Caruana was born in Miami of Italian/American parents, grew
up in New York where he was first coached by renowned teacher and author Bruce Pandolfini, and played in tournaments at the famous Marshall Chess Club.
After moving to Europe as a 12-year-old to pursue his chess career, he began representing Italy in international competitions.
The soft spoken young star was the revelation of 2012, inexorably climbing the rating list while playing in tournaments of all levels, including large opens — usually avoided like the plague by the world chess elite.
In 2012 alone he finished 2nd in Wijk aan Zee, 2nd in the Tal Memorial, 1st in Dortmund and 2nd in Bilbao (losing a tiebreak to Carlsen). The sequence seemed almost too good to last, and Caruana crashed to earth in Wijk aan Zee 2013 with an unprecedented five losses. Normal service was soon resumed, however, with Caruana pipped at the post of the GRENKE Chess Classic and then emerging victorious ahead of Anand, Kramnik and Gelfand at the Zurich Chess Challenge.
At the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, he scored by far the best result of his career, and one of the best performances of all time: Clear first with 8.5 out of 10 games, and 3 full points ahead of Magnus Carlsen, including a "fantastico" streak of seven consecutive wins!
Although the suspicion remains that
Carlsen is a greater natural talent, Caruana’s recent results suggest the young
Norwegian genius won’t have things his own way at the top. Caruana’s ability to
calculate and his sheer hard work away from the board have led to an incredible
consistency, which enabled him to achieve the third highest Elo rating of all time, behind only Kasparov and Carlsen.