Boris Zlotnik on Fabiano Caruana

Pulpofeira

"In mid-November of 2004 I received the visit at my apartment on Madrid of a new pupil, Fabiano Caruana, accompanied by his parents Lou and Santina, all of them residents on New York. I had never heard of him before, and it was understandable: at age 12, Karjakin was a GM yet. Carlsen, who conquered that title at age 13, was making a name too. However, Fabiano barely was a 2200, a very modest rating for a prodigy.

The family had just arrived from Greece, where Fabiano had a modest performance in the U12 World Championship. One of the first games he showed me was played there with another participant at the lastest Candidates Tournament".

Annotations by IM Zlotnik

"A deserved win by So, without Elo those days, and besides one year younger...

I must admit that I was surprised that first day by the parents’ answer to my question: which school will the kid attend? – “Our plan is Fabiano becoming a professional of chess and therefore he will be a homeschooler”. Polgar sister’s experience shows that this kind of education has many advantages and it has been proved in Fabiano’s case too. After assuming it, I proposed the following schedule: classes with me twice a week, and some mandatory homework. A tournament per month, if possible, to always have recent material. Daily phisycal training, etc".

Pulpofeira

To be continued!

MSC157

At first I thought YOU received the visit tongue.png

Pulpofeira
MSC157 escribió:

At first I thought YOU received the visit

That's all I needed, what could have I done, putting Spongebob Squarepants on TV?

SeniorPatzer

 "However, Fabiano barely was a 2200, a very modest rating for a prodigy."

 

Yes, but look at where he is today!  Challenging for the World Title in November!!

Pulpofeira

Yes, upcoming posts will cover those aspects.

ChrisWainscott
He was a GM at 14. Not 13.
SeniorPatzer

Post:  "However, Fabiano barely was a 2200, a very modest rating for a prodigy."

 

Chris Wainscott:  "He was a GM at 14. Not 13."

 

Are they feeding Chess Steroids to the chess kids in Europe?!!  In 2 years Fabio goes from 2200 master to titled GM!!

 

What's the secret?  We want da same for American kids too!!

ChrisWainscott
We have some pretty good prodigies here.

My fellow Wisconsin homie Awonder Liang for one!

😊
Pulpofeira

"First tournament for Fabiano in Spain was the Constitution Open in San Sebastián de los Reyes (2004), during December long weekend. His performance was 2180 level. However, it attracted very much my attention the postmortem after last round: Fabiano was approaching the boards and showing to the players (IM’s included) tactical ideas they hadn’t even imagined! After the first classes I realized the kid had a great tactical talent, not correspondent with his low Elo.

Thinking about it, I remembered the initial career of two great champions, Karpov and Kasparov. In Gary’s case, practically no one had doubts about he becoming a world champion. It is symptomatic that, when looking at Gary’s games for the first time (he was 10 years old) at his famous school, Botvinnik for once announced a pause and he didn’t want to see any other game from the pupils. However, I witnessed during the first session at the school, in 1963, what he told us older pupils about Karpov: “unfortunately, Anatoly will never be a good player”. I guess this opinion was based on the physical aspect, too much important for Botvinnik, and of course it’s true that Anatoly’s games, even at age 12, were rather dull. In the other hand, Botvinnik was also influenced by the result of the simul with pupils that year. His game with Karpov is in Megabase, and it’s clear that the great champion surpassed easily his young opponent, although he eventually blundered. Little Anatoly proposed a takeback (through an assistant), but Botvinnik refused. But Anatoly found a way to draw and thus not offending the great patriarch.

Continuing the comparation between the two K’s, we can remember that Kasparov won his first super tournament at age 16, while Karpov achieved the GM title only at age 19.

Those comparisons, and of course my assessment of Fabiano’s potential, allowed me to tell the parents that I didn’t know how far could their son come, but after some years he would reach Karjakin’s level. However, it was clear that it wouldn’t be an easy path (he was living on a foreign country, he had to travel a lot to go to tournaments, etc.), neither short (he was still very immature on practical play and knowledge).

I must say that Fabiano was a very nice pupil: always interested, creative and well-behaved. Apart from the strictly chess related exercises, he enjoyed a lot rare problems like this one":

 

White, from the initial position plays 1. f3, 2. Kf2, 3. Kg3 and 4. Kg4. You must find the four black's moves to checkmate the white king on h4. Caruana, at age 12, solved it in ten minutes.

 

 
 

 

Pulpofeira

"Sometimes Fabiano showed me problems he invented himself. At the end of 2005 he raised his Elo about 200 points, surpassing 2400. That is, he achieved IM level in only a year, although officially he only got the title next year".

SeniorPatzer
ChrisWainscott wrote:
We have some pretty good prodigies here.

My fellow Wisconsin homie Awonder Liang for one!

😊

 

Yep, Awonder Liang is an amazing player.

Pulpofeira

Come on, Fabiano's parents came here for the food.

Firstcomment

peshka.png ya so ok, way to enter a game; that's quite an accomplishment; no sarcasm whatsoever.