FM (2002); IM (2005); GM (2007); Italian Champion (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011); US Champion (2016); Candidate (2016 & 2018); World Championship Challenger (2018).
Fabiano Luigi Caruana was born in Miami, Florida. He moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York, in 1996 and soon started playing chess. Under the tutelage of USCF National Master Bruce Pandolfini, he kicked off his tournament career at the Polgár Chess Centre in Queens. GM Miron N Sher started coaching Caruana when the latter was 8. Caruana made his first appearance in FIDE-rated tournaments in February 2002 when he was 9 years old, playing in the New York February Congress and soon thereafter in the Edward Lasker Tuesday Grand Prix. He then moved with his family to Madrid in 2004 to pursue a professional career under the guidance of coach IM Boris Anatolyevich Zlotnik. The Caruana family then moved to Budapest in 2007 where Fabiano would train with GM Alexander Chernin. He also trained with GM Pal Benko, when Benko was spending summers in New Jersey, and online with GM Gregory Kaidanov. (1)
<International Master> Caruana won his first IM norm at the First Saturday event in early May 2005. His second IM norm came at the 8th Parla International Open in September 2005. When he won the First Saturday IM tournament in December 2005, he gained his third IM norm and his IM title on 14 December 2005 at the age of 13 years 4 months and 14 days.
<Grandmaster> He gained his GM title immediately upon acquiring his three GM norms, which came at the First Saturday GM events in March, April and July 2007, as he was all ready rated over 2500 by the time he won his third norm. He thus became a grandmaster on 15 July 2007 at the age of 14 years 11 months and 15 days, the youngest-ever grandmaster from the United States, and also the youngest-ever from Italy (as Caruana holds dual citizenship).
<Youth>: In June 2002, Caruana won the U-10 category of the Pan-American Youth Championships, thereby earning his FM title, and in November 2002 competed in the World U10 Championship held in Heraklio. He also won an age-based championship at the 2003 Pan-American Youth Championships, most likely the U12 division. He competed in the 2004 U12 World Championship in Heraklio and at the age of 14 came =2nd at the Italian Junior (U20) Championship.
<Regional> : He achieved joint first place in the U.S. Eastern Open in 2006.
<National - Italy> He was equal first in the Italian Championship in 2006 where he tied with (then) four-time Italian Champion Michele Godena but lost in a rapid game play-off for the title. In 2007 Caruana won the Italian Championship with a score of +8 (9.5/11) to become the youngest ever Italian champion and then successfully defended his title in 2008 when he scored 8/11, a half point ahead of Godena with whom he drew in the last round. He did not compete in the Italian Championship in 2009 because of his commitment in the World Cup, but won again in 2010 and again in 2011, the latter with 10/11; he did not compete in 2012.
<National - USA> He won the US Chess Championship (2016) with 8.5/11, a point ahead of joint runners up Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura. A year later, he was equal third with 6.5/11 at the US Championship (2017), half a point behind behind Wesley So and Alexander Onischuk. He was a little unlucky not to win the US Championship (2018) with 8/11, as he was upstaged by half a point by Samuel Shankland, who was in superlative form.
<Continental> He has competed in all European Individual Championships since his inaugural participation in 2008, but has not made the leader board in this event.
<World>: Qualifying for the World Cup (2009) as one of the six nominees of the FIDE President (2), Caruana’s inaugural participation in this event was quite auspicious. Rated 2652 and ranked number 81 in the world at the time, Caruana defeated Lazaro Bruzon Batista (2619), Leinier Dominguez Perez (2719, world #21) and Evgeny Alekseev (2715, world #25) before falling to Vugar Gashimov (2758, world #6) in the fourth round rapid-game tiebreaker. Qualifying for the World Cup (2011) via his rating, he won his first round game against Russian GM Aleksei Pridorozhni and his second round game against Ukrainian GM Yuri Drozdovskij in the classical mini-matches, but lost in the 25+10 rapid-game tiebreaker in the third round to the eventual winner, Russian GM Peter Svidler. Caruana qualified for the 2013 World Cup on the basis of his rating, but he also participated in the 2012-13 Grand Prix series to select two Candidates for the 2014 Candidates Tournament. He played in the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012), where he scored 6/11 to place =4th and 80 Grand Prix points, in the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013) where he placed =3rd to earn another 100 Grand Prix points, =2nd at the FIDE Grand Prix Thessaloniki (2013) to add another 125 GP points to tot up a three-event total of 305 points (3) and needed to win the final Grand Prix event - the FIDE Grand Prix Paris (2013) - outright to qualify for the Candidates Tournament 2014, as he was 165 GP points behind Shakhriyar Mamedyarov who was in 2nd place, and who had no further Grand Prix events in which to play. As it turned out, he placed =1st with Boris Gelfand (winning on tiebreak) to gain 155 points and place third in the Grand Prix series.
Caruana also missed his opportunity to qualify for the Candidates at the World Cup (2013), an event he qualified for via his rating; when he defeated Akash G in the first round, Yu Yangyi in the 2nd round, Vladimir Malakhov in the third round and Julio Ernesto Granda Zuniga in the Round of 16 (fourth round) but was eliminated in the quarter final (round five) by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Nevertheless, he qualified by rating for the 2014-15 Grand Prix Series portion of the World Championship 2016 cycle, and placed =1st alongside Boris Gelfand with 6.5/11 at the FIDE Grand Prix Baku (2014), earning 155 Grand Prix points. During the second leg that followed shortly afterwards, namely the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2014), Caruana scored a solid 6/11 to place 4th-7th to pick up another 75 Grand Prix points, sufficient to make him the leader after the first two legs. His equal first at the FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk (2015) put him into overall first place in the Grand Prix series and guaranteed him a place in the World Championship Candidates (2016). He also participated in the World Cup (2015) where he defeated Tunisian Amir Zaibi in the first round, Azeri GM Rauf Mamedov in the second round and Ukrainian-Canadian GM Anton Kovalyov in the third round. He lost to Azeri GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the Round of Sixteen (fourth round) by 0.5-1.5 and exited the Cup.
At the World Championship Candidates (2016), Caruana and Sergey Karjakin were co-leading going into the final round. Because of a superior tiebreak, Caruana needed to defeat Karjakin to qualify as the next World Championship Challenger, but lost, leaving Karjakin to challenge Carlsen later in the year. At the World Cup (2017), he beat South Africa's Kenneth T Solomon and Slovenia's Luka Lenic in the first two rounds before succumbing to Russia's Evgeny Najer in the rapid game playoff in round three, thereby exiting the event. However, he was seeded into the World Championship Candidates (2018) by virtue of his rating, and won the event by a point with 9/14, ironically losing his only game to the previous Challenger, Karjakin. His World Championship challenge to Carlsen will be played in London in November 2018.
<1998-2004> Caruana has been an extremely active tournament player since he started on that path in the Polgár Chess Centre at the age of 6. For the first few years he played in numerous domestic events in the US, especially in New York and the northeast of the US – frequently appearing at events in the Marshall Chess Club (during which time he beat the late Aleksander Wojtkiewicz at the age of 10 years 61 days, breaking Hikaru Nakamura ‘s record of being the youngest to defeat a GM in a USCF sanctioned event (4)) - but with occasional sojourns to foreign events such as the Youth World Championships in Greece, Pan American events in South America and First Saturday events in Budapest, all the while steadily accumulating ratings points. He first participated in the US Open in 2002, and also did so in 2003 and 2004.
<2005-2007> His first victory at a FIDE-rated open tournament was first place in the First Saturday IM that was held in July 2005, a feat which netted him 83 Elo points on top of 43 points he gained with his 4th place at the Madrid Championships. When he won the First Saturday IM tournament in December 2005, he also gained his third IM norm and his IM title at the age of 13 years 4 months and 14 days. In 2006, Caruana won the 19th Moratalaz International Open held in August 2006 in Spain, and tied for first place in the 1st "Ascala de Henares" International Open in October 2006. In 2007, Caruana placed =3rd in the 2007 EU Individual Open Championship, won the Hogeschool Zeeland Tournament (2007) (aka Vlissingen chess tournament) when he drew with his last round opponent, former FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov. He also won the First Saturday GM events in March, April and July 2007, winning his first 3 GM norms and his GM title a couple of weeks before his 15th birthday. Another event he won during 2007 was the FE Capo d'Orso held in Italy in May.
<2008-2011>In 2008, he won Corus Group C (2008) impressively, two points ahead of his nearest rivals Dimitri Reinderman and fellow prodigy Parimarjan Negi. The year 2009 started with a win in Corus Group B (2009) although he took a small step backward at Biel International Chess Festival (2009) (4/10). However, 2010 saw him win the Biel Chess Festival (2010) in a field of fellow junior super grandmaster. He started off 2011 in the category 18 Reggio Emilia (2010), scoring 4.5/9 (+1 -1 =7) for 6th place, and followed this up with 7/10 at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2011), first place at the Airports Authority of India (2011) and suffered a momentary lapse of form to score only 4/10 at the Biel Chess Festival (2011). In October 2011, he came third in the 12th Karpov International (2011).
<2012-2013> Caruana started 2012 with =2nd (3rd on count back) with 5.5/10 at the category 20 Reggio Emilia (2011) and followed up with =2nd alongside Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov and behind Levon Aronian at the Tata Steel (2012), scoring 8/13 (+4 -1 =8; TPR 2837). The latter result catapulted him into the top ten on the live rating list for the first time. He placed =4th (6th on tiebreak) at the Aeroflot Open (2012) with 6/9 and then survived a last round challenge by Yifan Hou to take outright 1st place at the Reykjavik Open (2012) with 7.5/9 (+6 =3; TPR 2777). He followed up in May by winning the 20th Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament (2012) and taking 2nd place (on tiebreak) in the category 22 Tal Memorial (2012) with 5/9 (+3 -2 =4; TPR 2820) behind Carlsen. His best results so far have been his victories in July 2012 at Dortmund (2012) and in September/October 2012 at the Grand Slam Chess Final (2012) where he lost to Carlsen in blitz tie-breaks after sharing first place. In November 2012, Caruana drew all six of his games to place 3rd in the Double Round Robin quadrangular category 20 Kings' Tournament (2012) behind Vassily Ivanchuk and Veselin Topalov, respectively. 2013 started badly for Caruana, scoring only 5/13 in the category 20 Tata Steel (2013) at Wijk aan Zee. However, he recovered to some extent at the category 19 GRENKE Chess Classic (2013) by placing outright 2nd with 6/10 behind Viswanathan Anand, and then returned to full form in the category 21 (av: 2772) Zurich Chess Challenge (2013) with outright first, scoring 4/6 (+2 =4), including wins over World Champion Anand and the previous challenger for the title, Boris Gelfand, with a performance rating of 2898. At the category 22 Tal Memorial (2013), Caruana equalized his lifetime score against Carlsen in classical games by winning their round 3 game to bring their personal tally in this form of the game to +2 -2 =5; he finished 3rd in this event, a point behind the winner Boris Gelfand and a half point behind the runner-up Magnus Carlsen. Subsequently he won the Kings Tournament (2013) with 5/8.
<2014> Caruana started 2014 with a solid 6/11 at the category 20 Tata Steel (2014), placing =4th behind Levon Aronian, Anish Giri and Sergey Karjakin respectively. He followed up with 2.5/5 to place 3rd in the category 23 Zurich Chess Challenge (2014). Caruana won the follow-up Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2014) to determine placing in the overall event, Caruana's result in the rapid lifted his final placement to =2nd with Aronian behind Carlsen. In April 2014, he placed outright second behind Magnus Carlsen at the category 22 Gashimov Memorial (2014), which was inaugurated in honor of the late Azeri GM Vugar Gashimov. In June he was =4th with 4.5/9 at the category 21 Norway Chess (2014). The following month he won a stunning victory at the category 19 Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting (2014) with 5.5/7, 1.5 points ahead of the runners-up and moved into the "2800 club" by rating. September 2014 saw Caruana win arguably the strongest tournament in history, the Category 23 Sinquefield Cup (2014). In the most powerful display in the history of chess, he won the first 7 games of the tournament - against Topalov (twice), Vachier-Lagrave (twice), Carlsen, Aronian and Nakamura before drawing with Carlsen in their return game in round 8 (having missed a winning chance), whereupon he clinched first place with 7.5/8 with two rounds to spare ahead of a shell-shocked field, an unassailable 3 points clear of Carlsen. This historic result also lifted his live rating to near record levels, eclipsing all except Carlsen and Kasparov. The following tournament in which he participated, the London Chess Classic (2014), was something of an anticlimax, placing last in a field of six and shedding 9 rating points.
<2015> The year started with his participation in the Tata Steel (2015), where he placed 7th with 7/13. It was followed by a mediocre performance in the standard section of the RR category 22 Zurich Chess Challenge (2015), where he scored 2/5 to finish 4th behind Anand, Nakamura and Kramnik, ahead of Karjakin and Aronian on tiebreak. An even worse performance in the second part of the event, the Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2015), where he not only finished last but relinquished his world #1 rapid player status, left him in 5th place overall. He regained some form in the Gashimov Memorial (2015) where he placed =3rd (4th on tiebreak) with 5/9 alongside Wesley So and behind the winner Carlsen and runner-up Anand. In July, after a mediocre result in the category 22 (2782) Norway Chess (2015) the previous month, Caruana recovered much of his recently lost ground by winning the category 19 Dortmund (2015). He won by a point and a half with a crushing score of 5.5/7 (+5-1=1), returning a performance rating of 2938, thereby restoring him to the "2800 club" from which he fell in the 1 July official rating list. However, a poor performance at Sinquefield Cup (2015) with 3.5/9 has again lowered his rating to below 2800 where he remains to date. In October 2015, he competed in the Millionaire Chess (2015) event in Las Vegas and made it through to the playoffs that were called after round 7 for the top prizes. However, he fared badly in the playoffs and returned to the main event where he played in the final two rounds, scoring 7/9, or equal top score outside of the winners of the post-round 7 playoffs. Caruana finished the year in the middle of the field at the London Chess Classic (2015), scoring 4.5/9.
<2016> 2016 started with a strong challenge at the category 20 Tata Steel (2016) event, and was in contention for first until the final round. He ultimately placed second with 8/13 behind Carlsen. In June 2016, Caruana placed equal first alongside Shakhriyar Mamedyarov at the Gashimov Memorial (2016) after both scored 6/9, with the latter taking out first prize by winning the rapid and blitz playoff by 2.5-1.5: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. A month later he competed in the category 20 Dortmund (2016) event, placing equal second which for him was a par for rating performance. In August, he played in the immensely powerful (category 22) Sinquefield Cup (2016), scoring 5/9 (also par for rating) and again placing equal second, this time a half a point behind the winner Wesley So. In October he placed equal first at the Isle of Man Open (2016), but placed second on tiebreak to Pavel Eljanov. Caruana wound up the year placing outright second with 5.5/9 at the category 22 London Chess Classic (2016), again behind Wesley So, who thereby won the Grand Chess Tour.
<2017-2018> The year started with a relatively mediocre 7/10 at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2017) (equal 10th), followed in April with another equal second placement (1.5 points behind Levon Aronian and alongside Magnus Carlsen) with 4/7 in the GRENKE Chess Classic (2017). October 2017 saw him place equal 4th with 6.5/9 at the Isle of Man Open (2017), a point behind the winner Magnus Carlsen. Caruana's year finished with him winning the London Chess Classic (2017) on tiebreak (London Chess Classic (Tiebreaks) (2017)) ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi. 2018 started with a mediocre 5/13 result at the Ian Nepomniachtchi but improved drastically when he won the World Championship Candidates (2018) and the right to challenge Carlsen for the world crown. It got even better when he won the GRENKE Chess Classic (2018) outright with 6.5/9, a point ahead of second placed Magnus Carlsen. His superb form in 2018 continued with an outright win at the category 22 Altibox Norway (2018), finishing a point ahead of Magnus Carlsen despite losing their individual encounter.
Rapid and Blitz:
Caruana did not distinguish himself at the Ruy Lopez Festival 2008 in the seven round closed tournament where he scored only 2.5/7, but won the two-day rapid open tournament that followed with a score of +6 (7.5/9), a clear point ahead of the field. The 2008 Cape d’Agde was a knock-out closed rapid tournament organized into two round robin groups of eight players each, with the top four scorers of each group proceeding to the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, and then the finals. Caruana won his group but lost to Anatoly Karpov in a closely fought quarter final encounter. Immediately prior to the Zurich Chess Challenge (2013) in February, Caruana won the Zurich Chess Challenge (Blitz) (2013), scoring 5/6 beating Vladimir Kramnik, Gelfand and Anand in their individual two-game matches. He placed =2nd with 10.5/15 at the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2014), half a point behind the winner Carlsen, but managed to retain his number one ranking in the rapid form of the game. He also competed in the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014), but his 11.5/21 was insufficient to move his blitz rating by more than a point.
In November 2017, Caruana competed in a Champions Showdown event at the Saint Louis chessclub, and was paired with Alexander Grischuk. The game results were weighted such that the longer the game, the more points each result produced: wins in the 30 minute rapid games produced 5 points, and draws 2.5 points, the 20 minute rapids were 4 and 2, the ten minute blitz game were 3 and 1.5 while the 5 minute blitz games were scored at 2 points per win, and 1 per draw - no increments in any games. Caruana drew the four-game 30 minute rapids 2-2 (+1 -1 =2 and 7.5 points each), lost the six-game 20 minute rapid match 4-2 (+1 -2 =3 and down by 10-14 on points), drew the eight-game 10 minute blitz match 4-4 (+3 -3 =2 and 12 points each) and decisively won the twelve-game 5 minute blitz match by 8.5-3.5 (+6 -1 =5 for 17 points to 7) to win the match overall by 49 points to 43. For rating purposes the last two 5 minute blitz games were ignored as Caruana had secured victory by the tenth game.
Team play: (5)
Soon after moving to Madrid in 2004, Caruana participated in the Madrid Team Championships.
<Olympiads>: Caruana represented Italy on board 1 at the 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 Olympiads. He won team gold and individual bronze for top board at the Chess Olympiad (2016), helping the USA to a historic win.
<European Team Championships> He played for Italy in the European Team Championships in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013, his best personal results being 4th on board 1 in 2009 scoring 5.5/8 and 4th on board 1 in 2013 when he scored 6/9.
<Mitropa Cup>: He represented Italy in the Mitropa Cup, a four-board team competition amongst 10 "middle" European nations, from 2006 to 2010 inclusive, playing first board on every occasion except 2007 when he played board two. In the 2007 competition, he won team silver. In 2008, Caruana scored +6 (7.5/9) winning the first board prize with a performance rating of 2810. In 2009 in Rogaska Slatina in Slovenia, he lead Italy to a silver medal and won individual gold with 7.5/9. In 2010, he won team and individual gold.
<European Club Cup>: Caruana played board 3 for the ShSM-64 Moscow in the European Club Cup competitions of 2009, 2010 and 2011, the best result during this period being team and individual fifth place in 2011. He won team bronze in the European Club Cup (2013) playing board one with his new team SOCAR. He played top board for the Italian team Obiettivo Risarcimento in the European Club Cup (2014), and won individual gold before returning to play board three for SOCAR in the 2015 competition to win team silver and fourth place for his board.
<Russian Premier League> He and his team ShSM-64 were far more successful in the Russian Premier League, where he won individual gold and team silver in 2009 (on board 4), individual bronze and team gold in 2010 (board 4), individual and team gold in 2011 (board 3, individual and team bronze in 2012, with no leader board results playing for ShSM Our Hopes Moscow in 2013, the last year he has competed in the RPL to date.
<Other National Leagues> Caruana has also played in the Bundesliga (2008, 2009 and 2017); the Italian Team Championships (2009 & 2012), the Spanish League (CECLUB 2009), the Swiss Team Championships (2010 to 2012), the French Top 12 (2011) and the Greek Team Championships (2012). He joined Eric Hansen and others (including Alexandre Lesiege, Michael Kleinman, Aman Hambleton, Lefong Hua, Elias Oussedik and Robin van Kampen in 2016, according to Hansen) on the Montreal Chessbrahs(7) team.
Caruana's first FIDE rating was 2032 on January 2002 when he was still nine years old. He crossed the 2500 mark in April 2007 when he was still fourteen years old, 2600 a year later in April 2008 when he was fifteen and 2700 in September 2010 when he was 18. He did not fall below any of these marks after he crossed them. He first crossed 2800, one of only 9 players ever to have done so, in August 2014 and peaked at 2844 in October 2014. Caruana's live rating peaked at 2851.3 on 8 October 2014 after his seventh straight win in round 7 of the Sinquefield Cup. This live rating has only been exceeded by Kasparov and Carlsen.
He was the world's top junior for 20 months, starting in January 2011. He entered the ranks of the world's top 100 players in October 2008 when he was sixteen and has remained in the top 100 since then. His highest ranking to date has been world #2, a position he occupied from October 2014 until April 2015 inclusive, and once more in June 2015.
He currently lives in Europe and in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
(1): Chessbase biography: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail... (2): http://www.fide.com/component/conte...; (3) Wikipedia article: FIDE Grand Prix 2012%E2%80%932013; live rating: http://www.2700chess.com/; (4): Caruana vs Wojtkiewicz, 2002; (5) http://www.olimpbase.org/playersru/...; (6) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCd... (commenting on chessbrah channel); (7) http://chessbrah.tv/about-chessbrah/.
Everipedia article: https://everipedia.org/wiki/Fabiano... and Wikipedia article: Fabiano Caruana
Social Media and Website:
https://twitter.com/FabianoCaruana?... and http://www.caruanachess.com/]