On Sunday, July 24th 2022, the Berkeley Chess School hosted a Simultaneous Exhibition by GM Sam Shankland, a BCS alumnus, author, and current member of the U.S, Olympic Team.. Sam is a hometown hero, beginning his chess career in a BCS afterschool class at Glorietta Elementary School in Orinda, and is now ranked 26th in the world. Sam gave the exhibition, a fundraiser for BCS on his final day in the U.S. before departing for the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.

Addressing the players before the Simul began, Sam reminisced about his time as a BCS student and said “I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my last day at home before traveling to India”.

Our spacious tournament hall was arranged to fit 44 boards, perfect for the 44 players who registered. The Simul began at 1:30 and ended four hours later, with the longest game lasting 50 moves. During the Simul, Sam lapped the tournament hall nearly 100 times, totaling almost 2 miles.  His average time at the halfway point was 6 minutes per lap, with an average of 6 seconds per board.

Sam’s results were 38 wins, 4 draws, and two losses. The two losses were to board 1 NM Ilker Nadi Bozkurt, rated 2366, and board 4, former BCS Instructor, Kevin Cane, rated 2080. The draws were to Theo Coyne, and youngsters Max Hao (15yo), Shawnak Shivakumar (15yo), and Sebby Suarez (12yo).

The players were thrilled to play against such a decorated veteran, asking for autographs and selfies with him, and advice on their games.

We wish Sam and Team USA all the best at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India. Sam has earned individual gold medals before, as well as team gold in the 2016 Olympiad, the first time Team USA took home gold in forty years! Encore!

Photos by Richard Shorman, More can be found at http://www.chessdryad.com/photos/berkeley/shanklandsimul2022/index.htm