Be careful of Caruana
By Malcolm Pein
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 27/12/2007

In 2003 I played at the US Amateur Team East at Parsippany in New Jersey, a fun tournament where apart from the chess, which is not taken totally seriously, there is also a competition for the team with the wittiest name. The winner of that contest eludes me now but it was a clever and deprecatory pun on Trent Lott, a Republican Senator who had just achieved notoriety for a racist comment.

I played on board one for the United States Chess Federation to whom I was a visiting consultant on commercial matters. The rest of the team was composed of USCF staff so we were able to maintain comfortable mid-table obscurity throughout which meant that I was largely untroubled on top board. Until that is I came up against a ten year old boy.

I was warned before the game by some former Russian GMs to be careful. The youngster got the opening all wrong playing white but then defended like a demon and I had to acquiesce in a draw. I made a note of his name, Fabiano Caruana. Originally from Miami he had moved to New York where the chess scene was better. Subsequently his parents decided to move to Europe so he could play more tournaments.

Caruana quickly became a Grandmaster at the First Saturday events in Budapest and trained with GM Alexander Chernin. Now at age 15 he is in Italy as he holds joint US and Italian citizenship. He is already comfortably Italy’s best player, a point he proved by winning the Italian championship by a whopping three point margin.

Here is the full story.

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