Ivan Cheparinov

A top 100 GM, ready to step in the 2700 super GM club

Cheparinov thinking

GM Ivan Cheparinov

A top 100 GM, ready to step in the 2700+ super GM club, Ivan Cheparinov is one of our most fierce young lions. He started playing chess at the age of 5. At age of 12 he already had in his hands the junior chess title of Bulgaria. Coached by his father, Nedelcho Cheparinov, Ivan started winning tournament after tournament.

His first big appearance on the international scene was in Wijk an Zee where he got his first IM norm. Since that moment, Ivan started working with manager Silvio Danailov. The young lion went through a series of open tournaments in Spain. He won a total of 6 first places. This increased his self confidence and he started defeating his opponents one after the other. In 2004 Ivan felt ready to attack the national championship of Bulgaria. He got the amazing 9.5/13, leaving behind names such as GM Boris Chatalbashev (current Bulgarian champion), GM Vasil Spasov, IM Krasimir Rusev, GM Petar Genov, etc. Later this year Cheparinov got his GM title.

Ivan Cheparinov – Vassily Ivanchuk


1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. b6 d6 6. Nc3 Nbd7 7. a4 a5 8. e4 g6 9. Nf3 Bg7 10. Be2 O-O 11. O-O Qxb6 12. Nd2 Ba6 13. Nb5 Rfb8 14. Qc2 Qd8 15. Nc4 Nb6 16. Nca3 Ne8 17. Rb1 Nc7 18. b3 Bxb5 19. Nxb5 Na6 20. Bg5 Nb4 21. Qd2 Qd7 22. f4 Rb7 23. f5 Qe8 24. Rf3 Nd7 25. Rbf1 Be5 26. Rh3 f6 27. Be3 g5 28. g4 Rc8 29. Bc4 Bd4 30. Nxd4 cxd4 31. Bxg5 Ne5 32. Bh6 d3 33. g5 Qf7 34. Rg3 Kh8 35. g6 hxg6 36. fxg6 Nxg6 37. Rf5 Ne5 38. Bf8 Qh7 39. Bg7+ Qxg7 40. Rh5+ Kg8 41. Rxg7+ Kxg7 42. Qh6+
Kf7 43. Qh7+ Ke8 44. Qf5 1-0

On the April 2007 list GM Cheparinov reached his highest rating. With a total of ELO 2646 he is currently 64th in the world. However, this is the least we can expect from him. Ivan has dedicated much of his career to helping VeselinTopalov. The young GM has been second to the 19th world champion since the beginning of 2005. Many chess specialists see Ivan as a key part in the ELO jump of GM Topalov and his fantastic performance in San Luis and other top tournaments.

That is a logical conclusion, since Topalov-Cheparinov tandem always brings novelties in the openings. Maybe the basis of the chess innovations comes from Cheparinov’s work with modern chess software. In many interviews the young GM shared that he finds in computer analysis the future of chess.

Cheparinov and Danailov

Cheparinov with his manager Danailov

Ivan shows a lot of desire in every game. When he won the Essent open group in Hoogeveen, Silvio Danailov said, “Ivan? He is the next Topalov.”

Ivan Cheparinov – Steve Berger


1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 b5 6. Nbd2 Bb4 7. Bg2 bxc4 8. bxc4 Bxc4 9. Rb1 Qe7 10. a3 Bxd2+ 11. Nxd2 Bd5 12. e4 Bc6 13. Qc2 O-O 14. O-O Qe8 15. a4 d6 16. Ba3 Qd7 17. Rfc1 Bxa4 18. Qxc7 Qxc7 19. Rxc7 Nc6 20. d5 exd5 21.exd5 Ne5 22. Bxd6 Rfe8 23. Be7 a6 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Ne4 Kg7 26. f4 Ng4 27. Nd6 Reb8 28. Rxf7+ Kg8 29. Rbb7 Rxb7 30. Rxb7 Rd8 31. Nf5 Bd7 32. Nd4 Kf8 33. Bf3 f5 34. Nc6 1-0

In the last several competitions Ivan always finishes top of the table. He has recently won Sigeman & Co with the fantastic 1,5 points ahead of Jan Timman, Berg, and Hillarp Persson. Before that he finished equal points with the winner of the European Individual Championship and shared first in the Morelia open.

Interview with Ivan Cheparinov

Fabiano Caruana

Top Italian player

ETCC 2007 Round 4 ID Video

Fabiano Caruana during the ETCC on Crete

The honor to open Young Lions columns belongs to the Italian star Fabiano Caruana. Fabiano is now 1th on the national rating list with 2598 elo and has convincingly won the 2007 Italian Chess Championship with full three points ahead of the competition. Update: Fabiano won the 2008 Corus C group with two points before GM Negi and GM Reinderman.

Fabiano Caruana was born in Miami, Florida on 30th July 1992. His family moved to Brooklyn, New York on 1996 and the big talent was discovered almost incidentally – his parents signed him at chess club because young first-grader just couldn’t sit still. Soon, they realized it was right move they’ve made, Fabiano had overtaken his father Lou at the third month of training and pursued to seek new challenges.

At age of nine, Fabiano won the gold medal in the U10 section of the 2002 Pan-American Youth Championships in Argentina, and was consequently awarded with FIDE Master title.

On 28th September 2002, 10 years, 61 days old at the time, Fabiano became the youngest player ever to defeat a Grandmaster in a USCF rated tournament. It was the first round of the Grand Prix tournament at Manhattan’s Marshall Chess Club and the victim was famous Aleksander Wojtkiewicz.

Fabiano Caruana – Aleksander Wojtkiewicz

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.Be3 Nf6 5.Nc3 cxd4 6.Bxd4 Nc6 7.Bb5 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 O-O 9.e5 Ne8 10.O-O-O d6 11.Qd2 Bg4 12.Bxe8 Rxe8 13.exd6 exd6 14.Qxd6 Bxc3 15.Qxd8 Bxb2+ 16.Kxb2 Raxd8 17.Rxd8 Rxd8 18.Ne5 Bf5 19.g4 Be6 20.Re1 Rd2 21.Nd3 Bxg4 22.h3 Bf3 23.Re3 Bc6 24.Kc1 Rxd3 25.Rxd3 Kg7 26.Kd2 Kf6 27.Ke3 Kg5 28.Kd4 Kh4 29.Rg3 f5 30.Ke5 Be4 31.c4 g5 32.Rb3 Bg2 33.Kxf5 h6 34.Kg6 h5 35.Kh6 g4 36.hxg4 hxg4 37.Kg6 Bf3 38.Kf5 Kh3 39.Kf4 Kg2 40.Rb2 a6 41.c5 Kh2 42.a4 Kg2 43.a5 Kh2 44.Rb3 Kg2 45.Rxf3 1-0

“I first started teaching Fabiano when he was 5, at which point it was clear that he was incredibly intuitive and a courageous attacker, probably among the four or five most gifted natural players that age I have ever seen.” – said his first coach Bruce Pandolfini – “We’re never sure how far they’re going to go. They have to survive all of the losses they’re going to encounter.” – but – “Fabiano’s very tough. He’s mentally quite tough and that’s an attribute. It’s not a game for – for the tender-hearted.”

His other coaches over the years were Grandmasters Miron Sher, Paul Benko, Gregory Kaidanov and famous head of the Moskow Chess Institute – International Master Boris Zlotnik.

Financing this project was quite a challenge; at some point Caruana family was spending $50.000 per year for coaching and traveling to international tournaments. Fortunately, the family has found a sponsor, which insists to stay anonymous. On January 2006, Fabiano has switched chess federation from US to Italy and already on the September he was leading Italian team at the 2006 Mitropa Cup. The family is currently residing in Madrid, Spain.


Fabiano Caruana vs Pontus Carlsson

Recent accomplishments

January 2008 – Wins Corus tournament Group C in Wijk aan Zee

December 2007 – Becomes Italian Champion in Martina Franca scoring 9.5/11

October 2007 – Awarded with “Herbert Garrett Scholarship” In Rocca di Papa, Italy by Caissa Italia publishers

August 2007 – Wins the Vlissingen International Open tournament with a 7.5/9 score (ahead of GMs such as Tivjakov, Kasimdzjanov, Romanishin, Stellwagen, Krasenkow)

July 2007 – Earns his 3rd GM norm and becomes a Grand Master aged 14 and 350 days

December 2006 – Wins the 33rd Estearn Open in Washington D.C. with a score of 6/8

December 2006 – Plays his first Italian Championship, ends on shared 1st and loses play-offs to GM Michele Godena

As listed on fabianocaruana.it

Here is a game against 17-yeard old IM Sabino Brunello played at the 66th Italian Championship on December 2006. GM Michele Godena and IM Fabiano Caruana were tied on the first place but Godena won the rapid/blitz playoff.

IM Fabiano Caruana – IM Sabino Brunello

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. c3 O-O 8. Nbd2 b5 9. Bb3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. Re1 Re8 12. Nf1 Bf8 13. Ng3 g6 14. d4 cxd4

The game started as quiet line of Ruy Lopez but White has already prepared d4. Instead of taking, maybe better was 14… Qe7 keeping the tension.

15. cxd4 exd4 16. Nxd4

Pawn d4 won’t run away and better move was a4 first, causing another weakness on b5 or launching sudden attack on f7 like in 16. a4 b4 (16… Bb7 17. axb5 axb5 18. b3 and White is better because d5 has no effect while Knight is still on f3 and Bb2 is coming very fast. Then b5 weak pawn is something that Black has to take care of) 17. Qxd4 Nc6 18. Qc4! – this tempo gives strong initiative to White.

16… Bg7 17. b3 Bb7

Now after White already played Nd4 and Black queenside is safe, it was good timing for 17… d5! 18. Bb2 (18. e5 Ng4 19. f4 Nxh2 20. Ngf5 gxf5 21. Kxh2 Qh4+ maybe this is what both players missed 22. Kg1 Qg4 (22… Bf8) and Black is doing fine) 18… dxe4 19. Nxe4 Bb7 with equal game.

18. Bb2 Nd7

Already too late for 18… d5 19. e5 Nd7 20. f4 because after playing Bb7 Black has no Ng4 and White is seizing the initiative.

19. Qd2 Ne5 20. Rad1 Rc8 21. Bb1 Nac6 22. Nxc6 Rxc6 23. h3 Qh4 24. Ne2 d5 25. f4

Unclear was 25. exd5 Rd6 26. Nf4 g5 and Black still has resourceful play.

25… Bh6 26. Qd4 Bxf4 27. Nxf4 Qxf4 28. Rf1 Qh4

White forced nice little combination with pawn sacrifice. It was hard to see White’s next move because all the attention is focused in the center and kingside. Only move was 28… Qg3 but White is still much better after 29. exd5 Rd6 30. Be4

29. Qa7 1-0

Unexpected diagonal. Black is suddenly losing a piece because of hanging Bb7, Ne5 and weak back rank. Very nice game by Fabiano.