The USA was paired in the third round against 24th ranked Georgia, not opposition in the same league, but still, one of the outsider countries for medals, and the disparity between the teams were reflected in the final 3-1 victory.
Georgia would have been encouraged by the start they must have hoped for when on boards one and three, Fabiano Caruana and Leinier Dominquez Perez were happy to accept draws with the black pieces against Baadur Jobava and Levan Pantsulaia respectively.
That left Levon Aronian and Sam Shankland with the white pieces to bring home the win.
Shankland was certainly up to the challenge, slowly pushing Tamaz Gelashvili off the board, and despite losing the thread a little in the final stage, allowing a great deal of, albeit desperate counterplay, the result was never in doubt.
It was his advantages of control of an open file together with more space that Aronian then exploited against Mikheil Mchedlishvili’s…