The American chess player at the Olympics made an impossible move. And then he paid for it!

Mikhail Chesalin

Mikhail Chesalin

American chess player Sam Shankland

Lost with one hasty movement of the hand.

In early August, the Chess Olympiad takes place in Chennai (India). Teams from all over the world, including the tiniest countries with players who can only dream of the title of grandmaster, get a chance to fight against the titans. Alas, for political reasons, the Russian team was not allowed to the tournament, but Magnus Carlsen and the formidable Americans arrived, India fielded two teams at once. So the fight for gold medals promises to be very hot.

And in the heat of this struggle, real incidents sometimes occur. One of them happened during the USA-Armenia match. The Armenians started the tournament very well, having won in the first six meetings. But the Americans hardly cared. The formidable four Caruana, So, Shankland, Dominguez could not count on anything other than winning the confrontation.

However, the result was unexpected. Armenia snatched a draw, and all because of one hurried move by the American Sam Shankland, who made an impossible move in the endgame of the game with Robert Hovhannisyan.
In general, during the course of the game, the Armenian had a serious advantage, but he could not keep it. The American had every chance to keep a draw, which, given the outcome of the other three games, would have brought the US team a final victory.

However, Shankland, who was in time trouble, made a serious mistake. Sam saw how Robert started to move the queen and apparently decided that the piece would check to h1, so he grabbed his king to retreat to c2. However, to the surprise and horror of the American, the black queen froze on the square g2. The American, on the other hand, automatically sent the king to c2, under attack. And only after he made this impossible move, he realized what he had done.

Match chart

Match chart

Sam no longer pressed the clock button, so his opponent did not have to protest. The American realized his mistake when it was already too late. The unspoken chess rule “took – go” has not been canceled. And since the only available move with the king on c1 led to inevitable defeat, Shankland, after a little thought, extended his hand to Hovhannisyan as a sign of capitulation.

Obviously, the American was very angry and upset because of his oversight. After shaking hands, he waved his hand in the direction of the board, abruptly tore off his jacket from the back of his chair, and ran out of the playing hall. Definitely a big hit!

The Armenian national team, having pulled out a draw, retained the first place in the standings after seven rounds. In second place is Uzbekistan, which is dragged by the talented Nodirbek Abdusattorov. Next up are the two Indian teams. And the US is only fifth.

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