Sam Shankland’s last game of the 2022 US Chess Championship ended in a draw after only 8 minutes of play as his opponent Leinier Dominguez decided to go for an early threefold repetition in Najdorf. Shankland was disappointed with the repetition of the moves and requested to join the event’s live studio to apologize for a quick draw. “First of all, they didn’t even ask me to come for an interview, I came because I requested. I wanted to say I’m sorry for how this ended“, said Sam.
Shankland added that Leinier had never before forced an early draw with white pieces: “I played the Najdorf, I mean, I was ready to take a lot of risks. I’d never once ever seen Dominguez force a draw with whites, like literally zero times“. Sam said that he considered a decision to refuse a draw despite he had black pieces, but he explained that he wasn’t prepared well for the alternative. “I just sort of decided to make the adult decision, but it is not one that I am proud of“, concluded Shankland. Replay the complete interview below
With a draw in the last round, Leinier Dominguez secured the top-5 position in the 2022 US Chess Championship and a qualification spot for the next FIDE World Chess Cup.