Many moons ago on May 30th, 1998, a young 5 year old boy walked into my Chess Club in Queens, New York, with his father for his first ever rated tournament. He lost his 1st rated game and scored only 1/4. His 1st rating was 473.
One of the players he lost to was Elina Kats, a young girl whom I taught how the pieces move. She was raised by her Mom, and her grandfather helped me opened my first ever Chess Center. She later on became the 1st girl to win the NY State High School Championship (ahead of all the boys). Elina is now a law student at Harvard.
Back to this young boy. He did not get discouraged. He went home determined to get better, and he did.
About two months later, he came back with his father for his 2nd ever rated tournament. This time, he doubled his score to 2 points out of 4, while gaining 107 points, raising it to 580. One of his 2 losses this time was also against Elina Kats.
Again about two months later, he came back again. Although he still only scored 2 out 4, his rating jumped again to a whopping 631. Incidentally, the player who won this event, another young boy who was slightly older, scored 4 out of 4. His name is Lev Milman, who later became a GM.
Fabiano’s last event at my Chess Center before he moved to Europe a short time later.
This young boy’s name is Fabiano Caruana, who turned 21 today. He recently broke the 2800 mark. He still works very hard on his chess, and trying to improve every day. I am very fond of him and his family.
Happy Birthday Fabiano! I wish you all the best and I hope you will one day fulfill all your chess dreams!
Fabiano at the Istanbul Chess Olympiad 2012
It was a great decision for him to switch to Italian Federation. The USCF would have destroyed his career.