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In this issue

American Chess Magazine No.7 boasts a cover portrait of Sam Shankland and rightly so because in a short period of time he has won the US Championship in St.Louis, the Capablanca Memorial in Cuba and the All-American Continental Championship in Montevideo. In fact the 2018 US Championship is one of the main features of this issue, together with the Berlin Candidates that has propelled Fabiano Caruana into the role of world title challenger. In an interview with ACM Sam Shankland reflects on his success in St.Louis, which was the biggest success of his career so far and achieved against the strongest possible American opposition. In addition Sam contributes exclusive annotations to two of his games from the event. Another kind of success story in the US Championship was that of Zviad Izoria who has now gained a reputation as a giant-killer after surprising wins against Caruana and Nakamura, for which he provides his personal commentary. In fact we wanted to find out what really happened to the ‘Big 3’ so we asked our regular columnists to investigate. Young GM John Burke was critical of Caruana’s lack of objectivity in certain games, John Fedorowicz was unimpressed by Nakamura’s tournament strategy, while Michael Rohde noticed that Wesley So’s play had lost its spark. These three articles effectively represent a complete retrospective on America’s three highest rated players in St.Louis.

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