team and its members, calling them “Imported Talent” or the “Best Team Money Can Buy”. Give me a damn break. When the US finally becomes a major chess powerhouse, excuses are immediately given as to why the US won: Money! They want the world to think that our success comes from “buying talent”. What a piece of crap!
 
Again, let’s set the record straight! Caruana was born in the US. He grew up in the US. He does not speak Italian, at least not fluently. I do not believe that he even lived in Italy. But he moved to Europe as a teen to be able to play in strong events and train with serious trainers. For a period of time, he played for Italy, where his family was originally from. So what? He is an American born and kudos to Mr. Sinquefield for being able to incentivize him to move back to the US.
 
Nakamura’s Mom is American. He moved to the US as a baby and learned chess in the US. He, just like Caruana, is as American as it gets. Robson was born in Guam, a US territory, and his father is American. He lived most of his life in Florida until he moved to St. Louis in August 2012 to study at Webster University.
 
So the only question is So. He was around 2650 (he could not break through to advance beyond this level) when he moved to the US in August 2012 to study at Webster University. At that time, his rating was exactly 2652, hardly the strength to power to US team to prominence. He developed his skill at Webster University and broke into the top 10 in November 2014 with a rating of 2762. He consistently remained in the top 10 and on the verge of breaking into the top 5 in the world. He is a Permanent Resident of the US and has a Green Card. He will soon be able to become a US citizen.
 
Isn’t it strange when no one complained or talked about Kamsky, Alburt, Dzindzichashvili, Shabalov, Onischuk, Gulko, Ibragimov, or Lein, etc. when they represented the US over the years? Why is it an issue now? Because the US won with home grown talent? I call this media tabloid and pattern of ridiculousness. There are teams in the recent Olympiad where most or ALL members of the team were NOT born in the country they represent. How come no one talked about it? In fact, many countries have players from elsewhere.
 
The US has a very strong young team. And with powerful college chess programs like Webster University and others, as well as young homegrown talent like Jefferey Xiong, Daniel Naroditsky, Sam Sevian, and Ruifeng Li, the future of American chess looks bright.
 
Congratulations to team USA! I am proud of all of them!
 
Here is an excerpt from Wesley So’s Mom, Leny So, on Facebook:
 
William and I watched the World Chess Olympiad here in Canada. I am very thankful and grateful to Susan Polgar for all the help and guidance. When I noticed that my son needs help in his chess career, the only person that comes to my mind was Susan Polgar. Her invitation for my son to come to U.S. and study at Webster University produced one of the best chess players in the world. Congratulations to U.S team and to my son, whom we dearly missed.
Media Bias, Incompetence, or Deliberately Designed?

Susan’s previous article:

The US is on the verge of wining Olympiad Gold! They are controlling their own destiny. But let’s take a look at the history of the Chess Olympiad.

The last time the US won Gold was in 1976. But that was the year the Soviet Union boycotted. So the victory has an *. If you do not count 1976, you have to go back to 1937.  That was an era when the US dominated by winning 4 in a row: Prague, Czechoslovakia 1931 (Kashdan, Marshall, Dake, Horowitz, Steiner H.), Folkestone, United Kingdom 1933 (Kashdan, Marshall, Fine, Dake, Simonson), Warsaw, Poland 1935 (Fine, Marshall, Kupchik, Dake, Horowitz) and Stockholm, Sweden 1937 (Reshevsky, Fine, Kashdan, Marshall, Horowitz)!

Therefore, it would be so big if the US could win Gold in 2016 with Fabiano Caruana (started his chess career in my Chess Club in New York in May 1998), Hakaru Nakamura (participated in my Mayor’s Cup Invitational in June 2001), Wesley So (trained at Webster University – SPICE for more than 2 years – Went from #99 in the world 2652 to #10 2762 in a little more than 2 years), Sam Shankland, and Ray Robson (still at Webster University = SPICE – Went from 2599 to 2680).

This is an exciting time for US Chess with the performance of US team in Baku, and the upcoming World Championship in New York City between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin.

Olympiad History

Year Event Host Gold Silver Bronze
1924 1st unofficial Chess Olympiad
The Chess Olympiad(individual)
France Paris, France  Czechoslovakia 31  Hungary 30   Switzerland 29
1926 2nd unofficial Chess Olympiad
The Team Tournament
(part of FIDE summit)
Hungary Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 9  Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes 8  Romania 5
1927 1st Chess Olympiad United Kingdom London, United Kingdom  Hungary 40  Denmark 38½  England 36½
1928 2nd Chess Olympiad Netherlands The Hague, Netherlands  Hungary 44  United States 39½  Poland 37
1930 3rd Chess Olympiad Germany Hamburg, Germany  Poland 48½  Hungary 47  Germany 44½
1931 4th Chess Olympiad Czechoslovakia Prague, Czechoslovakia  United States 48  Poland 47  Czechoslovakia 46½
1933 5th Chess Olympiad United Kingdom Folkestone, United Kingdom  United States 39  Czechoslovakia 37½  Sweden 34
1935 6th Chess Olympiad Poland Warsaw, Poland  United States 54  Sweden 52½  Poland 52
1936 3rd unofficial Chess Olympiad
non-FIDE unofficial Chess Olympiad
Germany Munich, Germany  Hungary 110½  Poland 108  Germany 106½
1937 7th Chess Olympiad Sweden Stockholm, Sweden  United States 54½  Hungary 48½  Poland 47
1939 8th Chess Olympiad Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina  Germany 36  Poland 35½  Estonia 33½
1950 9th Chess Olympiad Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia  Yugoslavia 45½  Argentina 43½  West Germany 40½
1952 10th Chess Olympiad Finland Helsinki, Finland  Soviet Union 21  Argentina 19½  Yugoslavia 19
1954 11th Chess Olympiad Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands  Soviet Union 34  Argentina 27  Yugoslavia 26½
1956 12th Chess Olympiad Soviet Union Moscow, Soviet Union  Soviet Union 31  Yugoslavia 26½  Hungary 26½
1958 13th Chess Olympiad Germany Munich, West Germany  Soviet Union 34½  Yugoslavia 29  Argentina 25½
1960 14th Chess Olympiad East Germany Leipzig, East Germany  Soviet Union 34  United States 29  Yugoslavia 27
1962 15th Chess Olympiad Bulgaria Varna, Bulgaria  Soviet Union 31½  Yugoslavia 28  Argentina 26
1964 16th Chess Olympiad Israel Tel Aviv, Israel  Soviet Union 36½  Yugoslavia 32  West Germany 30½
1966 17th Chess Olympiad Cuba Havana, Cuba  Soviet Union 39½  United States 34½  Hungary 33½
1968 18th Chess Olympiad Switzerland Lugano, Switzerland  Soviet Union 39½  Yugoslavia 31  Bulgaria 30
1970 19th Chess Olympiad Germany Siegen, West Germany  Soviet Union 27½  Hungary 26½  Yugoslavia 26
1972 20th Chess Olympiad Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Skopje, Yugoslavia  Soviet Union 42  Hungary 40½  Yugoslavia 38
1974 21st Chess Olympiad France Nice, France  Soviet Union 46  Yugoslavia 37½  United States 36½
1976 22nd Chess Olympiad * Israel Haifa, Israel  United States 37  Netherlands 36½  England 35½
1976 Against Chess Olympiad Libya Tripoli, Libya  El Salvador 38½  Tunisia 36  Pakistan 34½
1978 23rd Chess Olympiad Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina  Hungary 37  Soviet Union 36  United States 35
1980 24th Chess Olympiad Malta Valletta, Malta  Soviet Union 39  Hungary 39  United States 35
1982 25th Chess Olympiad Switzerland Lucerne, Switzerland  Soviet Union 42½  Czechoslovakia 36  United States 35
1984 26th Chess Olympiad Greece Thessaloniki, Greece  Soviet Union 41  England 37  United States 35
1986 27th Chess Olympiad United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Soviet Union 40  England 39  United States 38
1988 28th Chess Olympiad Greece Thessaloniki, Greece  Soviet Union 40½  England 34½  Netherlands 34½
1990 29th Chess Olympiad Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Novi Sad, Yugoslavia  Soviet Union 39  United States 35½  England 35½
1992 30th Chess Olympiad Philippines Manila, Philippines  Russia 39  Uzbekistan 35  Armenia 34½
1994 31st Chess Olympiad Russia Moscow, Russia  Russia 37½  Bosnia and Herzegovina35  Russia “B” 34½
1996 32nd Chess Olympiad Armenia Yerevan, Armenia  Russia 38½  Ukraine 35  United States 34
1998 33rd Chess Olympiad Russia Elista, Russia  Russia 35½  United States 34½  Ukraine 32½
2000 34th Chess Olympiad Turkey Istanbul, Turkey  Russia 38  Germany 37  Ukraine 35½
2002 35th Chess Olympiad Slovenia Bled, Slovenia  Russia 38½  Hungary 37½  Armenia 35
2004 36th Chess Olympiad Spain Calvià, Spain  Ukraine 39½  Russia 36½  Armenia 36½
2006 37th Chess Olympiad Italy Turin, Italy  Armenia 36  China 34  United States 33
2008 38th Chess Olympiad Germany Dresden, Germany  Armenia 19  Israel 18  United States 17
2010 39th Chess Olympiad Russia Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia  Ukraine 19  Russia 18  Israel 17
2012 40th Chess Olympiad Turkey Istanbul, Turkey  Armenia 19  Russia 19  Ukraine 18
2014 41st Chess Olympiad Norway Tromsø, Norway  China 19  Hungary 17  India 17

Photos round 1-11 and Closing Ceremony:

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