Jersey City, NJ – July 9, 2015 – Liberty Science Center announced today the appointment of Fabiano Caruana, the number two ranked chess player in the world for most of 2015 and the strongest American chess player in history, to the position of LSC Visiting Grandmaster and Chess Works! Ambassador.
Born in Miami and raised in Brooklyn, Caruana joins Liberty Science Center at a particularly exciting moment in his chess career. The 22-year-old, who has American and Italian citizenship, has been living abroad for the past decade representing Italy. In a coup for American chess, Caruana recently switched chess federations from Italy to the United States, and this past weekend—in his first outing playing under the American flag—took first place in Germany’s elite Dortmund Sparkassen tournament with a five-game winning streak.
“Fabiano is the very embodiment of LSC’s ‘genius’ brand, and shares our goal of unlocking the genius within every child,” said Paul Hoffman, LSC President and CEO. “Chess is much more than a game. Research shows that playing chess—at any skill level—can positively affect a student’s academic performance as well as the development of emotional intelligence and life skills.”
Caruana aims to be the first American since Bobby Fischer in 1972 to win the World Chess Championship. First, he must win the tournament of eight in March 2016 to become the official World Championship challenger and then he must topple reigning champion Magnus Carlsen, 24, “the Mozart of chess,” in a match that will be played in the United States in 2016.
As he goes for the crown, Caruana will be an ambassador for LSC’s soon-to-be-launched Chess Works! program. Plans for Chess Works! include both after-school and weekend chess activities at LSC, as well as in schools and community centers in Jersey City and throughout New Jersey beginning this fall.
Caruana is the second expert who is at the very top of his field to join the Center. David Blaine, the world-renowned illusionist and endurance artist, has served as LSC’s Magician-in-Residence since 2012. Caruana and Blaine will work together to amaze and inspire LSC visitors.
Liberty Science Center is known for its visiting and resident geniuses. At its annual Genius Gala, LSC bestows Genius Awards on singularly brilliant men and women who have uniquely advanced or employed science and technology. Fourteen people have won LSC’s coveted Genius Award: Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson, Garry Kasparov, Jane Goodall, Oliver Sacks, Sylvia Earle, Craig Venter, Temple Grandin, Dean Kamen, Vint Cerf, David Blaine, Cori Bargmann, Erno Rubik, and Jill Tarter.