Sam Shankland, 2018 US Chess Champion

Congratulations to 26-year-old Grandmaster Sam Shankland, our new US Chess Champion! Sam finished ahead of three GMs in the top ten players in the World to prevail in the US Chess Championships. He scored an outstanding plus six, half a point ahead of World Championship challenger Fabiano Caruana. Sam earns $50,000, a spot on the Olympic team, and his rightful place on 2700chess.com for this incredible performance. https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990716045232164864 Fabiano Caruana also had an outstanding performance, but he entered the round half a point back so needed some things to break his way to earn a playoff. Instead, both contenders won their final round games with White.
[pgn]

[Event "U.S. Championship"]
[Date "2018.04.29"]
[White "Shankland, Samuel"]
[Black "Liang, Awonder"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2671"]
[BlackElo "2552"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. Bf4 Bg4 7. Qb3 e5 8. h3
exf4 9. hxg4 Qe7+ 10. Kf1 O-O-O 11. Nd2 g6 12. Re1 Qc7 13. g5 Nh5 14. Be2 Ng7
15. Ngf3 Ne6 16. Bb5 Bg7 17. Qa4 Rd6 18. Nb3 b6 19. Nc1 Nb8 20. Nd3 Kb7 21. Nb4
Qd8 22. Ne5 Qc7 23. Qb3 Rhd8 24. Rxh7 a6 25. Bd3 Ka7 26. Qa4 a5 27. Bb5 Kb7 28.
Nbd3 Rg8 29. Nf3 Rh8 30. Rxh8 Bxh8 31. a3 Nc6 32. Bxc6+ Rxc6 33. Nde5 Bxe5 34.
Nxe5 Rd6 35. Qe8 Rd8 36. Qxf7 Nxg5 37. Qxc7+ Kxc7 38. Nxg6 f3 39. Nf4 Kc6 40.
gxf3 Nxf3 41. Re6+ Kb5 42. Ke2 Ng1+ 43. Kd3 1-0

[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "U.S. Championship"]
[Date "2018.04.29"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Onischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2804"]
[BlackElo "2672"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bb7 7. d3 Be7 8. Re1
O-O 9. a4 Re8 10. Nbd2 Bf8 11. Nf1 Na5 12. Ba2 d5 13. axb5 axb5 14. exd5 Bxd5
15. Bg5 Bxa2 16. Rxa2 e4 17. Bxf6 Qxf6 18. Rxe4 Rxe4 19. dxe4 Rd8 20. Qe2 Nc4
21. c3 Bc5 22. Ra1 g6 23. e5 Qc6 24. Ng3 Re8 25. b3 Nb6 26. Ra5 Bf8 27. Qxb5
Qxb5 28. Rxb5 Ra8 29. h4 1-0

[/pgn]
https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990698994547527683 Many fans, journalists, YouTube stars (!) and Grandmasters commented on Sam's intensity, work ethic and consistency throughout the Championship. It really was a quest for Sam, who has played in all ten Championships hosted at the Saint Louis Chess Club. https://twitter.com/LennartOotes/status/990663333673095170 https://twitter.com/GM_Hess/status/990727930207760386 https://twitter.com/fpawn/status/990730718249566208 https://twitter.com/JesseKraai/status/990718618815139841 https://twitter.com/KurtHSchneider/status/990704208197238785 https://twitter.com/GMShanky/status/990728320525447168 The tension was unresolved in the US Women's Chess Championship, as defending champ Sabina Foisor won against 15-year-old sensation Annie Wang, while Nazi Paikidze drew against Rusa Goletiani. That means...playoff time. Paikidze and Wang will face off in a rapid playoff, followed by possible Armageddon, tomorrow at 12:50 CT. https://twitter.com/NaziPaiki/status/990713735995150336 Watch live commentary of the playoff with GMs Maurice Ashley, Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade starting at 1:50 PM ET on Monday, April 30. 

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