First American World Champion Since 1972?!
This Friday, November 9, World Champion Magnus Carlsen will take on Fabiano Caruana, the first American challenger since Bobby Fischer in 1972 in the first game of the 2018 World Championship Match in London!
In 2016, I had the opportunity to attend one of the games of the match Magnus played against Challenger Sergey Karjakin in our home turf of New York City. I even had the honor of getting on Norweigian television as I stood by Magnus’ manager Espen Agdestein during the press conference!:
One day in 2000, my former teach Alan Kantor took me to the tournament, warning me that as a 1000-rated player, I would likely lose all of my games. After losing eight or nine straight games, I saw an eight-year old kid and thought to my self “Wow- I could finally win a game in this tournament”. I started playing against him and he blundered a queen. Sure enough I ended up blundering one back and went on to lose the game. I asked him what his name and rating was; he shockingly told me he was “Fabiano Caruana” and had a rating of 1833. At the time, I heard of his name but didn’t know what he looked like.
Since that day, I had the pleasure of watching Fabiano grow up a chess player in New York. Gary Ryan, the co-organizer of our 1st Annual Grace Church School and Brooklyn Friends School Grand Prix, was one his first teachers.
One day many up and coming juniors, including GM Robert Hess, GM Marc Arnold, Fabiano and I were running around, letting off some steam between rounds at a Marshall Chess Club tournament. Fabiano’s father Lou told him he couldn’t hang out with us and had to prepare for the next game.
A year or two later, Fabiano was already a strong master and moved to Europe to take chess on as a full-time career. I do have the honor of being able to say I drew him in one action game at one of his last few tournaments at the Marshall before he moving to Europe when he was already a master: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200410164710-12743305.
In 2006, I saw Fabiano at the Eastern Open when his dad Lou expressed how that was one of the few tournaments he would play at the U.S at the time as it was mostly 1 game per day.
In 2015, Fabiano returned to the United States, living in St. Louis and has been the top player in the country.
To date, Fabiano has played Magnus in 33 classical games. These were the results:
-10 Magnus wins
-5 Fabiano wins
The match, which will last from 11/9 to 11/28, will be directed by Stephane Escate from France.
Time Magazine, NY Times and The Guardian have already covered articles about match; let’s see how much the major publications cover the match as it begins.
While you can follow the mainstream media, you can also keep up with the match via these four platforms: