Sam Shankland and Nazi Paikidze are US Champions

05.04.18 Sam Shankland and Nazi Paikidze are the 2018 US Champion and US Women's Champion. For Shankland, a twenty-six year old from Berkeley, California, it was the biggest win of his career and the first time he has cracked the FIDE 2700 mark. Paikidze finished the tournament equal with Annie Wang necessitating a rapid chess and sudden death 'Armageddon' playoff in which she won to clinch the title.

Sam Shankland 2018 US Champion

Nazi Paikidze 2018 US Women's Champion

Seeded fifth out of twelve players, Sam Shankland far exceeded expectations and posted a nearly 2900 performance rating on his way to the title of US Champion. The field contained the nation's top players including World Championship Challenger Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So (world #8), and Hikaru Nakamura (world #10). Shankland won the eleven-round tournament with six wins, five draws and no losses for 8.5 points.

The Women's Championship was a real barn burner right down to the final game. Both IM Nazi Paikidze and WIM Annie Wang finished the tournament with 8.0 points. In the first game of the playoff, Wang won a beautiful game with the white pieces. Paikidze showed her champion colors by winning a must-win game with her back against the wall. The playoff rules skipped over the commonly played two-game blitz match and went directly to the "Armageddon" game. Playing white with one minute more on the clock than her opponent, Paikidze again faced a must-win situation as Wang had "draw odds." Win she did. Congratulations to her. We are sure to hear more from runner-up, fifteen-year-old Annie Wang.

Official Site of the US Championship and US Women's Championship

US Championship Players

1. Fabiano Caruana 2804
2. Hikaru Nakamura 2787
3. Wesley So 2786
4. Alexander Onischuk 2672
5. Sam Shankland 2671
6. Jeffery Xiong 2665
7. Ray Robson 2660
8. Varuzhan Akobian 2647
9. Yaroslav Zherebukh 2640
10. Zviad Izoria 2599
11. Aleksandr Lenderman 2599
12. Awonder Liang 2552

Average rating: 2674

US Women's Championship Players
1. Anna Zatonskih 2444
2. Irina Krush 2422
3. Jennifer Yu 2367
4. Tatev Abrahamyan 2366
5. Nazi Paikidze 2352
6. Annie Wang 2321
7. Sabina-Francesca Foisor 2308
8. Rusudan Goletiani 2306
9. Dorsa Derakhshani 2306
10. Anna Sharevich 2281
11. Akshita Gorti 2252
12. Maggie Feng 2243

Average rating: 2331

Tournament Schedule (Games begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern)

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