The last American to win the world chess championship was a Brooklyn-bred grandmaster who stunned the world champion and took his title.
The next one may be, too.
Beginning this week, Fabiano Caruana, a 26-year-old grandmaster who has spent the last two decades fighting his way up the ranks to reach No. 2 in the world, is expected to lay serious claim to a title that has not been held by an American since Bobby Fischer won it from Boris Spassky in 1972.
Caruana will challenge the world’s best player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, at the World Chess Championships in London. They will play 12 matches over the course of three weeks beginning Friday.
“I’ve had mediocre years, I’ve had good years,” Caruana said. “This year has been the best by far.”
A lot of people in the world of chess agree, and they are awaiting a Caruana-Carlsen showdown that could affirm a resurgence of American strength in international chess competitions.