Russia, a country with long world-class chess tradition, failed to win the Gold two years ago in Calvia, Spain. Their men’s team tied for 2nd with Armenia, a full three points behind Ukraine! Their women’s team finished third behind China and the US.

This year, the Russians decided to take no chances. They brought their A teams. The Russian teams average more than 50 rating points higher than the #2 seed!

On the men’s side, all 4 of their starters are rated in the top 10 of the Olympiad and all 6 members of the team are ranked in the top 17. 5 of the 6 members are rated above 2700!!

On the women’s side, it is even more lopsided. All 4 members of the team are ranked in the top 10. Anyone of them can play board 1 for most other countries! That is why the Russians are the overwhelming favorites to win the double Gold medals by a wide margin. Anything less would be a real disappointment.

Russian Men’s Team:

#3 GM Svidler, Peter 2743
#5 GM Morozevich, Alexander 2730
#6 GM Kramnik, Vladimir 2729
#9 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2719
#13 GM Bareev, Evgeny 2701
#17 GM Rublevskiy, Sergey 2687

Russian Women’s Team:

#2 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2540
#4 IM Kosintseva, Tatiana 2489
#7 IM Kosintseva, Nadezhda 2469
#10 IM Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina 2460Posted by Picasa

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar