Speed Chess Preview: Duda vs. Caruana

Speed Chess Preview: Duda vs. Caruana

| 75 | Chess Event Coverage

The next match in the 2020 Speed Chess Championship Main Event will take place on Sunday between GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda (@Polish_fighter3000) and GM Fabiano Caruana (@FabianoCaruana). The action starts on Sunday, November 15, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe.

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The games of the Speed Chess Championship Main Event will be played on the live server. They will also be available on our platform for watching live at and on our apps under "Watch." Expert commentary can be enjoyed at

The match will see the world number-two in classical chess facing the world number-19 from Poland, who happens to be the player who ended GM Magnus Carlsen's 125-game streak last month. In FIDE over-the-board blitz, however, the situation is the opposite: Duda is the world number-six, while Caruana is only in 38th place.

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Duda was born April 26, 1998 in the beautiful city of Krakow, Poland. He started playing chess at the age of five when his mother enrolled him in a chess club in Wieliczka, where they lived.

In 2008, Duda won the World Youth U10 Championship, and four years later he took first at the European Youth U14 Championship. He became a grandmaster in 2013 at the age of 15 years and 21 days.

His strength in faster time controls became clear in 2014 when he won the European Rapid Championship and took silver in the European Blitz Championship.

In September 2015, Duda came in second on tiebreak at the World Junior Championship. Two years later, when he was 19 years old, Duda broke the 2700-rating threshold. In early 2018, Duda won the Polish Championship and overtook GM Radosław Wojtaszek as the new Polish number-one. 

At the 2018 Olympiad, Duda had a fantastic performance as he beat Vassily Ivanchuk and drew against GMs Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sergey Karjakin, and also Caruana. At the end of the year, Duda came in second at the World Blitz Championship, scoring half a point less than the winner, Carlsen.

Another good result in classical chess came one year ago, in November 2019, when Duda reached the final of the Hamburg FIDE Grand Prix where he lost to GM Alexander Grischuk.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda Speed Chess

Caruana was born July 30, 1992 in Miami and lived in New York from age 4 to 12. In 2004, he relocated with his family to Europe, and he played for Italy from 2005 to 2015.

In 2007, Caruana became a grandmaster at the age of 14 years, 11 months, and 20 days. He was the youngest GM in history at the time.

Caruana is a four-time Italian champion (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011) and was U.S. Champion in 2016. He is also a three-time winner of the Dortmund super-tournament (2012, 2014, 2015).

Caruana famously won the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, starting with seven wins and recording a historic 3103 performance rating. Caruana's peak live rating of 2851 makes him the third-highest rated player in history behind Carlsen and Kasparov.

In 2018, his most successful year so far, Caruana not only won the FIDE Candidates tournament but also the Grenke Chess Classic, Norway Chess, and Sinquefield Cup. In November of the same year, Caruana drew all 12 games in the world championship match with Carlsen but lost in the playoff.

In January 2020, Caruana won the Wijk aan Zee tournament. He is the world number-two in classical chess and currently the only other player besides Carlsen with a rating over 2800.

Fabiano Caruana 2020 speed chess

Remarkably, the players have never played before online. In classical games, Caruana leads three to zero with two draws, and in over-the-board rapid/blitz Caruana leads two to one.

"The shorter the time control is, the bigger are my chances," said Duda. "Obviously, Fabiano is extremely strong, but I think I have a pretty good chance to beat him in the match. Time will tell. By now, I'm the bookmaker's favorite, but of course, it looks like anybody's match."

Asked about his opponent's biggest strength, he said: "I seriously consider that his opening knowledge might give me some headaches."

As far as the three time controls are concerned, Duda expects the 1+1 to be the most important: "First, it's the last segment, and the final score is decided. Furthermore, I'm looking for my chances there, as I quite like the time control, and I think I'm more experienced in it."

The match between Duda and Caruana is the seventh in the championship. Earlier, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (@Lyonbeast), GM Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen), Vladimir Fedoseev (@Bigfish1995), Wesley So (@GMWSO), Levon Aronian (@LevonAronian), and Hikaru Nakamura (@Hikaru) qualified for the quarterfinals.

Here's the remaining schedule for the round of 16:

  • November 15, 2020 at 9 a.m. / 18:00 Central Europe: Caruana-Duda
  • November 16, 2020 at 9 a.m. / 18:00 Central Europe: Giri-Artemiev

2020 speed chess bracket
The 2020 Speed Chess Championship Main Event is a knockout tournament among 16 of the best grandmasters in the world who will play for a $100,000 prize fund, double the amount of last year. The tournament will run November 1-December 13, 2020 on Each individual match will feature 90 minutes of 5+1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3+1 blitz, and 30 minutes of 1+1 bullet chess.

Find all information about the Speed Chess Championship here.

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