Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Meet GM Fabiano Caruana - The Best Player in the USA

If you are a serious chess player, you know who he is. If you are a casual chess player, you said....who?

Such is the life of a chess superstar who played for the World Chess Championship in 2018 and lost only in a rapid chess tie-break against the greatest player ever to have played - Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

No, his name does not roll off an American tongue like "Bobby Fischer", but Fabiano's performance against Carlsen proves that he plays better than Fischer (see the computer analysis of chess strength in the Paul Morphy post on Aug. 20, 2020). And like Fischer, Fabiano was born in the USA. Miami, Florida to be exact in 1994.

His chess rise was nothing short of meteoric! After his family moved to New York in 1996, little "Fabi" found the chess environment and training he needed.

2002 - He wins the Pan-American U/10 Championship

2004 - His family moves to Madrid, Spain and he turns professional at age 11!

2005 - Changes his chess Federation to Italy

2007 - Moves to Budapest, Hungary to train with GM Alexander Chernin. Becomes a Grandmaster at age 14

2007 - 2011 - Italian Champion

2012 - Moves back to Madrid. Wins the major chess tournaments; Reykjavik, Dortmund, and second at Wijk aan Zee and Sao Paulo/Bilbao

2013 - Wins Bucharest and the Paris Gran Prix

2014 - Wins Sinquefield Cup, Dortmund, Baku Gran Prix, and becomes the world's #2 player.

2015 - Moves to St. Louis, Missouri. Wins Dortmund, Khanty Mansiysk Gran Prix, and re-joins the United States Chess Federation!

2016 - Wins US Championship, leads the USA Team to a gold medal at the Chess Olympiad in Baku. Second at Wijk ann Zee and Moscow

2017 - Wins the London Classic

2018 - Wins the Berlin Candidates Tournament to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World Championship. Won the Grenke Championship and Norway Championship, Sinquefield Cup, 2nd in the US Championship behind Sam Shankland. Then lost the World Championship match 12 - 12 regular games but lost 3 - 0 in rapid speed chess in a tie-break format.

2019 - Competed in Gran Prix events finishing 7th.

2020 - Won the Tata Steel Masters Championship. Qualified for the Candidates Tournament again.

The USA has one of the strongest chess teams in the world and very few in the country are aware of it.

Fabiano Caruana is the 1st board!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Chess Decisions - The Logical Way

LCCC is still active on line. Please check the status on the right side of the blog. Hope to see you on both on line sites - Chess dot com and Lichess!

Chess axioms are helpful, but never 100% correct. But remember-able expressions like "a knight on the rim is grim" and "passed pawns must be pushed" do lend us some true helpful hints generally.

Well, here are some more:

  • Same colored bishops for both sides: Only the bishops should focus on their colored squares. All other pieces should play opposite colors. For example; if both sides have dark colored bishops, we should put all the other pieces on white squares.
  • Two bishops versus bishop and knight: The side with the two bishops should play on the colors where the opponent does not have a bishop. The side with the bishop and knight should play on the color of the bishop.
  • Opposite colored bishops: Both sides should play on the colors of their bishops.
  • One bishop versus one knight: The side with the knight should play on the opposite color of the opponent's bishop. The side with the bishop should utilize his other pieces on the opposite color of the bishop.
  • Both sides have both bishops: When the central pawns are fixed on a particular color, we should play on the opposite color of our opponent's centralized pawns, and try to exchange the opponent's bishop of that same color. For example; if the opponent's center pawns were fixed on the light squares, then we should exchange the dark colored bishops and fight for the dark colors with other pieces.
I hope this helps!