“I look forward to going back to St. Louis to prepare for the dethroning of Magnus,” said Italian American chess star Fabiano Caruana with characteristic bravado.
“Magnus” is reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen with whom Caruana has locked horns on a number of occasions. Magnus has gotten the best of the encounters, though the Italian American has drawn enough blood on occasion to fan real hopes of a title.
Caruana earned the right to a November face-off in London with the Norwegian Carlsen by winning the recent, 18-day “Candidates Tournament” in Berlin.
No United States competitor, since the legendary Bobby Fischer in the 1970’s, has won a world championship. His role as potential heir apparent has thrust Caruana into the international spotlight, but he has been a shooting star of the chess firmament for a while now.
He is, among other things, “first board” with the United States chess Olympiads squad.
One of the most impressive obstacles Caruana was forced to breach in his climb to the top was a match with Vito Marcantonio Forum founding member Adam V. Meyer, at a New York chess tournament in 2002.
“The kid beat me with a Grünfeld Defense that didn’t go my way,” says Meyer matter-of-factly.
Carlsen, known as the “Mozart of Chess,” will be an awesome opponent at the London showdown, but it is doubtful nerves will be an issue for the upstart Italian American.