GM Shankland Wins Continental Champs

GM Sam Shankland, Photo IM Eric Rosen

US Champion Sam Shankland is not slowing down. After winning the Championship ahead of the American “Big Three”, Sam went on to take down the Capablanca Memorial in Cuba. And now, he won the Continental Championships (June 1-10) in Montevideo, Uruguay with 9/11.

This puts Sam at an all-time high of 2727, and #27 on the live rankings list, a nice symmetry noted by His 27th birthday is in October, but at this rate, his ranking will precede his age by then.

Sam finished his final round game in style.


GM Sam Shankland- IM Tomas Sosa 

White to Move and Win 

Play through the full game below.

Sam Shankland also beat compatriot Jeffery Xiong in the penultimate round in a wild Dragondorf.

Xiong finished on a high note with a final round victory over GM Ivan Fernandez Morovic.

Jeffery Xiong Photo: Austin Fuller

The American Delegation:

Grandmaster Robert Hungaski also had a fantastic result, and tied for third with 8/11 (currently involved in a tiebreak for World Cup spots). Among Hungaski’s victories was this thrilling win over IM Thavandiran (Canada).

FM Josh Colas

Xiong, Sergey Erenburg and Awonder Liang all tied for 10th with 7.5. Many other Americans also had incredible results, gaining dozens of rating points, including Josh Colas, who finished on 7/11 and Thalia Cervantes, who scored 6/11. Update by Grant Oen of US Chess: “Thalia Cervantes scored a WIM norm. Erik Santarius achieved a live rating over 2400 during the event, and thus fulfilled the last requirement to become an IM (he has three norms and his title application will be reviewed at the FIDE Presidential Board Meeting next month)”

Thalia Cervantes, Photo Betsy Dynako-Zacate

Find more details and games on chess24 and the official site. 


  1. Amazing, stunning success for GM #27 in the World! I remember watching him play a World Open game not too long ago on a pocket set due to standard size equipment not provided! He publicly wrestled with doubts as to how far he could go with chess. He reportedly is classy and down to earth with an excellent book now for sale. His age is ideal for peaking at the royal game. The article however in effect says he is projected to go higher based on the recent trend; you can go down as well as up so using phrases such as “at that rate” is incorrect – only time will tell whether he goes even higher or not. At that almost super GM level gaining more and more is extremely difficult so it’s no disgrace if he just stays where he is currently. Already a very big accomplishment!

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