TIME

The new white knight of American chess

Caruana, chess’s second-ranked player, will be the first American to compete for the world championship in over four decades

FABIANO CARUANA DID NOT START PLAYING CHESS WHEN he was 5 years old because his mom thought that he’d be a grand master—or that he’d play for the World Chess Championship, just as fellow Brooklynite Bobby Fischer did in the 1970s. No, his mom just thought chess would calm him down.

“I was having trouble with concentration,” says Caruana, 26. “It was more of a remedy.” Within a year, though, he was

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