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 fifth 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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Small Steps to Giant Improvement- Signed Hardback


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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 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. In April 2018 he became US Champion. This is his first book.

Small Steps 2 Success – Signed Hardback


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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.

Grandmaster Training Camp 1: Calculation! – Signed Hardback


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Grandmaster Training Camp 1 – Calculation! offers you a unique chance to participate in a training camp with Super-GM Sam Shankland, as he works through 300 problems set to him by his long-time trainer. Sam shares what he saw, what he did not see, and what he thinks about the problems and the skills needed to solve them.

This book version of Shankland’s Chessable course has been extensively edited and reorganized by Quality Chess. The book is divided into six topics: Tactics, Candidates, Combinations, Endgames, Defense and Deep Calculation. The material is at the same time both accessible to club players and challenging to grandmasters. Take the chance to compare yourself with one of the strongest Grandmasters in the world!

GM Sam Shankland is the 2018 US Champion, 2016 Olympiad gold medal winner for teams and 2014 individual gold medal winner. He has played Board 1 for the US in the World Team Championship and competed with the best players in the world in Wijk aan Zee, St. Louis, Prague and elsewhere. His latest great result was reaching the Quarter-final of the 2021 World Cup.


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.