Shankland in 2014
|Full name||Samuel L. Shankland|
October 1, 1991 |
San Francisco, California, United States
|FIDE rating||2676 (June 2017)|
|Peak rating||2679 (September 2016)|
|Ranking||61 (October 2016)|
|Peak ranking||57 (September 2016)|
Samuel L. Shankland (born October 1, 1991) is an American chess grandmaster (2011). He was California State champion in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, Champion of State Champions in 2009, World U18 championship bronze medallist in 2008, and US Junior Champion in 2010. As a member of the United States team, Shankland won the gold medal for the best individual result at the reserve board at the 41st Chess Olympiad in 2014. He also was member of the US team at the 42nd Chess Olympiad in 2016 where the United States won gold for the first time in forty years. In September 2016, he was ranked 57th in the world.
Early life and education
Shankland was born in San Francisco, California. He learned to play chess at the age of 6, but didn't play in his first tournament until the age of 10. Shankland received his early chess education from the Berkeley Chess School.
Shankland began his rise to prominence in 2008, winning the Pacific Coast Open and the California State Championship. He made his international debut at the World Youth Chess Championship under-18 section, where he tied for first place with Ivan Saric and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, taking home the bronze medal on tiebreak score and earning the title of International Master.
After losing his first two games in the 2010 US Junior Championship, Shankland won six out of the last seven rounds to tie for first place, and went on to clinch sole first with two back to back Armageddon victories over Ray Robson and Parker Zhao. This result qualified him for the 2011 U.S. Chess Championship.
He finished third in the 2011 U.S. Chess Championship, after first defeating Alexander Onischuk in a playoff game, and then Robert Hess in an Armageddon match. This result qualified him for the 2011 FIDE World Cup.
In the 2011 World Cup, Shankland defeated Hungarian super-grandmaster Peter Leko in the first round, but lost to Abhijeet Gupta in the second. Shankland's victory over Leko in the first round was the biggest upset of the tournament.
Shankland was selected as the 27th Samford Fellow. The Samford is a fellowship given once a year to a promising young American player, providing the funds necessary for the recipient to devote him or herself to chess without being restrained by financial concerns.
At the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway, Shankland took home gold for his performance as a reserve player. Going undefeated, he scored 9 points out of 10 games, giving him a performance rating of 2829 for this tournament. In round 8, Shankland defeated legendary GM Judit Polgar in her last ever professional game. Polgar announced her retirement from chess at the end of the event.
On December 14, 2014, Shankland broke into the top 100 chess players worldwide.
Following his gold medal in Tromsø, Shankland was promoted to first board of team USA for the World Team Chess Championship, where he played with a performance rating over 2700 and drew against elite players Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, and Boris Gelfand, all of whom were in the top fifteen players worldwide at the time.
In March 2016, Shankland took first place in the Fargenes International. In June, 2016, he won the Edmonton International. In August, 2016, Shankland won the Biel Masters. In September, 2016, Shankland played as fourth board for the United States at the 42nd Chess Olympiad, where the team earned gold for the first time since 1976.
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- Doggers, Peter. "Edmonton: Ganguly Does A Caruana, Shankland Wins". Chess.com. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
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