US Champion Sam Shankland Wins Capablanca Memorial

Sam Shankland at the 2018 US Championships. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Just weeks after becoming the newly crowned US Champion, Sam Shankland won the 2018 Capablanca Memorial by a convincing 1.5 point margin. Shankland went undefeated and finished with +5. This victory brings Shankland to a new peak FIDE rating, 2717, and boosts him into the top 30 players in the world.


Shankland’s victories throughout the tournament were based on excellent piece activity and precise calculation. Can you find how Shankland gained the advantage in this double-edged position against Lazaro Bruzon Batista?

Sam Shankland vs. Lazaro Bruzon Batista

White to move.

Between this win and his unexpected victory at the US Championship over the “Big Three” American players, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, and Hikaru Nakamura, Shankland has been on an incredible winning streak, gaining 46 rating points and rising 40 spots in the world rankings. What’s next for this impressive American super-grandmaster?


For more information on Sam Shankland, check out:

Find GM Shankland’s new book, Small Steps to Giant Improvement, on US Chess Sales. 


Vanessa West is a regular writer and digital assistant for US Chess News. She won the 2017 Chess Journalist of the Year award.

You can follow her on Twitter: @Vanessa__West



Leave a Comment

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Announcements

  • US Chess Press