Person of day - 30 JULY 2023
Caruana was born in Miami and spent his childhood in the US. He was a third child born into a large Italian family. His remarkable chess abilities were evident from an early age. His father- a player of club level- devoted his life to ensuring his son’s talent would be realised to its full potential.
In America, Fabiano was trained by Miron Sher. At the age of 12, the young chess player moved to Europe with his parents, while his older siblings remained in the US. They first went to Spain, where he was trained by Boris Zlotnik for several years. Soon after, Caruana’s family moved to Budapest, so that Fabiano could work with Alexander Chernin. His new trainertaught his student a lot; he did not limit himself to training Caruana- he also organised additional training sessions with Beliavsky, Razuvaev and other grandmasters of the Soviet chess school. The young chess player wasn’t even 15 when he became a grandmaster.
Convinced of the righteousness of his path, Fabiano abandoned formal education- he basically didn’t even attend middle school. The Italian federation did a lot to help the young grandmaster, who had already won three national championships and lead the team at the Olympiad. Fabiano is a strong team player; he won two Russian championships with SHSM-64, playing a key role both times.
The grandmaster’s individual achievements progressively improved: he won the C and B tournaments in Wijk aan Zee, events in Biel, in New Delhi, Reykjavik, Dortmund and Zurich. He also won prizes in A tournaments in Wijk aan Zee, Bilbao and the Tal Memorial. Caruana is a universal chess player: he is not only a master tactician, but he is also a very diverse player. He is well-prepared in openings and masterful at endgames. His distinguishing features are his work ethic and supreme concentration during games.
Caruana found his partnership with Vladimir Chuchelov particularly fruitful. The Italian grandmaster advanced rapidly: he firmly established himself in the top 10 players of the world and after the victory in Dortmund in July 2014, he surpassed the magical 2800 mark.
At FIDE’s tournament of 23 categories in St Louis in August-September 2014, Caruana demonstrated a phenomenal result- he won 8,5 points out of 10, overtaking second-placed Magnus Carlsen by three points and adding 30 Elo points. His next major achievement was victory at the FIDE Grand Prix 2014-2015, which he secured at the final leg in Khanty-Mansiysk in May 2015. In the main qualifying event in Moscow in March 2016, Caruana was in contention for first place until the end, when he lost the decisive game to Sergey Karjakin.
In June 2015, Caruana returned to USA’s rating list and won the tournament in Dortmund for America. In 2016, Fabiano Caruana won the Olympiad in Baku with the American team; notably, that he played at the first board.
2018 has been exceptionally successful for the grandmaster: he won the Candidates Tournament in Berlin and then won two more super-tournaments, in Baden Baden and Stavanger, overtaking world champion Magnus Carlsen both times. The chess world eagerly awaited the match between Carlsen and Caruana. Additional interest was fueled by the fact that the battle for the world championship was to take place between the first and second players of the global ratings-list for the first time since 1990.
The match, which was held in November 2018 in London, was extremely tough: for the first time in the history of chess, the first 12 games with a classical time control were drawn! The world champion Magnus Carlsen proved his superiority only on tiebreak.
In January 2020, Fabiano Caruana won the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee, having scored 10 points out of 13 (+7 =6, without losses) and finished two points ahead of Magnus Carlsen.