U.S. Champion Shankland Finishes Tata Steel Strong

Tata Steel Chess

U.S. Champion GM Sam Shankland ended Tata Steel Chess (January 12-27) with a solid even score, good for a rating point gain in the elite field, bringing him up to #25 in the World. His tournament was a dramatic ride marked by big swings, including a disastrous round 11.

In the final position, Sam resigned in a drawn endgame, a painful mistake that was relived in articles, twitter feeds and dinner conversations around the World.

Shankland, in the interview below, explained that the mistake was caused by a gap in his chess culture- he knew that the game was drawn with his king on a8, but didn’t realize he could either reach the square or hold a similar fortress on c8.

As Sam discovered, the position spread even further than he may have expected.

Despite this devastating loss, Sam came back in grand style to win two games in a row in the final two rounds, against Nepomniachtchi and Kramnik.

After the game, Shankland told WIM Fiona Steli-Antoni that it “feels good to come back from the worst moment of his career with one of the biggest wins of my life.”

On his official Facebook page, Sam said, “After the worst disaster of my career in round 11, I kept my head on straight and showed great character by rebounding with 2 wins in the final 2 games. The result was good on paper (I even gained 6 points) but all the mistakes will be good fuel for further analysis and hopefully improvement. Home tomorrow, and I’ll be back in classical action next in Prague March 5-15!”

World Champion Magnus Carlsen took down his seventh Tata Steel Championship. Along the way he scored five wins and no losses. Here are two gems.

Find more details on Tata Steel Chess on the official website, and follow more top American players currently in battle in the Gibraltar International Chess Festival. 


  1. Congratulations to GM Sam Shankland on a well-played tournament! By the way, Carlsen had “only” five wins (not six)!

  2. Consider most carefully how frightening/ deadly the american player MR. SHANKLAND really is RIGHT NOW…MUCH LESS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS. A bad tourney is an even score in the super grandmaster WIJK tourney while defeating KRAMNIK amidst the wild west rodeo… the man who mowed down the immortal world champion Kasparov without losing a single world tite match game,. TOSSING IN A THRILLER DILLER GAME WHILE AT IT……. THE NEW SHANKLAND NORM IS WINNING THE US NATIONAL CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP/CAPABLANCA MEMORIAL(CUBA) AND SOUTH AMERICAN WORLD CUP QUALIFIER …..ALL IN 6O DAYS!!!.. ooooooh we forgot to mention….world team USA olympaid player on BOTH CO- FIRST PLACE world title squads….Incidentally numerous online top computers did not have the easy to forget blockade EVEN MENTIONED … admittedly well known to veteran masters/ problemists all over the world ..Grandmaster Giri was fabulously unbelievably lucky that Shankland resigned, Believe,.It is never going to happen again, Jude Acers/New Orleans

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