Shankland Victorious Again; Wins American Continental
Sam Shankland grabs another first prize. | Photo: Federación Uruguaya De Ajedrez/Facebook.

Shankland Victorious Again; Wins American Continental

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jun 11, 2018, 4:26 AM |
71 | Chess Event Coverage

There's no stopping Sam Shankland, who scored his third tournament victory in a row yesterday at the American Continental Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Shankland scored 9/11, and won 10 more Elo points to reach a 2727 rating. He qualified for the 2019 World Cup together with GMs Diego FloresJorge Cori and Emilio Cordova

Like the European Championship, the American Continental is an 11-round Swiss that is first a way for players to qualify for the FIDE World Cup. But whereas 23 players qualified from the much-bigger tournament in Europe (and another 23 next year), there were only four places up for grabs in Montevideo, and four more next year.

The tournament was held June 1-10 (with a double round on June 3) in the Regency Way hotel in Montevideo. Players from Uruguay (60), Brazil (32), Argentina (28), Chile (14), USA (14), Peru (9), Paraguay (3), Bolivia (2), Canada (2), Aruba (1), Colombia (1) and Cuba (1) participated, including 24 grandmasters.

Shankland continued in the great form that he showed at the U.S. championship and the Capablanca Memorial, winning the tournament alone with 9/11 and a 2774 performance rating. He drew four games and won seven, including the last two rounds.

In the penultimate round, Shankland beat his compatriot Jeffery Xiong as Black in a 6.h3 Najdorf. He played it as a Dragon, including an exchange sacrifice on c3. Despite the fact that White didn't need to spoil his structure, the sac was obvious as the light-squared bishop became a monster. (This author got to play the same theme back in 2004 in a game mentioned here.)

The game in the last round was similar: a nice, but not too difficult combination decided the game in Shankland's favor. Obviously that was a wonderful way to finish another successful tournament, although it was only clear after Flores was held to a draw in the final round that Shankland finished clear first.

2018 American Continental | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name RtgI Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 TB5 rtg+/-
1 1 GM Shankland Samuel 2717 9 0 7 5 2552 75,5 10,2
2 6 GM Flores Diego 2614 8,5 0 7 6 2492 72,5 11,3
3 27 IM Salinas Herrera Pablo 2463 8 0 7 6 2296 64 0,5
4 4 GM Mareco Sandro 2643 8 0 6 6 2459 69 0,4
5 36 IM Escalante Ramirez Brian Sebasti 2422 8 0 6 6 2374 64,5 15,5
6 2 GM Cori Jorge 2659 8 0 6 5 2536 73,5 4,7
7 26 IM Cori Quispe Kevin Joel 2468 8 0 6 5 2443 67 19
8 22 GM Hungaski Robert 2510 8 0 5 6 2467 69 15,8
9 5 GM Cordova Emilio 2621 8 0 5 5 2479 74,5 2,5
10 31 IM Vazquez Guillermo 2436 7,5 0 7 5 2359 64,5 7,3
11 30 IM Sosa Tomas 2453 7,5 0 6 6 2435 71 13,7
12 16 GM El Debs Felipe De Cresce 2537 7,5 0 6 6 2408 67 1,1
13 15 GM Martinez Alcantara Jose Eduardo 2539 7,5 0 6 5 2465 70 6,2
14 7 GM Delgado Ramirez Neuris 2613 7,5 0 6 5 2463 75 -0,9
15 8 GM Cruz Cristhian 2576 7,5 0 6 5 2411 67 -5
16 3 GM Xiong Jeffery 2656 7,5 0 5 5 2528 71,5 -0,9
17 11 GM Erenburg Sergey 2563 7,5 0 5 5 2499 72 7,7
18 9 GM Liang Awonder 2571 7,5 0 5 5 2428 72 -2,5
19 17 IM Di Berardino Diego Rafael 2525 7,5 0 5 5 2417 70 2,3
20 10 GM Pichot Alan 2564 7,5 0 4 6 2445 70 0,2

(Full final standings here.)

Shankland American Continental

Places 1-3: Shankland, Flores, Salinas. |  | Photo: Federación Uruguaya De Ajedrez/Facebook.

Shankland and Flores qualified directly for the World Cup next year in Khanty-Mansiysk. Peruvian GMs Cori and Cordova took the other two spots in a rapid playoff held among all players finishing on eight points.

Games via TWIC.

 

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