Sam Shankland is an American Chess Grandmaster and the 2018 US Chess Champion. He is a mainstay 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, and reached a peak rating of 2731 FIDE and #21 in the world. In addition to his playing career, 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, and he has published two books as well as five online opening database courses.

The Shankland Repertoire on Chessable

Sam has released five 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 as well.

Lifetime Repertoires: The Semi-Slav: Movetrainer $39.99, Video $119.99
Lifetime Repertoires: English, Reti, and Sidelines: Movetrainer $24.99, Video $59.99
Lifetime Repertoires: 1.d4 Part I: Movetrainer $39.99, Video $109.99
Lifetime Repertoires: 1.d4 Part II: Movetrainer $39.99, Video $109.99
Lifetime Repertoires: 1.d4 Part III: Movetrainer $39.99, Video $109.99

Career Highlights

Sam’s career highlights range from 1991-2021 and include winning the 2018 US Championship with the second strongest performance of all time and being the top scorer in the history of the United States Olympiad Team.

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


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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.