1. All of the members of the team are very strong chess players.
2. All of the members of the team are stunningly beautiful.
The creation of this team is the brainchild of Paul Truong, a former refugee boat person from Vietnam, who was chess champion of Viet Nam when he was 13 years old, before he fled his country in a small boat. Truong has since become a big businessman in the USA and he feels that this combination of brains and beauty will bring financial and corporate support for chess.
It looks like Paul Truong has a winner. Take a look for yourself!
Top board on the team will be former Woman's World Chess Champion Zsuzsa Polgar. Next will be a new arrival to America, Anna Zatonskih. Anna is Ukraine Woman's Champion and has a USCF rating of 2472. She was born 17 July 1978.
After that comes Irina Kursh, Jennifer Shahade and Rusudan Goletiani.
Perhaps the most important point is that they are all young, about the same age, and they are all going to improve. Irina was born 24 December 1983, Jennifer was born 31 December 1980 and Rusudan was born 8 September 1980.
There is one controversial point, however. There are two other US Women with comparable or slightly higher ratings. They are Elena Donaldson who was born 11 March 1957 and Camilla Baginskaite who was born 24 April 1967. Paul Truong is betting that, in view of the age factor where young players improve rapidly but players over 30 rarely improve by much, all of his team will soon outrank all the others.
It is a safe bet that nobody else will challenge this group. There is a gap of about 150 rating points between them and any other US woman player, a gap that is unlikely to be bridged by anybody on the horizon now.
I would like to mention that I played a small role in putting together this US woman's team. I have long known all but one of them, I have promoted them on my website for years, and I introduced some of them to each other.
I defeated Paul Truong is the last round of a 1980 Cuchi big-money tournament when he was only 14 years old and had just got off the boat. Back then, his name was Hoainhan Truong. I won second prize in that tournament, which was the biggest money prize I have ever won in chess. (I have won more money in Chinese chess.) The tournament winner, Luiz Gentil, had just come back from the Malta Olympiad, where he had played on the team from Brazil.
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