Fabiano Caruana

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Fabiano Caruana
Fabiano Caruana 2013(2).jpg
Fabiano Caruana in 2013
Full name Fabiano Luigi Caruana
Country United States, Italy
Born (1992-07-30) July 30, 1992 (age 22)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Title Grandmaster
FIDE rating 2802 (March 2015)
Peak rating 2844 (October 2014)
Ranking No. 2
Peak ranking No. 2 (October 2014)

Fabiano Luigi Caruana (born 30 July 1992) is an American-born Italian chess grandmaster, former chess prodigy and 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 (later his record in the USA was beaten by Samuel Sevian). In October 2014, he achieved an Elo rating of 2844, becoming the third highest rated player in history.

Personal life and chess beginnings[edit]

Fabiano Luigi Caruana was born on July 30, 1992 in Miami, United States, to Lou and Santina Caruana.[1] 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.[2]

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. He trained with International Master (IM) Boris Zlotnik in Madrid,[3] and in 2007 he moved to Budapest to train with grandmaster Alexander Chernin.[2] In 2010 Caruana moved to Lugano, Switzerland, and, at the end of that year, started to train with grandmaster Vladimir Chuchelov.[4]

Chess career[edit]

At age fourteen, Caruana became the youngest grandmaster of both the United States and Italy, surpassing the US record set by Hikaru Nakamura.[5]


  • Grandmaster title – Caruana obtained his final GM norm earning the grandmaster title in July. Due to his young age and having broken the prior record of Hikaru Nakamura as youngest ever American to become a Grandmaster, he received much attention from the chess world.
  • Italian Championship – At the end of the year he 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.[6]


  • Corus C – This was his first experience at Corus 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.[7]
  • Ruy Lopez Festival – Taking place in early 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).
  • Mitropa Cup – In June he 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.[8]
  • Cap d'Agde – The event 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. 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.
  • 38th Olympiad – This was Caruana's first Olympiad. On the first board 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.[9]
  • Italian Championship – Caruana successfully defended his title winning the title for the second consecutive year with a score of +5 (8/11).[10]


  • Corus B – 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.[11]
  • In 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.
  • In May he 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.


  • December – he won the Italian Championship for the third time with a score of 9 points out of 11 games.
  • From 28 December 2010 to 6 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 – he won with 7 points out of 10 at the AAI tournament in New Delhi (category 17).
  • December – he 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
  • March – at Reykjavik Open 2012 in Reykjavik, Iceland he finished 1st with 7½/9.[13]
  • June – at the 7th Tal Memorial he finished second with a score of 5½/9 after tiebreak with Teimour Radjabov behind Magnus Carlsen.[14]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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.[16]


  • February–March: Caruana won with 4 points out of 6 games the "Zurich Chess Challenge".[17]
  • 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.[18]
  • 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 [19]
  • 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.[21]
  • October: Caruana won the "7th edition of Kings Tournament" Bucharest Romania, with 5 points out of 8 games.[22]


  • 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.[23]
  • June: Caruana finished second with 10½ points out of 15 games after tiebreaks with Viswanathan Anand, Levon Aronian and Alexander Morozevich at FIDE World Rapid Championships held in Dubai, half point behind the winner Magnus Carlsen. With this result Caruana in July topped the FIDE Rapid Ranking with 2858 points.[24] In FIDE World Blitz Championships Caruana finished in the middle of the group, confirming some difficulties with short time control.
  • 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.

Playing style[edit]

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't 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".[3] Caruana is known as a hard working player "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 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.".[27] Caruana has recurrent problems in time management and a lower rating in blitz respect to rapid and classical time control. These facts are interpreted by two hypotheses: a lower natural feeling for the position respect some other top players, or an excess of calculation due to lack of confidence.

Federations and national championships[edit]

National Chess Federation memberships[edit]

  • He has been a member of the United States Chess Federation since 1998, and a member of the Italian Chess Federation since 2005.

National Chess Federation rankings[edit]

  • Italian Chess Federation: highest ranked player

National Championships[edit]

  • United States (2013) – Caruana received an invitation from the United States Chess Federation's Executive Board to the 2013 U.S. Championship. However, it was later determined that he could not participate since the U.S. Championship of 2013 was a zonal qualifier tournament to the 2013 World Cup.[31]
  • United States (2014) – Caruana received an invitation to the 2014 U.S. Championship but declined it due to schedule conflicts.[32]

World Chess Federation (FIDE) affiliation[edit]

Caruana, possessing dual citizenship of both the United States and Italy, has the option of FIDE affiliation with either the United States Chess Federation or the Italian Chess Federation. He plays for Italy.

Head-to-head record versus selected grandmasters[edit]

(Rapid, blitz and blindfold games not included; listed as +wins −losses =draws as of February 16th, 2015.)[33]
Players who have been undisputed World Champions in boldface

Notable games[edit]


  1. ^ "Fabulous Fabiano". chessbase.com. 2003-05-19. Retrieved 2013-06-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Who was the future GM? Fabiano Caruana, Italy's top grandmaster!". chessbase.com. 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  3. ^ a b "Fabiano Caruana: "A lot of hard work..."". whychess.com. 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  4. ^ "Interview with GM Chuchelov - Caruana's Coach". chessbase.com. 2014-09-07. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  5. ^ "Fabiano Caruana – youngest US and Italian GM in history". chessbase.com. 2007-07-20. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  6. ^ "Italian Championship 2007 Final Standings". Italian Chess Federation (in Italian). 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  7. ^ "Fabiano convincingly wins Corus C". Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information. 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  8. ^ "27th Chess Mitropa Cup: Olbia 2008". olimpbase.org. 2008-06-03. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  9. ^ "Olympiad Dresden 2008 Open". chess-results.com. 2008-11-29. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  10. ^ "Italian Championship 2008 Final Standings". Italian Chess Federation (in Italian). 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  11. ^ "Standings Grandmaster Group B". Corus Chess. 2009-11-01. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  12. ^ "Standings Grandmaster Group A". Tata Steel Chess Tournament. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  13. ^ "Standings Reykjavik Open 2012", Reykjavik Open 2012, 2012-03-13, retrieved 2012-03-13 
  14. ^ "Exciting finish in the Tal Memorial – Magnus Carlsen lifts the trophy". chessdom.com. 2012-06-18. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  15. ^ "Fabiano Caruana takes the trophy in Dortmund". chessdom.com. 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  16. ^ a b "Bilbao Rd10: Carlsen takes title in blitz tiebreak". ChessBase.com. 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  17. ^ "Zurich R6: Caruana wins by a full point". chessbase.com. 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  18. ^ "Zug GP R11: Topalov wins game, set and event". chessbase.com. 2013-04-30. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  19. ^ "Thessaloniki Final: Caruana stops Kamsky, Dominguez wins the tournament". chessbase.com. 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  20. ^ "Tal Final: Gelfand wins, Carlsen clear second". chessbase.com. 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  21. ^ "Paris Final: Disappointing Finish". chessbase.com. 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  22. ^ "Bucharest Final: Caruana secures victory". chessbase.com. 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  23. ^ "Caruana wins Rapid, Carlsen tops Zurich". chessbase.com. 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  24. ^ "World Rapid: Miraculous Carlsen". 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  25. ^ "Dortmund: Fabiano Caruana is now 2801". chessbase.com. 2014-07-20. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  26. ^ "Caruana's Spectacular Chess Leap". huffingtonpost.com. 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2014-09-10. 
  27. ^ a b "Grandmaster Clash". slate.com. 2014-09-18. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  28. ^ "Gelfand and Caruana share first place in Baku Grand Prix". fide.com. 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2014-10-16. 
  29. ^ "Baku 07: He is human!". fide.com. 2014-10-10. Retrieved 2014-10-16. 
  30. ^ "United States Chess Federation Benefactor Members", United States Chess Federation, 2014-04-30, retrieved 2014-05-02 
  31. ^ "Fabiano Caruana invited to play US Chess Championship", chessdom.com, 2012-12-10, retrieved 2014-05-02 
  32. ^ "Caruana Declines Invitation to the U.S. Championship", Scacchierando (in Italian), 2014-05-01, retrieved 2014-05-02 
  33. ^ "chess games". chessgames.com. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 

External links[edit]

Official links[edit]

News items and interviews[edit]

Preceded by
Hikaru Nakamura
Youngest ever United States grandmaster
Succeeded by
Samuel Sevian