Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Caruana looks to rise beyond prodigy tag

Fabiano Caruana is 18-year-old but few of his daily activities sound like that of one. He has been away from school for almost seven years now, his disciplined lifestyle doesn’t even have any place for Facebook. And being the 28th ranked player in the world, the best for any U-20 player all over the world, he has been earning money for quite some years, a thing that he feels compensates for the ‘normal’ teenage life that he misses out on. Fabiano wakes up each morning to regular chores, six-seven hours of chess and does some gym at the night. Any outdoor activities are occasional and no regular school means no great friends, only some, time-zones away in the United States. For his parents who have retired from work, it’s all about Caruana’s chess and the family has often changed residences to be closer to world class coaches in Europe. From Florida they shifted to Hungary, Madrid and have now settled in Lugano which is on the Swiss border ‘to enjoy the best of both Switzerland and Italy’. Indeed though he has traveled around the world this is the first time he is in India, to play at the closed AAI Grandmasters tournament begining Wednesday in Delhi.

Since he is the highest rated player at the six-player double round robin format AAI Grandmasters tournament, with a FIDE rating of 2740, Caruana has a lot at stake. He has to win at least six points from a maximum of ten available to defend his rating points and hope for an increase. But he has faced such pressure situations before in his 12-year long career and is ready for the challenge. “I think its a tough event for everybody, they are all good, strong competitive players. The last time I played a closed event was in December so I’m excited to play here,” Caruana says.

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