Candidates Tournament Contenders: Fabiano Caruana

Qualification: Top two finishers in the FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15

FIDE Rating: 2794

Most Played Opening (W/B): Sicilian, Sicilian

*(Till Tata Steel Chess) Career Stats: Wins- 410, Draws- 468, Loses- 232

Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana is a calculating machine and has always been highly precise during his games. In recent times he seems to have improved his endgame even more. He has proven his credentials when he dominated the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, and if he gets back in similar touch he might clearly emerge as the challenger to Magnus Carlsen’s World Championship.

However, he has not been able to live up to the bar that he set for himself. And he has neither been able to replicate anything similar to his performance back then. His games show signs of brutal accuracy, but he faces trouble when the position does not suit him and as a result comes out with a below-par performance.

How Fabiano Caruana fared since 1st January 2015?

Total games: 135

Wins/Draws/Loses: 37/71/27

His recent records indicate towards a trend of scoring more draws to pick points rather than taking risks to win it. He has a decent track record against his competitors at the Candidates tournament and can surprise the seasoned veterans on a given day.

But draws will not be enough to make him the winner, it may only take him close.

Chances against Magnus Carlsen

Caruana has been the pick of Chess loyalists to face Magnus Carlsen since he dominated the Sinquefield Cup and achieved a rating over 2800. But since then he has been on a rough journey to come back down to earth. He is seen as a threat to Carlsen’s domination. However, the Norwegian has often been able to exploit the American’s adherence to stick to his principles. But, a fact that must be kept in mind is that Fabiano Caruana has overcome Magnus Carlsen more times than any other player since the Norwegian became World Champion.

In a match between the two, if Caruana finds a way to avoid making mistakes that are provoked by Carlsen’s manoeuvres he does stand to be a big threat to the World Champion.

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