Sam Shankland is an American Chess Grandmaster and the 2018 US Chess Champion. He is a 10 year veteran on the US Olympic Team, a two-time Olympiad Gold Medalist (2014 and 2016,  Silver Medalist in 2018), a former World u-18 co-champion (2008), and the winner of dozens of international tournaments across four continents. His peak FIDE rating of 2731 FIDE placed him at #21 in the world. In addition to his playing career, he has worked as an analyst for World Champion Magnus Carlsen in preparation for the 2014 and 2016 World Championship matches, and he has published two books as well as eight online opening database courses.

The Shankland Repertoire on Chessable

Sam has released eight opening courses on Chessable. All analysis comes directly from the files he uses to prepare for his own games, and he has played his own recommendations with success against the best players in the world. Courses can be purchased with just the analysis and movetrainer, or with an additional video of Sam explaining the openings.

Lifetime Repertoires: The Semi-Slav
Lifetime Repertoires: English, Reti, and Sidelines
Lifetime Repertoires: 1.d4 Part I
Lifetime Repertoires: 1.d4 Part II
Lifetime Repertoires: 1.d4 Part III
Lifetime Repertoires: Classical Sicilian
Lifetime Repertoires: Berlin Defense
Lifetime Repertoires: The Neo-Catalan Part I

Career Highlights

Sam has won two Olympic Gold Medals as well as a Silver, the US Championship, the American Continental Championship twice, the Prague Masters, the Biel Masters, the Capablanca Memorial, the Edmonton International, the Fagernes International, the Chinggis International twice, the Dresden Open, and the Barcelona Open. He has played in four World Cups, and he finished in fourth place in the most recent one. He has played for the United States Olympic Team from January 2013 onwards, and is the highest scoring player in the team’s history.

50 gs!


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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 a mainstay 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. He won the US Championship in 2018. This is his first book.

Small Steps 2 Success


Small Steps 2 Success by Sam Shankland
Pawn play is a fundamental aspect of chess strategy, yet often neglected in chess literature. In this, his second book on pawn play, Super-GM Sam Shankland sheds light on the vital topic of Passed Pawns.

Passed pawns – whether connected, lone or protected – are common occurrences in middlegames and endgames, and your effectiveness in playing with or against them will make the difference between victory and defeat. Just like in his previous book, Shankland breaks down each topic into a series of crystal-clear guidelines to aid the reader.

Sam Shankland is a world-class Grandmaster and a mainstay of the US national team. He won the 2018 US Championship and is a double Olympiad gold medallist with a 2700+ rating.


In fourteen years, Sam Shankland took himself from a smiling 11 year old yet to play his first tournament to winning the strongest US Championship in history. 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.