In the 1960s Bobby Fischer began to play in the olympiads and the U.S. team won silver medals in 1960 and 1966. The executive director of the U.S. Chess Federation Ed Edmondson not only initiated Fischer's drive for the world title, but he also believed that America can fight for the olympic gold.
Fischer became the world champion in 1972. The match with Spassky in Reykjavik made the game popular not only in the United States, but around the globe. His victory also generated interest among corporate sponsors.
With Hikaru Nakamura, 27, and the new additions of Fabiano Caruana, 22, and Wesley So, 21, the U.S. team has three players rated in the Top Ten on the FIDE June rating list – the most of any country. They are young and can fight for the gold medals not only in the next year's chess olympiad in Baku, but in years to come. Ray Robson, 20, and Sam Shankland, 23, can complement the team and the solid veteran Alex Onischuk, 39, can still be very useful.
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