The 2018 US Championship was an action packed event. The San Francisco Bay Area’s own Grandmaster Sam Shankland stole the spotlight by taking first place over such pre-tournament favorites such as Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura. Norcal chess enthusiasts weren’t exactly shocked by GM Shankland’s championship run as we have long since grown accustomed to his winning ways even dating back to when he was competing in CalChess scholastic events. However, GM Shankland may have taken first place but the prettiest finish was recorded by the player who placed second.
GM Fabiano Caruana, who finished the 2018 US Championship only a half point behind Shankland, had a second round victory which featured a game winning move that instantly became a classic. In the position below, Grandmaster Aleksandr Lenderman (black) has just played 22… a5. After GM Fabiano Caruana’s 23rd move, GM Lenderman resigns. What is Grandmaster Caruana’s (white’s) game winning move?
Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.
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