Sam Shankland is an American Chess Grandmaster on the United States National Team, the reigning Olympic Champions. He is a two-time Olympiad Gold Medallist (2014 and 2016), a former World u-18 co-champion (2008), winner of several international events, and the third highest rated homegrown American player of all time. He has worked as an analyst for the reigning World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, training with him to prepare for the 2014 and 2016 World Championship matches.

FIDE Stats

Fide Rating: 2671
World Rank: 76
USA Rank: 6

Upcoming Appearances

March 6-14: Saint Louis Spring Classic (Saint Louis, Missouri)

March 15: “Small Steps to Giant Improvement” Book signing tour (Saint Louis, Missouri)

March 20: “Small Steps to Giant Improvement” Book signing tour (San Francisco, CA)

March 24: “Small Steps to Giant Improvement” Book signing tour (San Jose, CA)

April 16-29: 2018 US Championship (Saint Louis, Missouri)

May 8-20: 2018 Capablanca Memorial (Havana, Cuba)

June 1-11: 2018 American Continental Championship (Montevideo, Uruguay)

Career Highlights

My career highlights range from 1991-2017 and include when our Team USA won the Olympiad for the first time in 79 years in Baku!

View all Highlights


All prices include tax and shipping within the United States.

The Shankland Method Part 1

This 16 hour video course reveals GM Sam Shankland's approach to becoming a master calculator and finding the most forcing, powerful moves at the board.



The Shankland Method Part 2

This stunning 16 hour course breaks down the deadliest tactics from top-level play, uniquely splitting them into 6 categories, ranging from Attacking the King to Endgame Tactics.



View a sample lesson from part 1

View a sample lesson from part 2

GM Sam Shankland represents the new generations of American chess powerhouses and was part of the gold-medal winning USA team at the 2016 Olympiad.

So when he agreed to share his chess improvement formula in a comprehensive step-by-step course, we made that our mission; the result is the Shankland Method Parts 1 and 2! Each 3-disk set features 16 hours of video instruction.


Small Steps to Giant Improvements



View Sample Pages

In chess you cannot take your move back, but you can always return a misplaced piece to its former square at the cost of some time. Pawns on the other hand can never move backwards, making pawn moves truly permanent decisions.

This irreversibility makes Pawn Play among the most difficult aspects of chess strategy, which is one reason few books have been written about this topic – and some that have are almost incomprehensible. Double Olympiad gold medallist Sam Shankland has gone the other way – breaking down the principles of Pawn Play to basic, easily understandable guidelines every chess player should know. Shankland starts with extremely simple examples, but then lifts the level, illustrating the universality of the book’s guidelines by showing how grandmasters could have made better decisions by using them.

Sam Shankland is a Grandmaster and permanent member of the US national team, winning an Individual Gold Medal in 2014 and Team Gold in 2016. In 2015 and 2017 he played Board 1 for the US team at the World Team Championship. This is his first book.

ISBN: 978-1-78483-051-9 – 336 pages – Provisional Release (hardcover) End of March 2018


In eleven short years, Sam Shankland took himself from a smiling 11 year old yet to play his first tournament to the highest rated US-born player in the country since Bobby Fischer. He uses the same training regimen with all of his students to assist them in reaching their maximum potential. Shankland is highly sought after and has worked for the reigning World Champion, Magnus Carlsen.

Sam Shankland is available for private and group lessons, lectures, simultaneous exhibitions, appearances, and of course tournaments.

For more information, contact him directly.


Contact Sam Shankland directly here for tournament invitations, sponsorship offers, and lesson/appearance inquiries.