IM Sam Shankland Wins Final 2009 U.S. Chess Championship Spot Print E-mail
By Joan DuBois   
April 7, 2009
Official Press Release
April 7, 2009



"Meet Me in St. Louis," says a smiling IM Sam Shankland, 17, from the San Francisco suburb of Orinda, because that's where one of the new rising stars of the American chess scene is heading to after winning the U.S. State Champion of Champions title hosted online at the Internet Chess Club last Sunday.

In a pulsating East vs West finale to a week-long series of qualifiers - that saw state champions from Alaska through California to Hawaii and from Maine down to New York, Tennessee, North Carolina and Texas come together in a unique online tournament - Shankland, the North California champion, beat 21-year-old NM Mackenzie Molner, the New Jersey champion, 3-2, after their match went to the wire of a final armageddon decider to determine the final spot in the 2009 U.S. Championship, hosted May 7-17 at the Scholastic Center and Chess Club of St. Louis

The past year has proved to be a big breakthrough one for Shankland.  His rating took a seismic leap from 2200 to over 2450 FIDE, he played in his first U.S. Championship, achieved the International Master title, and tied for first place and the bronze medal in the World Under 18 Championship in Vietnam.  Now, he's been crowned the "U.S. State Champion of Champions" and will join an elite field of former U.S. Chess Champions in St. Louis that includes Gata Kamsky, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Onischuk, Alexander Shabalov, U.S. Hall of Famers Larry Christiansen and Joel Benjamin, and not forgetting defending champion Yury Shulman.

For full results of the tournament, click here.  Also find attached file of games from the finals. 

For further information:

John Henderson
ICC Director of Chess Content
jbhthescots@chessclub.com
Cell: 847-347-9593
 
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