Even prior to the addition of one of the strongest players in the world, the United States Olympiad team was among the likeliest to win. With Grandmaster Levon Aronian taking board 2 behind Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana, the United States will be many fans' favorite to win.
Last year Aronian, formerly number 2 in the world and perennially in the top 10, transferred to play for the United States of America. The strongest Armenian player in history was often expected to win FIDE's World Chess Championship over the course of his career but has yet to make it past the Candidates - the tournament of top players which decides who will challenge the reigning World Champion each cycle.
Even without America's fourth strongest player, Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, the American team looks to be a juggernaut.
The United States' Olympiad team includes:
- GM Fabiano Caruana - 2783
- GM Levon Aronian - 2775
- GM Wesley So - 2775
- GM Lienier Dominguez Perez - 2754
- GM Sam Shankland - 2718
Caruana is the most accomplished American chess player since Bobby Fischer. He managed a staggering performance rating of 3080 in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, arguably the greatest performance in an elite tournament in chess history. He is a former US Chess Champion and, most notably, held World Champion Magnus Carlsen to an even score in the 2018 FIDE World Championship, only losing when the match moved on to faster games which benefitted Carlsen.
So is typically found in the top ten players in the world and won the Fischer Random World Championship, which is considered to be a truer test of a chess players ability to calculate and create at the board as there is limited opportunity to memorize openings or use computer prepared moves.
The US Women's team will include:
- GM Irina Krush - 2430
- IM Carissa Yip - 2418
- IM Anna Zatonskih - 2387
- WGM Tatev Abrahamyan - 2297
- WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova - 2332
The 44th Olympiad was reportedly scheduled to be played in Moscow but was moved to India following Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.