Sam Does It!

by admin on April 29, 2018

All in a day’s work for Sam Shankland:

  • Wins his sixth game in the U.S. Championship against no losses.
  • Wins his last three in a row, when even a single draw would have dropped him into a tie for first.
  • Finishes a half point ahead of Fabiano Caruana, who will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship later this year.
  • Leaves Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura in the dust.
  • Has a 2884 performance rating against one of the strongest fields ever in a U.S. championship.
  • Raises his FIDE rating above 2700, only the seventh American in history to reach that level.
  • Cracks the world top 50 (he will be #45 in the world).
  • Wins a $50,000 first prize.
  • And, oh, by the way, for the rest of his life he can put the words

2018 United States Champion

after his signature.

Pretty good day, Sam! You don’t need my congratulations, but you have earned them anyway.

Also, by the way, it was not a bad tournament for Caruana. He will surely face questions like, “How can the world championship contender not even be #1 in his own country?” But his score of 8-3 would have won in most years. He just had one hallucination against Zviad Izoria that caused him to lose a totally drawn game. Even world championship candidates screw up now and then, and it was just Caruana’s bad luck to be chasing someone who did not screw up one time in the whole tournament.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Hal Bogner April 29, 2018 at 2:21 pm

A fantastic run, moving him into the 2700+ club and #45 on the live rating list at

Later today, will be offering David Vigorito’s lecture on GM Sam Shankland’s brilliancy prize winner from the 2015 US Championship as our Free Video of the Week, for the coming week, in his honor. The link will be available on the home page shortly….


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