An American finally has a shot at winning the World Chess Championship for the first time since Bobby Fischer in 1972

Nov 09, 2018 248

BY: Matthew DeBord

It's been a long, long, long, long wait. Very, very, very long. But for the first time since American Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky of the USSR in 1972, an American is competing for the World Chess Championship. Miami-born, Brooklyn-raised Fabiano Caruana won the Candidates Tournament earlier this year and will take on three-time world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in London. The match commences on Friday, and as was the case for the 2016 WCC — won by Carlsen over Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin in New York — it will run for 12 rounds, with tie-breaks in the event of an equal result after the classical games. (Carlsen will begin with the white pieces in Games 1.) 

Champion and challenger are the world Nos. 1 and 2 players, by the FIDE rating system: Carlsen stands at 2835; Caruana at 2832. They're nearly the same age. But Carlsen, at 27, has ruled the chess world for years. Caruana, 26, has long been considered a likely WCC contender, but despite some spectacular results, his road to London has been uneven. (He also used to be officially affiliated with Italy, and he holds dual US-Italian citizenship.)

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