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 for this incredible performance.

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.

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.

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.

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. 


    • Annie Wang’s run in the Championship was phenomenal and is a story of the year. That said, the tiebreak is what it is, not what one might want it to be.

  1. Ms. Wang’s going back into the same 1st 13 moves KIA opening that she had just lost in was not a good decision in the playoff. Also she missed the killer move Be7 in the game she won. In general she had 3 games at the finish that she needed one draw out of to be Champion and she lost all 3. So young though and she will be back even stronger!

Leave a Reply to One Small Step | Chess Book Reviews Cancel reply

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Announcements

  • US Chess Press