American GM Sam Shankland has been welcomed in Serbia as a new world chess star on a horizon, following his exceptional result from recent Tromso Olympiad - 7.0/7 at the beginning and best percentage on the event overall 9.0/10.
Shankland came to Belgrade as a guest of Chess Informant, but also gave numerios interviews for major media outlets such as Novosti and got many new likes by (female) chess fans.
Sam was even a guest at the official press conference in Serbian Chess Federation, dedicated to the play by Serbian team in Norway.
We didn't missed to make very special photo of two golden medalists from Tromso together - GM Nikola Sedlak at Board 4 and GM Sam Shankland at Board 5.
During his stay, he also visited the venue of Serbian Junior Championship. Sam was so kind to accept friendly blitz games challanges by the participants - a unique opportunity for youngsters to test their skills against well-known opponent.
Chess Informant Rapid&Blitz tournament was the central event during Sam's stay in the capital of Serbia. It was a double round robin event with five participants - Shankland and all the members of the Serbian Olympiad team, except GM Robert Markus who was absent.
At the board Ivanisevic-Shankland, first tournament moves were conducted by famous Serbian grandmaster Alisa Maric and by president of the Serbian Chess Federation, Miroslav Kopanja.
Let's take a look at the final standings and individual results:
The outcome of the tournament - clear win by young GM Aleksandar Indjic might be a surprise, but only for those who are yet not aware of the play by this teenager. Indjic is only 18 and he is reigning Serbian champion. Funny thing, but with 2,04m height, Al Indjic is the tallest GM in the world (at least according to our knowledge!)!
PHOTO: GM Aleksandar Indjic (in a middle) with Miroslav Kopanja (President of Serbian Chess Federation) and FM Josip Asik (CEO of Chess Informant)
Sam Shankland was doing better in rapid games (2,5pt/4 ) than in blitz (1pt/4) and at the end he found himself placed 3rd among five GM players.
Let's take a look at Shankland's rapid games:
We will also present few games by the overall winner, GM Indjic:
Upcoming Chess Informant 121 Midnight Sun would bring Shankland's story about his expirience in Tromso with annotated games. Just like Shankland, GM Indjic (left) and GM Ivanisevic (right) are among regular Chess Informant
Belgrade was not only about chess, Sam enjoyed sighseeing on Kalemegdan fortress with the view of a meeting point of Sava and Danube rivers...
...but the chess board was never far away