It's official. Fabiano Caruana will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the chess World Championship title later this year. He emerged victorious after knocking out the competition at the 2018 Candidates Tournament in Tuesday’s final round.
This is big news for the Americans. A US grandmaster hasn't won the title since 1972 when Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky.
But what do we know about Caruana?
Born in Miami, Florida, the Italian-American learned to play chess at an after-school program. He started training with his first coach, National Master Bruce Pandolfini, at age six, and by age ten, he became the youngest American to defeat a GM.
In 2004, together with his family, he relocated to Europe, allowing him to pursue a professional chess career. Three years later, he became the youngest GM in US history, beating the record set by Bobby Fischer.
Caruana holds dual citizenship of both Italy and the US and has the right to choose FIDE affiliation with either the Italian Chess Federation or the United States Chess Federation. He played for Italy from 2005 to 2015, but in May 2015 announced that he would be changing federations to play for the USA.
In 2016, he came close to competing for the title but fell short in the tie-breaker against Karjakin.
Currently rated first in the US, second in the world, he has achieved the third highest rating in chess history.
When asked about his odds at winning the title, he said: “It’s still so far away, but I’ll prepare very seriously for it. I’ll come well-prepared. It will be a tough fight, but right now I’m not even thinking about it.”
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