St. Louis Might Be Home To The Next World Chess Champion

Fabiano Caruana takes on the current champ in London

Brett Blume
November 09, 2018 - 10:05 am

Tristan Fewings / Stringer

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A man who makes his home right here in St. Louis could become the next world Chess champion this weekend.

The Central West End's Fabiano Caruana will go up against the current world champ Magnus Carlsen of Norway in a series of 12 matches that are getting chess fans around the world all worked up. 

Grand Master Maurice Ashley, who will commentate on the showdown being held in London, says Fabiano is renowned for remaining cool under pressure, whereas Carlsen may be losing his cool of late.

"Magnus went into this booth that we call 'the confessional booth'," Ashley told KMOX's Brett Blune. "And instead of saying anything, he just put his fingers to his lips, and he was telling his crowd of haters to 'be quiet.' And then he proceeded to not even win the game...he drew the game!"

Ashley says head games and psychology are as big a part of chess as expertly moving the pieces around the board. Because he's so good at all of that, Ashley says it's Caruana's chance to make a name for himself on the world stage.

"He ran up several wins in a row (at the 2018 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis) and just showed he's clearly a formidable challenger."

Caruana's aiming to become the first American chess champion since Bobby Fisher nearly a half-century ago. He'll play 12 matches with Carlsen head-to-head. A victory would mean not only Caruana winning the championship, but it could mean he unseats Carlsen as the #1 player in the world.

Related: St. Louis' Fabiano Caruana Is Returning The U.S. To A Chess 'Powerhouse'