Best of CLO 2011 #5- Shankland on the World Cup
January 27, 2012
Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL, 2010
The #5 article in Best of CLO 2011 is Shankland on Making the Most of Luck by GM Sam Shankland. Judges also enjoyed Sam's humble outlook and his psychological insights. Shankland's article featured his fantastic first round upset at the 2011 World Cup, where he downed one of the top GMs in the World, GM Peter Leko. 


GM Sam Shankland is a former US Junior Champion and World Under 18 co-champ. An interview with Shankland by CLO editor Jennifer Shahade, (including extensive annotations by Sam), won #3 in Best of CLO 2008.

Shankland came in clear third at the 2011 US Chess Championship, after winning tiebreak matches against higher rated players GM Alexander Onischuk and GM Robert Hess.

Sam is currently a student at Brandeis University. He also plays for the US Chess League as first board for the New England Nor'Easters, the 2010 Championship team. Sam produces video content for Sam's official website is and you can also find him on twitter @GMShanky.

The Judges Sound Off
Read more about the judges here.

This was a very good personal look at GM Shankland's experience in preparation for and play at the World Cup, written in a refreshing humble style which made it enjoyable to read- Myron Lieberman 

There’s nothing like an exceptional experience told by its protagonist. Sam Shankland is a very talented GM and could be a great source of inspiration for young chess players in the United States, especially because he didn’t “benefit” from an East-European country of origin, so much more US players can identify themselves with him.

His adventure in the World Cup has a fairy tale flavor at times but he gives it a touch of reality that involve the readers even more. Sam gently grabs our hands and takes us through his mishaps, thoughts, worries and feelings, with great honesty and providing little ‘snapshots’ of what he saw and felt in the process.

I can picture in my mind a young player thinking “I’d like to do what Sam did!” after reading this article and try to understand what it takes to turn this dream into reality: this is the kind of articles I treasure very much for the great inspiration value it holds--Janis Nisii

I appreciated this article because I liked the personality of the author. I thought that it was cool that he played in the World Chess Championships candidate tournament in Siberia. He seemed humble and I liked the story's theme of luck.--Galen Pyle

This was a good human interest article. I really like GM Shankland's lack of ego and the descriptions of his thoughts and feelings, especially as they relate to giving Peter Leko a draw- Rachel Lieberman

Best of CLO 2011 Countdown
#5-Shankland on Making the Most of Luck by GM Sam Shankland
#6- Hilton on Chess Cosmopolitanism by Jonathan Hilton
#7- Dreams and Local Heroes by Chad Schneider (Judging article)
#8- An Amateur Invades the World Amateur Team by the US Chess Scoop (Judging article)
#9- Keep the Draw--Fix the Flaw by Tom Braunlich (Judging article)
#10- Nakamura in Brazil: From Fighting Anand to Miss USA by GM Ian Rogers  (Judging article)