First American since Fischer to play for title of chess champion

The search for a Bobby Fischer may be over.

Fabiano Caruana, the Miami-born 25-year-old, will become the first American to play for the undisputed world chess title since the 1970s.

Caruana won the right to challenge current champion, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, by defeating his opponents in a marathon 18-day competition in Berlin.

The match against Carlsen, a one-time prodigy who has been champion since 2013, is pegged for November in London.

Caruana spent part of his youth in New York and played his first chess tournament at the Susan Polgar Chess Center in Queens, though his career has led him to Europe and now to St. Louis, a center for American chess.

His website says that at 14 he became the youngest American Grandmaster ever, breaking a record once held by Fischer.

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Chess champion Fabiano Caruana through the years
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Chess champion Fabiano Caruana through the years
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 10: (L-R) Fabiano Caruana is seen playing the first round at the First Move Ceremony during the World Chess Tournament on March 10, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for World Chess)
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 10: (L-R) Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So are seen playing the first round at the First Move Ceremony during the World Chess Tournament on March 10, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for World Chess)
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 10: (L-R) Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So are seen playing the first round at the First Move Ceremony during the World Chess Tournament on March 10, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for World Chess)
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 09: Fabiano Caruana attends the opening ceremony during the World Chess Tournament opening ceremony on March 9, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for World Chess)
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 09: (L-R) Wesley So, Ding Liren, Lewon Aronjan, Fabiano Caruana, Vladimir Kramnik, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sergei Karjakin and Alexander Grischuk are seen on stage at the opening ceremony during the World Chess Tournament opening ceremony on March 9, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for World Chess)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 09: Chess player Fabiano Caruana completes in the London Chess Classic in London, United Kingdom on December 9, 2016. The Grand Chess Tour offers �450,000 in prize money and has staged tournaments in Paris, Leuven and St Louis. (Photo by Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Grandmaster chess player Garry Kasparov makes a move, late in a match against grandmaster Fabiano Caruana during the final day of the Grand Chess Tour at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in St. Louis on August 18, 2017. Kasparov and other chess grandmaters are in St. Louis to compete in the Grand Chess Tour. Kasparov was World Champion for decades. / AFP PHOTO / BILL GREENBLATT (Photo credit should read BILL GREENBLATT/AFP/Getty Images)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 22: General atmosphere at the US Chess Champion And Team Leader Fabiano Caruana Visits The Liberty Science Center at Liberty Science Center on September 22, 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 22: Fabiano Caruana, U.S. Chess Champion and Liberty Science Ceter's visiting Chess MAster and Magnus Carlsen, Current World Chess Champion visit The Liberty Science Center on September 22, 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 22: Fabiano Caruana, U.S. Chess Champion and Liberty Science Center's visiting Chess Master visits The Liberty Science Center on September 22, 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 22: Fabiano Caruana, U.S. Chess Champion and Liberty Science Center's visiting Chess Master and Paul Hoffman, President and CEO Liberty Science Center visit The Liberty Science Center on September 22, 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
US chess champion and second highest ranking chess player in the world Fabiano Luigi Caruana poses in Paris on June 8, 2016. The first leg of the 2016 Grand Chess Tour is set to take place from June 9 to 12 at La Maison de la Chimie in Paris. / AFP / JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
US chess champion and second highest ranking chess player in the world Fabiano Luigi Caruana poses with his favourite chess piece (a knight) on June 8, 2016 in Paris. The first leg of the 2016 Grand Chess Tour is set to take place from June 9 to 12 at La Maison de la Chimie in Paris. / AFP / JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - MAY 20: US National Chess Champion, Fabiano Caruana, (L), plays NFL Raven and mathematician, John Urschel, challenge eachother in a game of chess onstage at the Liberty Science Center's Genius Gala 5.0 on May 20, 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Liberty Science Center)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - MAY 20: NFL Raven and mathematician, John Urschel (L) and US National Chess Champion, Fabiano Caruana, attend the Liberty Science Center's Genius Gala 5.0 on May 20, 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Liberty Science Center)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - MAY 20: US National Chess Champion, Fabiano Caruana attends the Liberty Science Center's Genius Gala 5.0 on May 20, 2016 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Liberty Science Center)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 29: Grand-master Fabiano Caruana of USA attends the World Chess closing ceremony at at the DI Telegraph on March 29, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images for World Chess)
US chess player Fabiano Caruana gestures during his match against Poland's Roman Tomaszewski in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament Masters last round in IJmuiden, the Netherlands, on January 31, 2016. / AFP / ANP / Koen Suyk / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read KOEN SUYK/AFP/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 29: (L-R) Grand-masters Viswanathan Anand, Peter Svidler, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Veselin Topalov, Fabiano Caruana , World Chess Federation (FIDE) president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, russian grand-master and winner Sergei Karjakin, Presidential Aide Igor Levitin and Andrey Filatov attend the World Chess closing ceremony at at the DI Telegraph on March 29, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images for World Chess)
Italo-american Fabiano Caruana, Italian chess champion in office, poses in front of a chessboard sitting in a stylish hall at the Centro Congressi of the Industrial Union, in the occasion of a synchronized chess play he will compete for with the players of the Turinese Chess Club, some representatives of the knowledge environment and the Italian champion Marina Brunello; Caruana became a Grandmaster (GM) at the age of fourteen, and is one of the 100 best chess players all over the world at the moment. Turin (Italy), November 29th, 2008. (Photo by Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italo-american Fabiano Caruana, Italian chess champion in office, poses in front of two chessboards in a stylish hall at the Centro Congressi of the Industrial Union, in the occasion of a synchronized chess play he will compete for with the players of the Turinese Chess Club, some representatives of the knowledge environment and the Italian champion Marina Brunello; Caruana became a Grandmaster (GM) at the age of fourteen, and is one of the 100 best chess players all over the world at the moment. Turin (Italy), November 29th, 2008. (Photo by Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italo-american Fabiano Caruana, Italian chess champion in office, and Italian chess champion Marina Brunello pose sitting in a stylish hall at the Centro Congressi of the Industrial Union, 2008, in the occasion of a synchronized chess play Fabiano Caruana will play with the players of the Turinese Chess Club and representatives of the knowledge environment; with them, three promoters of the event; Caruana became a Grandmaster (GM) at the age of fourteen, and is one of the 100 best chess players all over the world at the moment. Turin (Italy), November 29th, 2008. (Photo by Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italo-american Fabiano Caruana, Italian chess champion in office, thinking about making his move during a synchronized piece play he is playing with the players of the Turinese Chess Club and representatives of the knowledge environment and the Italian champion Marina Brunello at the Centro Congressi of the Industrial Union; Caruana became a Grandmaster (GM) at the age of fourteen, and is one of the 100 best chess players all over the world at the moment. Turin (Italy), November 29th, 2008. (Photo by Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Italo-american Fabiano Caruana, Italian chess champion in office, makes his move during a synchronized piece play he is playing with the players of the Turinese Chess Club and representatives of the knowledge environment and the Italian champion Marina Brunello at the Centro Congressi of the Industrial Union; Caruana became a Grandmaster (GM) at the age of fourteen, and is one of the 100 best chess players all over the world at the moment. Turin (Italy), November 29th, 2008. (Photo by Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
Heap of chessboards at the Centro Congressi of the Industrial Union, on November 29, 2008, in the occasion of a synchronized chess play the champion and Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana is playing with the players of the Turinese Chess Club and representatives of the knowledge environment. Turin (Italy), November 29th, 2008. (Photo by Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Ten-year-old chess prodigy Fabiano Caruana makes his move on one of 15 opponents he took on simultaneously in Bryant Park. Caruana, playing to promote Chess for Kids on Planet Earth, proved he was chairman of the board, winning all matches. (Photo by Keith Torrie/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 21: Ten-year-old chess prodigy Fabiano Caruana (right) offers a smile after finishing off a stunned-looking opponent, the last of 15 he took on simultaneously in Bryant Park. Caruana, playing to promote Chess for Kids on Planet Earth, proved he was chairman of the board, winning all matches. (Photo by Keith Torrie/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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This month’s win saw him beat his opponents by a full point in a competition where wins are worth one point and draws worth half a point.

Caruana was praised by other chess luminaries after his victory, with Carlsen wishing him luck this autumn and former champion Gary Kasparov saying that he was the “most stable ship in a stormy sea.”

Fellow American grandmaster Robert Hess posted on Twitter that he had grown up playing against the potential next champion, and that he soared to prominence after he “sacrificed everything to pursue chess professionally” as a teenager.

Carlsen, who took position from Indian player Viswanathan Anand, successfully defended his title in 2014 and 2016.

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