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Brandeis student wins prestigious chess fellowship

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  April 5, 2013 11:30 AM

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A Brandeis student has been chosen for one of the most prestigious chess fellowships in the country, according to the school.

Sam Shankland, who will graduate in 2014, is the 29th Frank P. Samford, Jr. Chess Fellow.

The fellowship, which was started in 1987, includes a stipend totaling $42,000 for one year, which starts for Shankland on July 1. The stipend helps provide top-level coaching and study materials, as well as living expenses so the fellow can concentrate solely on chess. The fellowship can be renewed for a second year.

Shankland, who hails from California, has tied for first in the 2008 World Youth Championships’ under 18 category; took third place in the 2011 US Championship; and at 16 years old, became the youngest-ever California state champion. He also won both team and individual gold members while playing for the US chess team at the 2013 Pan American Team Championship.

Shankland is currently ranked 2,612 in the world, according to Brandeis, and was awarded the Grandmaster title when he was 20 years old.

On his professional Facebook page, Shankland said he will write a blog about what it means to him to win the award.

“One thing is for certain, my life will never be the same,” he wrote.

Follow us on Twitter: @ycbrandeis, @jaclynreiss

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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