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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sam Shankland is U.S. National Junior Chess Champion 2010

U.S. National Junior Chess Champion IM Samuel Shankland

Hello Everyone!

What would you say of someone who announced on their blog that they were retiring from chess and then went on to win a major championship? Well! Samuel Shankland happens to be one such person.

IM Shankland was in a three-way tie with defending champion GM Ray Robson and NM Parker Zhao after nine rounds. An Armageddon playoff followed for the title. There were two playoff games. Since Robson had a better tie-break score, he could wait to play the winner of the Shankland-Zhao match.

Shankland and Zhao bid secretly how much time (up to 45 minutes) they would need for the game. Zhao bid lower so he had less time and Black. But he only had to draw to win the match. Shankland won.

In the final game, Shankland had Black and both he and Robson had same time. Shankland had to only draw to win the title. Shankland played the solid Caro-Kann Defense and Robson responded with the Fantasy variation. But Robson blundered under time pressure and lost.

Here are both the playoff games. You can run them in our pgnplayer or watch in flash below. You can check the official website for more information.

PGN: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Qb3 Qb6 6. Nc3 e6 7. Nh4 Be7 8. h3 Bh5 9. g4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. Bg2 Nbd7 12. g5 Nh5 13. h4 Qc7 14. cxd5 exd5 15. Qc2 Qd6 16. Bd2 O-O 17. O-O-O Nb6 18. Kb1 Rfe8 19. Bc1 Rad8 20. Bf3 Bf8 21. Rhg1 Nc4 22. e4 dxe4 23. Nxe4 Qb4 24. Ka1 Nb6 25. Bxh5 gxh5 26. Nf6+ gxf6 27. gxf6+ Kh8 28. Rg5 Rd5 29. Rdg1 Rxg5 30. Rxg5 Qb5 31. Rxb5 cxb5 32. a3 b4 33. Qd1 b3 34. Qxb3 Re1 35. Qxf7 Rxc1+ 36. Ka2 1-0

PGN: 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 dxe4 4. fxe4 e5 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Bc4 Nd7 7. c3 Bh5 8. O-O Ngf6 9. Nbd2 Bd6 10. Bd3 O-O 11. Qe1 Re8 12. Kh1 Bc7 13. Bc2 exd4 14. cxd4 c5 15. dxc5 Nxc5 16. e5 Ncd7 17. Qh4 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. Nc4 Qd4 20. Qxd4 Bxd4 21. Nd6 Re6 22. Nf5 Bc5 23. Bb3 Re5 24. Bd2 Ne4 25. Rae1 Rae8 26. Rxe4 Rxe4 27. Ng3 Bg6 28. Nxe4 Rxe4 29. Bc3 h5 30. Bd5 Re7 31. b4 Bb6 32. a4 a6 33. a5 Ba7 34. Re1 Rd7 35. Bf3 Kh7 36. Re8 Rc7 37. Bd2 h4 38. g3 h3 39. Bg4 f5 0-1

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at



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