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Sam Shankland
From the 2018 US Championship
Photo: Lennart Ootes
Number of games in database: 865
Years covered: 2005 to 2022
Last FIDE rating: 2691 (2609 rapid, 2704 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2727

Overall record: +233 -104 =334 (59.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 194 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (63) 
    B33 B90 B32 B76 B64
 Queen's Gambit Declined (27) 
    D37 D38 D31 D35 D30
 Ruy Lopez (25) 
    C67 C65 C80 C78 C87
 Slav (24) 
    D10 D17 D15 D12 D11
 French Defense (23) 
    C07 C11 C10 C18 C05
 Nimzo Indian (22) 
    E32 E21 E20 E39 E25
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (89) 
    B90 B48 B51 B22 B92
 Queen's Pawn Game (37) 
    D02 A45 D00 E10 A46
 Slav (33) 
    D12 D10 D11 D17 D15
 Sicilian Najdorf (30) 
    B90 B92 B91 B94 B99
 Caro-Kann (29) 
    B12 B18 B10 B13 B11
 Ruy Lopez (29) 
    C67 C65 C78 C69 C92
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Shankland vs Karjakin, 2022 1-0
   Kaidanov vs Shankland, 2011 0-1
   Shankland vs Svidler, 2021 1-0
   Leko vs Shankland, 2011 0-1
   Shankland vs D Haessel, 2014 1-0
   Shankland vs Le Quang Liem, 2008 1-0
   Shankland vs Nepomniachtchi, 2019 1-0
   Shabalov vs Shankland, 2008 0-1
   M Arias Santana vs Shankland, 2012 0-1
   S Homa vs Shankland, 2009 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   49th Biel Master Open (2016)
   11th Edmonton International (2016)
   American Continental (2018)
   US Championship (2018)
   Fagernes GM Open (2014)
   Biel (2019)
   Tata Steel Challengers (2015)
   Tromso Olympiad (2014)
   American Continental (2014)
   10th Edmonton International (2015)
   United States Chess League (2008)
   Politiken Cup (2015)
   Champions Showdown (2019)
   PRO League Group Stage (2019)
   World Cup (2021)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   # American Chess Magazine 8 by Qindarka
   # American Chess Magazine 7 by Qindarka

   🏆 U.S. Championship
   Dominguez Perez vs Shankland (Oct-19-22) 1/2-1/2
   Shankland vs Caruana (Oct-18-22) 1/2-1/2
   Shankland vs Aronian (Oct-17-22) 1/2-1/2
   Xiong vs Shankland (Oct-15-22) 1/2-1/2
   Shankland vs C Yoo (Oct-14-22) 1-0

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Sam Shankland
Search Google for Sam Shankland
FIDE player card for Sam Shankland

(born Oct-01-1991, 31 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Sam Shankland is from the San Francisco Bay area and was awarded the grandmaster title after earning his third GM norm at the Berkeley International (2011). He tied for first in the 2008 World under-18 championship (thereby gaining his IM title) and was California state champion in both 2008 and 2009. He won the USA Junior Championship (2010) from Ray Robson and Parker Bi Guang Zhao on tiebreak. Qualifying for the World Cup (2011) through Zonal 2.1, Shankland got off to a flying start by defeating Hungarian super-GM Peter Leko in the major upset of the first round, but fell in the second round to Indian GM and 2008 World Junior Champion Abhijeet Gupta. The US Championship (Group B play-off) (2011) took him as far as the US Championship (Knock-out) (2011) stage, before Gata Kamsky eliminated him. He qualified for his second World Cup, to be held in 2015, when he was runner-up on tiebreak behind Julio Ernesto Granda Zuniga at the 9th American Continental Championship held in October 2014.

Playing "super-sub" (board 5 reserve) for the USA at the Tromso Olympiad (2014), Shankland scored a powerful 9/10 to win individual gold for board 5, returning a TPR of 2831.

At the World Cup (2015), Shankland defeated Ivan Popov in the first round, but lost to compatriot Hikaru Nakamura in the second round rapid game tiebreaker to exit the tournament.

Shankland came in clear first at the US Championship (2018) and followed up with first at the Capablanca Memorial (Elite) (2018), a point and a half clear of outright second placed Aleksey Dreev. He crossed into the 2700 plus rating zone with his final game of the US championship and added another 16 rating points from his powerful win in the Capablanca Memorial, bringing him to a live rating of 2717.2 and a ranking of No. 30 in the world.

Shankland's good form continued in the American Continental (2018) which he won outright with 9/11, boosting his live rating to 2727.2 and live ranking to #27 in the world. His result in the American Continental qualified him to compete in the World Cup (2019). There he lost in the first round blitz tiebreaks to Eltaj Safarli.

Shankland maintains a website at He is one of the three owners of Killer Chess Training Academy. He has also written the books "Small Steps to Giant Improvement: Master Pawn Play in Chess" and "Small Steps 2 Success: Mastering Passed Pawn Play," and is also a prolific author at the online platform

(1) (audio podcast with Ben Johnson from January, 2017), (2) Wikipedia article: Samuel Shankland

Last updated: 2022-09-17 23:35:57

 page 1 of 38; games 1-25 of 934  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Shankland vs T Castro 1-0552005AJ Fink AmateurB32 Sicilian
2. Shankland vs Y Bukh  1-0472005AJ Fink AmateurC16 French, Winawer
3. Shankland vs R de Guzman  1-0392007Cal Chess MastersB01 Scandinavian
4. J F Wheeler vs Shankland 0-1312007USCL - Tennessee vs San FranciscoD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
5. Shankland vs C Jones  1-0332007USA ttC11 French
6. D Gurevich vs Shankland 1-0412008US ChampionshipA15 English
7. J Friedel vs Shankland  1-0332008US ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
8. Shankland vs S Galant 1-0262008US ChampionshipC07 French, Tarrasch
9. Shankland vs D Ippolito  1-0352008US ChampionshipC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
10. B Finegold vs Shankland  1-0872008US ChampionshipD01 Richter-Veresov Attack
11. Shankland vs Fedorowicz 0-1362008US ChampionshipB42 Sicilian, Kan
12. Kaufman vs Shankland  1-0392008US ChampionshipD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. Shankland vs D Ludwig  ½-½532008US ChampionshipB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
14. M Langer vs Shankland  1-0222008US ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
15. Shabalov vs Shankland 0-135200836th World OpenB50 Sicilian
16. E Perelshteyn vs Shankland  1-052200836th World OpenD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. Shankland vs Khachiyan  0-162200836th World OpenB30 Sicilian
18. Shankland vs D Ippolito  ½-½26200836th World OpenC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
19. Shankland vs I Schneider  1-0212008United States Chess LeagueC05 French, Tarrasch
20. M Pasalic vs Shankland  1-0342008United States Chess LeagueA25 English
21. Shankland vs C Galofre 1-0472008United States Chess LeagueC45 Scotch Game
22. R Costigan vs Shankland 0-1452008United States Chess LeagueC00 French Defense
23. Shankland vs M Esserman  ½-½392008United States Chess LeagueB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
24. D Rensch vs Shankland  0-1472008United States Chess LeagueB65 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...Be7 Defense, 9...Nxd4
25. Shankland vs J Readey  1-0662008US Chess LeagueB06 Robatsch
 page 1 of 38; games 1-25 of 934  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Shankland wins | Shankland loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Shankland pretends to be a beginner at chess.

Feb-15-20  Jambow: Lol just watched the video those are always fun... Thanks <Penguincw>
May-08-20  SirChrislov: <"Magnus is a born troll. If he wasn't the best chess player in the world I can see him like easily having his own like prank channel or something and being really, really good at it.>

-- GM Sam Shankland

Jun-23-21  Albertan: Shankland triumphs in Prague:
Sep-07-21  Albertan: Sam Shankland on ´´Cover stories with Chess Life ´:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Good to see Sam Shankland is playing at Tata 2022.

I'm looking forward to see him put more clear water between himself and 2700.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I don't know how to calculate it, but this performance at Tata 2022 will surely have done Sam's Elo some good. Nice that he won today.

The way it was over so quickly after the win of a pawn shows he has that killer finish the super GMs have.

All good then!

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <I don't know how to calculate it, but this performance at Tata 2022 will surely have done Sam's Elo some good.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Thanks <MissScarlett> I didn't realise updated that frequently!
May-03-22  MatrixManNe0: I'm playing him in a simul today! Wish me luck (for getting my book signed -- not for the simul)!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: ( MatrixMaNe0 ) I wish you luck in the game as well.

: )

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Give us a full report.
May-12-22  MatrixManNe0: Well, I was on Board 23. And I was being crushed right out of the opening, hahaha. Still, I loved being there, and I felt I learned a good amount from this game alone. Here is the sheet.

[Result "1-0"]
[Date "2022.05.03"]
[Event "Sam Shankland Simul"]
[Site "Marshall Chess Club, NYC"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 c6 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. e4 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Qc7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O Bg4 11. Be3 Nd7 12. a4 c5 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 e5 15. d5 Rfb8 16. c4 Nf6 17. Qa3 Bf8 18. a5 Qc8 19. Rfb1 b6 20. Qa4 Ne8 21. Bg4 f5 22. exf5 gxf5 23. Be2 Bg7 24. Ra2 Nd6 25. Qc2 Qc7 26. Bd2 Kh8 27. Bc3 Rg8 28. Rba1 Rab8 29. axb6 axb6 30. Qb2 Ne4 31. Ra7 Qd6 32. Rxg7 Nxc3 33. Rxg8+ Rxg8 34. Qxc3 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: You want this game in the database? If so, as NN or <MMN>?
Premium Chessgames Member

<MissScarlett> in a case like this shouldn't it be the player's real name?

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: That's up to <MMN>.
Premium Chessgames Member


<MMN>? Well ok but I'm pretty sure "microsoft mini network" is a robot eh. Need I remind you of Daniel's iron clad rule that no game may be uploaded in which one of the player names is their handle? So it's either NN or the real name or it cannot be uploaded. Some call this the "Big Pawn Law" because it was successfully invoked (by me) a while ago when member Big Pawn was whining about why <Frederick Rhine> was allowed to upload online blitz games, but not him.

I explained to Big Pawn that he too could upload internet games of similar quality but he would have to use his actual name.

At any rate, as usual you will do as you please, since you are apparently now the self-appointed "dictator of affairs" around here. Not that I'm complaining. You'd have had my vote if you'd been arsed to hold a vote in the first place.

So I guess the *real* final decision here is up to you or the police. I like both you and the police, so if I had to vote I would just flip a coin.

May-13-22  Z free or die: <"Big Pawn Law"> ?!?!

Bippy memorialized!?!

I'd rather see him enshrined in granite, Z-truth be told.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: My preference runs towards his being immured in granite.

<jess....I explained to Big Pawn that he too could upload internet games of similar quality but he would have to use his actual name....>

It is odds-on that any random user will sooner win the next Powerball draw here in the States than of our seeing this come off--he is manic about that, and has a great desire to have the Rogovian miasma cleaned.

May-14-22  MatrixManNe0: <MissScarlet> Oh wow, actually having my game in the database… that would be pretty cool.

If it’s gonna be in the database, then maybe under my real name? That would be Sean Pagaduan.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: See Shankland vs Sean Pagaduan, 2022

How many boards were there?

May-19-22  MatrixManNe0: 30 boards in total
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Shankland's July rating is 2720 - not far off his all time best 2027 (2018)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: To get it right this time:

Shankland's July rating is 2720 - not far off his all time best 2727 (2018)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Come on Sam! All these draws. Is that what happens when you over prepare?

Whatever made you great enough to get here is needed to get you beyond. Leave something for the day of.

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