American Fabiano Caruana qualifies for world chess title match against Magnus Carlsen

Mar 29, 2018, 12:56 AM |

Chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana will be the first American in decades to play for the world championship title after the winning the candidates tournament outright in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday.

The Miami-born Mr. Caruana, 25, bested seven of the world’s strongest players in a double round-robin tournament to qualify for the right to take on reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway. He defeated Armenia’s Levon Aronian and Russian grandmaster Alexander Grischuk in the final two rounds to pull away from his closest pursuers with a 9-5 score.

The 12-game title match against Mr. Carlsen, who has held the title since 2013, is set to take place in November in London.

No American had held the title since Bobby Fischer relinquished the crown in 1975, three years after his epic triumph over Soviet star Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Russian-born grandmaster Gata Kamsky, who moved to the United States in 1989, lost a title match to Russian star Anatoly Karpov in 1996, at a time when the world chess crown as divided between rival claimants.