In July 2004 at the First Saturday Tournament in Budapest, Fabio Caruana fulfilled the last grandmaster norm – at the age of 14 years, 11 months, and 20 days. He is the youngest American and Italian chess player to ever achieve this milestone.
Fabiano Caruana holds dual-citizenship for the United States and Italy, as he was born in Miami in 1992 as the grandson of Italian immigrants. In 1996, he moved to Brooklyn, New York with his parents, where his talent was soon, at the age of 5, discovered by the popular chess trainer Bruce Pandolfini. The first international success followed in 2002, when Caruana won the U10 Championship at the Pan America-Championship. The following year, he prevailed at the same event in the category U12. In between these two successes, he hit the headlines in the United States after he had beat the grandmaster Aleksander Wojtkiewicz at the Grand Prix Tournament of the Manhattan Marshall Chess Club. Therefore, at an age of 10 years and 117 days, he replaced Hikaru Nakamura as the youngest player to ever beat a chess grandmaster at a tournament that was officially supported by the American Chess Federation. In 2005, he became subject of the German news, as he surprisingly beat grandmaster L’ubomir Ftáčnik at the Klaus Junge Open in Hamburg.
Since 2006, Fabiano Caruana has been playing for Italy. In his first Italian Individual Championship in Cremona (2006) he shared the 1st rank with Michele Godena, with whom he was equal in score, but lost the tie break for the title at 1.5:2.5 points. In December 2007 he then became Italian Individual Champion in Martina Franca at 9.5 points out of 11 duels. Caruana reached the first two grandmaster norms in in March and April 2007, as well as his last norm at First Saturday Tournaments in Budapest. His trainer is the Hungarian grandmaster Alexander Csernyin.
At the Hogeschool Zeeland Open in the Dutch city Vlissingen in August 2007, Fabiano Caruana was equal in score with three players (Sergey Tiviakov, Ralf Appel, and other) but obtained the best direct evaluation. In the last tournament round he achieved a draw agaist the former FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimjanov, who ended up in 6th place.
In January 2008, Caruana won the C-Group of the Corus Tournament in Wijk aan Zee with 10 points out of 13 duels, two points ahead of Parimarjan Negi and Dimitri Reinderman. He also defended his Italian Individual Championship title in December 2008 in Martina Franca (8/11). In January of the following year he again competed in the B-Group of the Corus Tournament that was strongly cast and classified as category 16. Surprisingly, he won with 8.5 points out of 13 duels, as he luckily managed to beat the leading player Nigel Short from Great Britain. In December 2010, he won the Italian Individual Championship, this time in Siena, for the third time with 9 points out of 11 rounds. The following July, he prevailed at the AAI-Tournament in New Delhi (Category 17) with 7 out of 10 points. The Italian Individual Championship in 20qq in Perugia he dominated with 10 points out of 11 duels (+9, =2, -0) – 3.5 points ahead off the runner-up!
In July 2012, Fabiano Caruana won the 40th Dortmunder Chess Days in Germany with 6 points out of 9 rounds (+4, =4, -1) due to a better rating than Sergei Karjakin.
Picture: Przemyslek Jahr
translated by Birthe