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Capablanca Memorial Tournament

Samuel Shankland7.5/10(+5 -0 =5)[games]
Alexey Dreev6/10(+2 -0 =8)[games]
David Anton Guijarro5.5/10(+3 -2 =5)[games]
Aleksandr Rakhmanov4/10(+1 -3 =6)[games]
Lazaro Bruzon Batista3.5/10(+0 -3 =7)[games]
Yusnel Bacallao Alonso3.5/10(+0 -3 =7)[games] Chess Event Description
Capablanca Memorial (2018)

The LIII Torneo Internacional Capablanca in Memoriam was played in Havana, Cuba 9-19 May 2018. The American champion Samuel Shankland won with 7.5/10.

Official site: TWIC: Crosstable ( :

01 02 03 04 05 06 1 Shankland ** 1 11 11 7 2 Dreev ** 1 1 6 3 Anton 0 ** 01 1 1 5 4 Rakhmanov 0 0 10 ** 4 =5 Bacallao 00 0 ** 3 =5 Bruzon 00 0 ** 3

Live games:

Previous event: Capablanca Memorial (Elite) (2017)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. D Anton Guijarro vs L Bruzon Batista  ½-½202018Capablanca MemorialD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
2. Y Bacallao Alonso vs Dreev  ½-½412018Capablanca MemorialB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
3. A Rakhmanov vs S Shankland  ½-½502018Capablanca MemorialD02 Queen's Pawn Game
4. L Bruzon Batista vs S Shankland 0-1532018Capablanca MemorialC07 French, Tarrasch
5. Dreev vs A Rakhmanov 1-0842018Capablanca MemorialE10 Queen's Pawn Game
6. D Anton Guijarro vs Y Bacallao Alonso  ½-½492018Capablanca MemorialD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. S Shankland vs Dreev  ½-½312018Capablanca MemorialD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. A Rakhmanov vs D Anton Guijarro  1-0422018Capablanca MemorialA28 English
9. Y Bacallao Alonso vs L Bruzon Batista  ½-½692018Capablanca MemorialD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
10. L Bruzon Batista vs Dreev  ½-½252018Capablanca MemorialB12 Caro-Kann Defense
11. D Anton Guijarro vs S Shankland  ½-½592018Capablanca MemorialA35 English, Symmetrical
12. Y Bacallao Alonso vs A Rakhmanov  ½-½712018Capablanca MemorialA13 English
13. A Rakhmanov vs L Bruzon Batista  ½-½192018Capablanca MemorialA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
14. S Shankland vs Y Bacallao Alonso 1-0322018Capablanca MemorialB12 Caro-Kann Defense
15. Dreev vs D Anton Guijarro 1-0342018Capablanca MemorialD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. L Bruzon Batista vs D Anton Guijarro 0-1412018Capablanca MemorialC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
17. S Shankland vs A Rakhmanov 1-0422018Capablanca MemorialA13 English
18. Dreev vs Y Bacallao Alonso  ½-½332018Capablanca MemorialE12 Queen's Indian
19. A Rakhmanov vs Dreev  ½-½192018Capablanca MemorialB10 Caro-Kann
20. S Shankland vs L Bruzon Batista 1-0402018Capablanca MemorialD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. Y Bacallao Alonso vs D Anton Guijarro  0-1502018Capablanca MemorialA13 English
22. D Anton Guijarro vs A Rakhmanov 1-0792018Capablanca MemorialA53 Old Indian
23. Dreev vs S Shankland ½-½182018Capablanca MemorialD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. L Bruzon Batista vs Y Bacallao Alonso  ½-½142018Capablanca MemorialA47 Queen's Indian
25. S Shankland vs D Anton Guijarro  ½-½242018Capablanca MemorialD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 30  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: And here I thought that "Shankland" had something to do with knives.
May-18-18  Jambow: <As the spokesperson of the Organization for non-Americans, its my duty to inform you that we have conducted an investigation on whether Mr. Shankland (also known as "Sam") is truly an American.>

Yes if an American does well it seems there is a contingent that must figure out how they aren't really American after all. Funny because Nakamura wasn't since his father was a Japanese citizen and his American mother didn't count. Then there was Caruana who was born here but his parents were of Italian descent and he played in Europe for a while so his criterea for disqualification was different too. Now Shankland is from Californa and they want to cede so he is probably disqualified as well. It's almost like dealing with our major news networks as what matters depends on who it is...Inspite of this we are happy to have all of them, and are happy enough to adopt So as well.

Shankland seems to be breaking out and I have always liked his persistent improvement and I am glad he chose not to abandon chess which almost happened. Times have changed and being in the Soviet system or living in Europe just isn't as important as it was twenty years ago. Fischer of course overcame the odds through talent and dogged persistence and obsession but he was an abberation on so many levels.

Thanks Appaz for watching the door, somebody has to do it.

Go Sam!!!

May-18-18  JimNorCal: <Jambow>: "Shankland seems to be breaking out and I have always liked his persistent improvement"

An excellent observation. I hope some interviewer does an in-depth examination of what Sam credits and how Sam thinks it happened. I bet a lot of up-and-coming players would love to hear how Sam made the jump.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Shankland is obviously an extremely effective player but he doesn't seem to play many flashy combinations like Caruana, MVL, Dubov or Nepo, for example. How would you explain that? Does that mean he's more strategic than tactical or something?
May-18-18  Everett: <CHC> Shankland just wrote an interesting book on pawn play. Perhaps his work there has influenced his own play.

If he wrote a book on exotic checkmates, who knows what we'd see ;-)

May-19-18  dangerhump: USA Olympiad Lineup

1.) Caruana
2.) So
3.) Naka
4.) Shankland

All 4 boards ranked in the top 30 live ratings, matched by China and surpassed only by Russia.

Alternate looks like it will be Xiong. Very strong team and should once again contend for the gold.

May-19-18  BOSTER: Even Sam's rating about 2700 ,I'm sure that Gata Kamsky with rating about 30 points less can beat him.So, this is a big Q who has to play for USA Olympiad.
May-19-18  Everett: I'm not sure Gata can beat Sam at this point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<BOSTER>, <Everett> Shankland's current live rating is 2717. Kamsky's live rating is harder to find since he's currently rated below 2700 but his last FIDE rating (May 2018 rating list) was 2670 (and Shankland's 2671 in the same rating list), so a rating difference of 40 points is probably close since Kamsky hasn't been that active so his rating should not have changed much, if at all. Of course, Shankland's live rating could change tomorrow.

A 40-point rating difference converts to a p(Win or Draw) for Shankland of 0.56. Conversely, this means that Kamsky's p(Win or Draw) would be 0.46 so the chances of Kamsky being able to beat Shankland on any one game are pretty good. Even in a reasonable length match (say, 12 games) Kamsky would have a reasonably good chance of winning at least one game, and even possibly the match.

Besides, no mater the rating differential, at the top levels any player can beat any other player on any one game. See Tarjan vs Kramnik, 2017 for a recent example where Tarjan was able to beat Kramnik in spite of his almost 400-point rating disadvantage.

May-19-18  happyjuggler0: Kamsky's live rating is 2675.0, and he is currently ranked 63 in the world, although that ranking is likely to change a bit more than once per day:
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <happyjuggler0> Thanks! I didn't know that option of getting the top 100 rated players was available.
May-19-18  dangerhump: Kamsky is not even a consideration. He no longer lives in the US and is not interested in playing on the team.

So it will definitely be:

1. Caruana
2. So/Naka
3. So/Naka
4. Shankland

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: If Caruana plays.

The Olympiad finishes on the 7th of October. The W.C. match starts on the 9th of November.

That is 33 days a few of which will spent travelling to prepare and get his head right for a match v Carlsen.

Karjakin played in the 2016 Olympiad but that finished on the 14th of September which gave him 56 days of prep.


Also Shanks as the current USA Champion might insist he plays board one. Teams do not have to have their fixed board order in order of grade.

At the last Olympiad both Russia and China had their board order mixed up with lower rated players playing above higher rated players. (just a thought.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Count Wedgemore: <Sally Simpson: The Olympiad finishes on the 7th of October. The W.C. match starts on the 9th of November.>

Good point. I seriously doubt that Caruana will play in the Olympiad.

May-20-18  siamesedream: Congratulations to <GM Samuel Shankland>!
May-20-18  JustAnotherMaster: Wow another INCREDIBLE performance....Sam you can be a great....keep going man!
May-21-18  botvinnik64: Sam the Man.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Yes, congrats to Shankland. With +5 =5 -0 it's an impressive achievement. Hopefully, this will a promise for victories to come.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Sokrates: Yes, congrats to Shankland. With +5 =5 -0 it's an impressive achievement.>

Agreed! With 5 wins and zero loses, it is a performance worthy of Capablanca himself.

May-22-18  Pedro Fernandez: Kudos for our American GM Samuel Shankland (probably he is of Jewish ascendency, but I'm not sure). The certain is that this great young player deserves to participate in group 1 tournaments. I like him!
May-23-18  Pedro Fernandez: << WannaBe>: Only 80%? I had it calculated to be 100% Roman/Italian, since they did occupy all of Europe and some Africa at one time or another. =)))> What do you try to explain my great <WB>? Italian/Roman? Hmm... Romulus & Remo? Legend but from Germanic tribus too? German people in the time being (and their ``estirpe'') around America have been altogether the Jewish people the most clever people in our scientific context. However, American people now, have been a clever people by own!!
May-23-18  Pedro Fernandez: << dangerhump>: USA Olympiad Lineup

1.) Caruana
2.) So
3.) Naka
4.) Shankland

All 4 boards ranked in the top 30 live ratings, matched by China and surpassed only by Russia.

Alternate looks like it will be Xiong. Very strong team and should once again contend for the gold.> This is the kind of threads one likes to hear: simple, honest and sincere! Thanks to < dangerhump>.

PS. Of course, Russia & China are hard to beat, but America has his real chance!

May-23-18  Pedro Fernandez: GMs Nakamura and Wesley So was not born in America, but they fight for America, that are their feelings!
May-23-18  Pedro Fernandez: Hi my great friend <FSR>, don't you think that Samuel deserves most opportunities? Is he better than other great American players? I think that it is not the point. Until U.S. 2018 Championship, Shankland was -for me an "unknown" GM (specially due the presence of Caruana; for me I never saw Shankland into magisterial tournaments). Hopefully we see this great GM in several important tournaments. Greetings!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Hi <JustanotherMaster>. I agree with you about Shankland. I'm looking forward to seeing him achieve even more. But your comment on the Biel thread about the current disruption to the site must be the most crass, embarrassing and hurtful one I've seen. Doh!
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