Fabiano Caruana in 2013
||Fabiano Luigi Caruana
||Italy, United States
|| July 30, 1992
Miami, Florida, U.S.
||2844 (October 2014)
||No. 2 (October 2014)
Fabiano Luigi Caruana (born 30 July 1992) is an Italian-American chess grandmaster, former chess prodigy, and at various times the No. 2 ranked player in the world.
On 15 July 2007 Caruana became a grandmaster (GM) at the age of 14 years, 11 months, 20 days - the youngest grandmaster in the history of both Italy and the United States (his US record was beaten in October 2009 by Ray Robson). In October 2014, he achieved an Elo rating of 2844, becoming the third highest rated player in history.
Personal life and chess beginnings
Fabiano Luigi Caruana was born on July 30, 1992 in Miami, United States, to Lou and Santina Caruana. He is a citizen of both Italy and USA.
At the age of four his family relocated from Miami to the borough of Brooklyn, Park Slope, New York. At the age of five, his chess talent was discovered in an after school chess program at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope. The same year he played his first tournament at the Polgar Chess Center in Queens, New York.
Until the age of twelve, he lived and played in the United States, occasionally traveling to Europe and South America to participate in tournaments. His first chess coach, from age six to eight, was National Master (NM) Bruce Pandolfini, and from age eight to twelve he studied with GM Miron Sher.
In 2004 at age twelve, he relocated with his family from Brooklyn to Madrid to pursue a professional chess career, playing for Italy from 2005 to 2015. He trained with International Master (IM) Boris Zlotnik in Madrid, and in 2007 he moved to Budapest to train with grandmaster Alexander Chernin. In 2010 Caruana moved to Lugano, Switzerland, and, at the end of that year, started to train with grandmaster Vladimir Chuchelov.
- July: Caruana won the "First Saturday" GM tournament in Budapest with 7 points out of 9 games. He obtained his final GM norm and at age 14 years, 11 months and 20 days, became the youngest grandmaster of both the United States and Italy, surpassing the US record set by Hikaru Nakamura.
- August: Caruana played the strong Vlissingen chess tournament in the Netherlands. His last round opponent was former FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Caruana playing black, drew the game in 82 moves, and won the tournament with a performance of 2715.
- November-December: Caruana participated in the Italian Championship. The prior year he was the co-champion of Italy by tying with Michele Godena but losing the fifth rapid play-off game. This year he won with a score of +8 (9½/11) to become the youngest ever Italian champion.
- January: This was Caruana's first experience at Corus C and throughout much of the tournament he was the clear leader. His last round opponent was Parimarjan Negi, and Caruana needed ½ point to win the tournament. Caruana won the game in 61 moves and the tournament with a final score of +7 (10/13) and performance of 2696.
- April: the Ruy Lopez Festival included a seven round closed tournament, and a two-day rapid open tournament. In the seven round closed tournament, Caruana had a disappointing result of −2 (2½/7) with performance of 2513. The two-day rapid open tournament that followed was won by Caruana with a score of +6 (7½/9) followed by Michael Adams, Julio Granda Zuniga, and Dzhurabek Khamrakulov all with a score of +5 (7/9).
- June: Caruana played first board for Italy at the Mitropa Cup, which is a four-board team competition amongst 10 "middle" European nations. He scored +6 (7½/9) winning the first board prize with performance of 2810.
- August: the NH Chess Tournament "Rising Stars vs. Experienced" was played with Scheveningen format which is a double round team match of five "Rising Stars" against five "Experienced" players. Caruana played against Evgeny Bareev, Viktor Korchnoi, Artur Jussupow, Simen Agdestein, and Ljubomir Ljubojević. He scored +3 (6½/10) with performance of 2706.
- October-November: Caruana played at Eighth Cap d'Agde Rapid Chess Tournament, held in Cap d'Agde, 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. The time control was 25 minutes with a 10-second increment. In his group, Caruana placed first with a score of +4 (5½/7) winning against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Xiangzhi Bu, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Marie Sebag, and drawing against Vassily Ivanchuk, Ivan Cheparinov, and Kateryna Lahno. Caruana's performance was 2866 and he had qualified to enter the quarter-finals. His quarter-final match, which was against Anatoly Karpov, was closely fought. Karpov won the first game, and Caruana won the second. Then tie-break games with time control of 15 minutes were played. The first four games were all drawn. The fifth game Karpov won, and Caruana was knocked out.
- November: Caruana played at 38th Olympiad, his first Olympiad. On the first board for Italy he played against Levon Aronian in the first round, Viktor Korchnoi in the fourth round, Michael Adams in the fifth round, Emanuel Berg in the seventh round, and Peter Leko in the eighth round. He lost to Aronian and Leko, and won against Adams, Korchnoi, and Berg. His final score was 7½/11 with performance of 2696.
- November-December: Caruana successfully defended his title winning the Italian Championship for the second consecutive year with a score of +5 (8/11).
- February: Having won Corus C 2008, Caruana received and accepted invitation to Corus B 2009 which was of category 16 with average Elo of 2641. Throughout the tournament his standings ranged from first to third place. Going into the last round he was tied for second and his opponent was Nigel Short who was in clear first. The game lasted 67 moves. Caruana won the game and the tournament with a score of +4 (8½/13) and performance of 2751. Caruana is the first player ever to win both Corus C and Corus B in consecutive years placing clear first in both.
- April: Caruana played in the Russian Team Championship at Sochi with the "Club 64" of Moscow, scoring 5 points out of 6; his team placed second after Tomsk.
- May: Caruana played with the Italian team in the "Mitropa Cup" at Rogaska Slatina in Slovenia, scoring 6 points out of 8 and winning the individual gold medal on first board.
- November: Caruana played in the Chess World Cup 2009 at Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia. In the first two rounds he beat the Cuban grandmasters Lázaro Bruzón and Leinier Dominguez (Elo 2719), in the third the Russian Evgeny Alekseev (Elo 2715); in round four he lost, only in the rapid games, to Vugar Gashimov (Elo 2759 and seventh in the world). This performance allowed him to reach 2675 points Elo.
- July: Caruana won the Young Grandmaster Section of Biel 2010 after a playoff with the others two leaders Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son.
- December: Caruana won the Italian Championship for the third time with a score of 9 points out of 11 games.
- December 2010 - January 2011: Caruana played in the 53rd Reggio Emilia Tournament. He placed 6th out of 10 and tied 7 out of his 9 games (only winning, again, against Nigel Short).
- January: at the Gibraltar Masters, he finished on place 5 behind Ivanchuk, Short, Külaots and Roiz.
- July: Caruana won with 7 points out of 10 at the AAI tournament in New Delhi (category 17).
- December: Caruana won the Italian National Championship for the fourth time with a score of 10 points out of 11 games. He had previously won the 2007 and 2008 national championships, and did not play the 2009 national championship due to a calendar conflict with the FIDE World Cup.
Caruana in 2012
- January: at the 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament A in Wijk aan Zee (previously known as Corus Chess) he finished on place 2 together with Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov behind the winner Levon Aronian.
- March: at the Reykjavik Open 2012 in Reykjavik, Iceland he finished 1st with 7½/9.
- June: at the 7th Tal Memorial he finished second with a score of 5½/9 after tiebreak with Teimour Radjabov behind Magnus Carlsen.
- July: at the 40th Dortmund he won with a score of 6/9 after tiebreak with Sergey Karjakin.
- September-October: at the Grand Slam Chess Final in São Paulo and Bilbao, Caruana won 4 games, drew 5 and lost 1, tying for 1st with Magnus Carlsen, but eventually losing both blitz tiebreak games and thus ending 2nd.
- November: at the Bucharest Kings, organized in Bucharest by the Romanian capital chess club, Caruana ties all the games to get 3rd in a short-list, yet strong tournament (average ELO 2746.5) behind Vassily Ivanchuk, winner, and Veselin Topalov, runner up.
- February-March: Caruana won with 4 points out of 6 games the "Zurich Chess Challenge".
- April: at the third stage of the "FIDE Grand Prix Series 2012-2013" held in Zug, Switzerland, with 6 points out of 11 games Caruana shared third place with Ruslan Ponomariov behind the winner Veselin Topalov and the runner-up Nakamura.
- May-June: at the fourth stage of the "FIDE Grand Prix Series 2012-2013" held in Thessaloniki, Greece, Caruana shared second place with Gata Kamsky behind the winner Leinier Dominguez Perez
- June: at Eighth International Tal Memorial Chess Tournament held in Moscow, Caruana with 5 points out 9 games finished third place after tiebrake with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Dmitry Andreikin, behind the winner Boris Gelfand and the runner-up Magnus Carlsen.
- September-October: Caruana shared first place with Boris Gelfand with 5 points out 9 games at "Sixth FIDE Grand Prix" Paris. In the final game vs Dominguez Perez, Caruana had to win with the black pieces to hope to win the tournament solo and qualify for the Candidate's Tournament, but he repeated moves early in the opening finishing with a fast draw.
- October: Caruana won the "7th edition of Kings Tournament" Bucharest Romania, with 5 points out of 8 games.
- January: at 2014 Tata Steel Chess Tournament held in Wijk aan Zee Netherlands, Caruana finished fourth with 6 points out 11 games behind the winner Levon Aronian.
- January-February: at 2014 Zurich Chess Challenge, in Zurich Switzerland, Caruana won the Rapid Section with 4 point out of 5 games and shared second place with Levon Aronian in Combined Final Results (Classical & Rapid TC), behind the winner Magnus Carlsen.
- April: at Shamkir Chess 2014, a 6 players double round-robin tournament held in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, in memory of Vugar Gashimov, Caruana finished second with 5½ points out of 10 games behind the winner Magnus Carlsen.
- June: At Norway Chess 2014, a 10 players tournament, Caruana finished fourth with 4½ points out of 9 games behind the winner Sergey Karjakin.
- June: At FIDE World Rapid Championships held in Dubai, Caruana finished second with 10½ points out of 15 games after tiebreaks with Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian and Alexander Morozevich, half point behind the winner Magnus Carlsen. With this result Caruana in July topped the FIDE Rapid Ranking with 2858 points. In FIDE World Blitz Championships Caruana finished in the middle of the group, confirming some difficulties with short time control.
- July: Caruana won with 5½ points out of 7 games the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, held in Dortmund Germany, breaking for the first time the 2800 ELO points bar.
- August: Caruana played as 1st board for Italy at 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromsø Norway finishing with 6½ points out of 9 games.
- August - September: Caruana won with 8½ points out of 10 games the 2014 Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, Missouri, one of the strongest tournaments ever held, featuring six of the world's top ten players, including the world champion Magnus Carlsen. With 7 consecutive wins from the start, 3 draws and 0 losses, Caruana achieved a 3080 plus performance rating, possibly the best tournament result in history, beating out Magnus Carlsen in the 2009 Nanjing Pearl Spring tournament and Anatoly Karpov in the 1994 Linares chess tournament.
- October: Caruana won along with Boris Gelfand the FIDE Grand Prix Baku Tournament 2014, a 12 players round-robin, with 6½ points out of 11 games. The loss at round 7 against Dmitry Andreikin ended a streak of 22 points out of 27 games and no losses started in August.
- October - November: Caruana at FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent Tournament 2014, a 12 players round-robin, shared the fourth place with 6 points out of 11 games.
- December: Caruana at 6th London Chess Classic, a 6 players round-robin, shared the last place with 4 draws and 1 loss in 5 games.
- January: at 2015 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, a 14 players round-robin, Caruana finished seventh, with 7 points out 13 games, behind the winner Magnus Carlsen.
- February: at 2015 Grenke Chess Classic in Baden-Baden, a 8 players round-robin, Caruana shared third and fourth positions, with 4 points out 7 games, behind the winner Magnus Carlsen.
- February: at 2015 Zurich Chess Challenge, a 6 players tournament, Caruana shared second place in Blitz Section with 3½ points out 5 games, shared the last place with 2 points out of 5 games in Classical Section, finished last with 1½ points out 5 games in Rapid Section and finished fifth in Combined Final Results (Classical & Rapid TC) behind the winner Hikaru Nakamura.
- April: at Shamkir Chess 2015, a 10 players tournament, Caruana finished fourth with 5 points out of 9 games behind the winner Magnus Carlsen.
- May: Caruana won along with Hikaru Nakamura and Dmitry Jakovenko the FIDE Grand Prix Khanty-Mansiysk 2015, a 12 players round-robin, with 6½ points out of 11 games. With this result Caruana won the FIDE Grand Prix 2014-15 and qualified for the 2016 Candidates Tournament.
- June: at Norway Chess 2015, a 10 players tournament, Caruana finished fifth with 4 points out of 9 games behind the winner Veselin Topalov.
- June-July: Caruana won the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, an 8 player single-round robin tournament, with 5½ points out of 7 possible points, ending the tournament with a 5-game win-streak.
- August-September: Caruana finished 8th at the 2015 Sinquefield Cup with 3½ out of 9 possible points.
- September: at the Chess World Cup 2015, a 128-player single-elimination tournament, Caruana was eliminated in the fourth round by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
- December: Caruana competed in the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour, the London Chess Classic. He achieved 9 draws out of 9 games, (+0-0=9).
As a youth, Caruana had an aggressive style of play. In his own words, "I preferred to attack all the time and really loved sacrificing pieces to get at the enemy king. I played like that for quite a long time, but when I moved up it turned out that you can far from always win with a direct attack... I had to become universal, to learn to manoeuvre and defend and so on". Caruana's playing style is now universal, based on excellent opening preparation and good calculation: "I wouldn't assess it in such categories [tactical or strategic]. It seems to me I'm a good fighter. I enjoy playing different types of position, both tactical and strategic. I can't say there's anything I avoid. I can attack on a board full of pieces or manoeuvre in a roughly even position, and I've got nothing against the endgame". Caruana is known as a hard working player, once saying: "Hundreds of games are played each day all around the world, and a lot of them are important. They're all available online, but you have to put in the time to look at them all. And you need to analyze, find new trends, keep trying to find new ideas to use against specific opponents". Talking about Magnus Carlsen's play, Caruana hinted at his deep knowledge of opponent's strengths and weaknesses: "In some positions you can't compete with him. Certain pawn structures he just plays like a machine. There are certain openings where I say, ‘I just can't do that.’ But OK, certain positions he's not as comfortable with. Just like any player, he can also play unconfidently".
Federations and national championships
National Chess Federation membership
- Caruana is a "Benefactor" Life Member of the United States Chess Federation (USCF), and has been a member of the federation since the age of 5 in 1998.
National Chess Federation ranking
- United States Chess Federation: second highest ranked player
World Chess Federation (FIDE) affiliation
Caruana possesses dual citizenship of both Italy and the United States, so he has the option of FIDE affiliation with either the Italian Chess Federation or the United States Chess Federation.
Caruana played for Italy from 2005 to 2015. On May 12, 2015 the USCF announced that he would be changing federations, to play for the USA.
Head-to-head record versus selected grandmasters
(Rapid, blitz and blindfold games not included; listed as +wins −losses =draws as of October 31st, 2015.)
Players who have been undisputed World Champions in boldface
- Fabiano Caruana - Emanuel Berg, Dresden Olympiads 2008, French Defence C08
- Fabiano Caruana - Francisco Vallejo-Pons, Pamplona 2008, Sicilian Najdorf B90
- Artur Yusupov - Fabiano Caruana, NH Chess tournament 2008, Slav Defence D10
- Michael Adams - Fabiano Caruana, Dresden Olympiads 2008, French Defence C03
- Sergey Karjakin - Fabiano Caruana, São Paulo / Bilbao Grand Slam Final 2012, Ruy Lopez C78
- Fabiano Caruana - Levon Aronian, St. Louis, Missouri / Sinquefield Cup 2014, Ruy Lopez C78