a month agoReal Madrid weigh up bid for Rennes teen Eduardo Camavinga

first_imgReal Madrid weigh up bid for Rennes teen Eduardo Camavingaby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid is weighing up a raid on the French transfer market.Marca says Real are already looking at young talents who are standing out this season.First on the list is midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who is already featuring for Rennes at 16 years of age.After making his debut last season, he has earned a starting position this year.In August, he was voted player of the month by his peers, winning the Union of French Football Players award.Real Madrid have been scouting several youngsters, but Camavinga has caught the eye the most. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img

7 days agoBrambati: AC Milan refused to sign Ribery for Gattuso

first_imgBrambati: AC Milan refused to sign Ribery for Gattusoby Carlos Volcano7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Serie A defender Massimo Brambati says AC Milan were wrong to dump Rino Gattuso.Brambati also insists Gattuso was blocked from signing Franck Ribery before he joined Fiorentina.”I still don’t understand why Milan took this long path round with Marco Giampaolo only to then get Stefano Pioli,” Brambati told TMW Radio.“It was better to stick with Gattuso and follow his ideas, as in a meeting he had asked them to sign three experienced players, including two who were free agents.“Gattuso had requested Ribery as one of the names, who was then brought to Fiorentina by Luca Toni and is doing a great job there.“Instead, Milan rejected Gattuso and all his proposals.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

FSJ for LNG hosting twopart rally in Fort St John Saturday

first_imgVivian Krause is set to deliver a keynote address at this year’s rally. Krause is a controversial Vancouver-based blogger and researcher who has received both praise and condemnation for her research into environmental charities in Canada, particularly their source of funding. In addition to hosting her Fair Questions blog, Krause also writes for The Financial Post.In addition to Krause, Yu said that Peace River North MLA Dan Davies has confirmed his participation in this year’s rally, while others have also been invited, though no other names have yet been confirmed.The main rally is taking place at the parking lot of the old Visitor Information Centre near the corner of 100th St. and 96th Ave. at 11:00 a.m. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Officials with local grassroots organization Fort St. John for LNG will be hosting a two-part rally in the Energetic City on Saturday to show the support for the development of a liquified natural gas export industry in B.C.FSJ for LNG founder Alan Yu says that the rally will start with a vehicle convoy in cooperation with the Peace Region Truck Enthusiasts. Vehicles will cue behind the LNG or BUST bus at 10:00 a.m. near the UFA cardlock before travelling into town along the Alaska Highway. The convoy will split up and then proceed to the main rally area at around 10:45.The main rally will take place at the corner of 100th St. and 96th Ave., in the parking lot of the old Visitor Information Centre. The rally is one day past marking the two-year anniversary of the group’s last rally which saw then-Premier Christy Clark make an appearance.last_img read more

Liberals call for the NDP to reinstate Rural Dividend Program

first_imgOn September 17, the NDP announced $69 million to fund a new series of measures to support British Columbia forest workers impacted by mill closures and shift reductions in several B.C. Interior communities.Steve Forseth of the Cariboo Regional District told the CBC said he’s surprised the NDP was willing to cancel Rural Dividend funding because so many local governments rely on it for important community projects.Communities in the B.C. Peace received $978,082 in 2019 from the Rural Dividend Program.The grant is designed to help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Grants can be up to $100,000 for a single applicant project or up to $500,000 for partnership projects. VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Liberals are calling on the NDP Government to re-instate the Rural Dividend Fund after it was suspended to pay for the Province’s forestry plan.The CBC published a report Monday that said small municipalities in B.C. had been told the Rural Dividend Fund program was cancelled for 2019 to that the Province could fund a forestry program.“John Horgan and the NDP have already ignored the crisis in the interior forest industry, and now they are going to steal from the Rural Dividend Fund to pay for their half-baked Forestry Transition program,” says Andrew Wilkinson, BC Liberal Leader. “This is an insult to every single community that has lost its primary forestry employment, and now the NDP are taking away their only real hope of diversification.”last_img read more

JB Tamang gets police custody for a day

first_imgKolkata: JB Tamang, president, Himalayan Plantation Workers’ Union (HPWU), which is affiliated to the GNLF, was produced at the Additional Chief Judicial Court in Kurseong onThursday. Tamang has been remanded to police custody for a day in a case under the Mirik police station. Tamang had been implicated in a case under the Naxalbari Police Station and arrested on Sunday. He had been produced at the Siliguri ACJM court from where he was granted a bail. However, as soon as he stepped out he was re-arrested in a case under the Mirik police station. Tamang was produced at the ACJM Court in Kurseong on Monday where he had fallen ill and admitted to the hospital. He has been charged under Sections 143/ 341/186/353/506/120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code in a case under the Mirik Police Station. “The police had appealed for 7 days of remand. The ACJM allowed a single day of police remand. He will be produced again on Friday. Bail hearing will also take place then,” said Bharat Giri, defence lawyer of JB Tamang.last_img read more

Why funds collected for construction workers not used to pay their wages

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court Thursday asked the Centre and the AAP government why the funds collected for welfare of construction workers are not used to pay daily wages to them every time construction activities are banned in the city. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani said thousands of crores are collected as cess from builders and consumers for welfare of employees, but the governments are “not giving a penny” to the labourers. “You (governments) stop or ban construction activity and the labourers are left without work. You have collected thousands of crores as building cess, but you don’t give a penny out of it to the labourers who are starving,” it said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Why should the state and the central government be not fastened with the liability? What are you doing with all that money? Both the central government and the government of National Capital Territory of Delhi have to answer,” the bench said. Besides, the court also asked the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Welfare Board why funds collected under the BOCW (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996, and the BOCW Welfare Cess Act, 1996, cannot be used to pay the labourers who are deprived of their daily wages when construction activity is stopped on government or court directions. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe Central Pollution Control Board and the Environment Protection (Prevention and Control) Authority for Delhi-NCR have also been asked to indicate their stand on the matter. With the direction, the court listed the matter for further hearing on August 6. The court’s order came after the BOCW Board told the bench it cannot provide any relief to unregistered workers from the funds collected as it is not provided under the statute. The board also said the statutes did not provide for paying daily wages to idle workers. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by labour welfare activist Saurabh Bhatnagar through advocates Chirayu Jain and Rudrakshi Deo. The petition sought framing of welfare schemes or policy to provide financial security in the form of daily wages, at minimum wage rates, to all the construction workers in Delhi when construction activities are banned/halted/limited by the authorities. It also sought that any such ban/halt/limitation on construction activities in Delhi be not permitted “till a policy to provide financial security to all the construction workers is not only adopted, but is also tested and is ready to be implemented”. The plea claimed that from November 1 to November 12 last year, when construction activities across NCR were banned due to increased air pollution, lakhs of workers were left without any alternate source of livelihood or financial security. read more

Three Indians join Manika in womens singles main draw of ITTF World

first_imgNew Delhi: Three Indian women paddlers on Monday qualified for the main draw of ITTF World Championships on the second day of the competition at Budapest. Suthirta Mukherjee, Madhurika Patkar and Archana Kamath have joined Manika Batra in the main draw of women’s singles, while Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar are just a match away from making the cut in the men’s singles. Having won their first-round women’s singles group matches on the opening day on Sunday, Madhurika defeated Catherine Spicer of Trinidad and Tobago 11-3 11-8 11-3 11-6, while Suthirta beat Rachel Moret of Switzerland 14-12 12-10 11-8 11-9 and Archana overcame Slovak’s Eva Odorova 4-11 8-11 11-9 11-5 11-6 11-5 to top their respective groups. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhArchana, who had a tough opening match yesterday, where she struggled to beat Ivana Petric of Montenegro 11-8 8-11 11-7 11-5 11-5, on Monday also she was 0-2 down before she managed to get the better of her Slovak opponent to win the last four games. On the other hand, it was rather easy for Madhurika, who beat Latvia’s Sabina Musajeva 11-4 11-4 9-11 11-4 11-7 in the opening match. Suthirtha prevailed over Celia Baah Danso of Ghana 11-4 11-5 11-1 11-8 in her first group match. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterManika, because of her world rankings, was one of the top 64 women paddlers who had received direct entry into the second stage. In men’s singles qualification rounds, Amalraj and Manav had topped their respective groups but will have to play their preliminary round to make the main draw, where they could join G Sathiyan and A Sharath Kamal. After accounting for Poland’s Patryk Chojnowski 11-8 11-9 5-11 6-11 11-5 11-6 yesterday in the first group match, Manav defeated Nicholas Tio of the US 11-6 11-9 13-11 12-14 11-3 today to secure the top place in the group.last_img read more

Inside One Of The Best Defensive Matchups In Super Bowl History

During the 2015 regular season, the Broncos and Panthers allowed the NFL’s fewest and second-fewest yards per play, respectively, and finished 1-2 defensively in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) ratings. It’s only the eighth time the top two DVOA defenses1Using estimated ratings for seasons prior to 1989. have met in a Super Bowl, and the average defensive index of the teams involved ranks third all-time, trailing only Super Bowls XIV and IV. Everyone is obsessing over the study in contrasts at quarterback — Cam Newton vs. Peyton Manning — but it’s the two defenses that should be taking center stage in the lead-up to Sunday, because by just about any measure, this is one of the best defensive matchups in Super Bowl history. BroncosRunning the ball against the Broncos’ defense is like running into a brick wall erected around another, thicker brick wall. It had the league’s fourth-best defensive DVOA against rushing plays during the regular season and was particularly fearsome up the middle, allowing the league’s fourth-fewest expected points per rush between the tackles. According to ProFootballFocus.com’s player grades, defensive end Derek Wolfe was the eighth-best interior run defender in the NFL; Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall also ranked among the top 11 run defenders at linebacker, with Von Miller ranking ninth against the run among edge rushers. If the Broncos have a weakness against the run, it’s in short-yardage situations — they allowed the league’s second-highest power success rate2Defined as the percentage of runs that achieved a first down or touchdown on third or fourth down with 2 yards or less to go, or on first- or second-and-goal from the 2-yard line or closer. — but they offset that with one of the league’s highest rates of stuffing runners behind the line of scrimmage, and they almost never allowed long runs. Only 7.4 percent of carries against the Broncos went for more than 10 yards, the third-lowest rate in the league.And Denver’s ability to stop the run is by far the weaker aspect of this defense. According to DVOA,3Again, indexed relative to the league’s distribution of pass defenses. the 2015 Broncos’ pass D ranks as the 11th-best of the Super Bowl era after blowing away the competition this season. The Panthers’ DVOA against the pass ranked second in the league but was about two-thirds of a standard deviation worse than Denver’s. 2012Chicago140130136 What makes the Broncos so great at defending the pass? For one thing, they led the league in adjusted sack rate, with coordinator Wade Phillips dialing up five or more pass-rushers on 42 percent of opposing pass plays, fourth-most in football. Those plays are statistically graded as blitzes, but in a Denver 3-4 alignment featuring some of the game’s top pass-rushing linebackers, the lines between a blitz and a D-line that simply creates pressure on its own start to blur. According to PFF, Miller was the top pass-rushing edge defender in the game, and his partner on the opposite side, DeMarcus Ware, ranked sixth. Meanwhile, Wolfe and Malik Jackson also finished among the top 11 pass-rushing interior linemen. And when the Broncos do need to blitz from unusual places, safety T.J. Ward can create havoc; he tied for sixth among DBs with a pair of sacks this season.But the front four is only part of the equation — a blitz-heavy scheme falls apart quickly without the ability to cover receivers. This Denver D doesn’t necessarily rely on its secondary as ball hawks; Aqib Talib’s modest total of three interceptions led the roster, and the team’s interception rate was merely average. Instead, all of the Broncos’ primary defensive backs (Talib, Ward, Chris Harris Jr., Darian Stewart and Bradley Roby) and linebackers (Trevathan and Marshall) ranked among the upper quartile at their positions in PFF’s coverage grades, sticking to receivers so effectively that only St. Louis allowed fewer air yards per completion. (“Grading” players is often a fool’s errand, since you can never be sure about coverages and assignments, but when pretty much the entire secondary grades out in the upper crust, those problems are minimized.) And no team allowed fewer overall passing yards per attempt or yards per completion than the Broncos did.PanthersFor all the lofty achievement and outright dominance by the Denver squad, the Panthers’ defense might actually have the edge in star power: Not only will it have arguably the best player on the field Sunday in LB Luke Kuechly, but Carolina’s D also outearned Denver’s in first-team All-Pro selections (3 to 1) and tied it for Pro Bowl nods (4 apiece).It’s indicative of the way these defenses stack up: Carolina’s top defensive players — Kuechly, CB Josh Norman, LB Thomas Davis (playing Sunday with “a plate and probably around 11 or 12 screws” in his arm, which he broke during the NFC championship), DT Kawann Short — can hold their own with anybody on Denver’s roster. But the lesser Panthers defenders aren’t quite as good, which makes Carolina’s statistical profile sort of “Broncos Lite.” Their strengths are similar, but the Panthers are slightly inferior to Denver whether they’re defending the pass or the run.Stylistically, however, the Panthers do operate differently in some important ways. At the most elemental level, they run a 4-3 scheme that relies less on creative blitz packages and pressure from the edges, instead using Short to generate a pass rush from the middle of the defense, and fellow DT Star Lotulelei to occupy blockers and eat up space. The end result was fewer sacks and less pressure overall, but that only makes Carolina’s performance in coverage even more impressive. Despite giving opposing passers the league’s sixth-most seconds in the pocket per drop-back, the Panthers allowed the 11th-fewest air yards per attempt and seventh-lowest completion percentage.It all starts with Norman, who has few peers when it comes to blanketing receivers. Alongside him, the Carolina secondary is littered with such solid cover DBs as Kurt Coleman, Roman Harper, Cortland Finnegan and Tre Boston, all of whom PFF rated among the top half of their respective positions in terms of pass coverage. This depth proved important because Carolina used five or more defensive backs on 463 pass plays this season (26 percent more than the NFL average), more than any other team despite a banged-up secondary that suffered a number of key losses.Speaking of which: The only glaring hole in the DB corps might be Robert McClain, whom PFF rated as one of the worst cover corners in football since signing with Carolina at midseason after a rash of injuries befell the team. But coverage ratings for individual players often don’t tell the whole story, and the rest of Carolina’s roster rates well in pass coverage — Kuechly was graded by PFF as the game’s best cover LB. The all-around cover skills of Carolina’s entire D helped them yield the league’s second-lowest rates of yards per attempt and yards after the catch.Against the rush, Carolina profiled a lot like Denver: It was poor at stopping runners in power situations (worst in the league, in fact), but it also stuffed a lot of runs behind the line of scrimmage. The biggest difference is that, unlike the Broncos, the Panthers did yield some long runs; they ranked 15th at preventing what Football Outsiders calls “open field” yards — i.e., rushing gains starting more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage — per carry (Denver ranked second). That’s one reason why this is a good run defense but not a great one.All told, this is the 15th-most evenly matched defensive matchup in Super Bowl history according to DVOA. And the quality of offensive competition each defense will face ought to help level the playing field even more. Denver’s historically great D is facing a very good Carolina offense led by the suddenly amazing Newton at QB; Carolina’s great-but-not-historically-so defense is facing one of the worst offenses to take the field in a Super Bowl — particularly when it comes to passing.The Super Bowl is all about pomp and spectacle, razzle and dazzle, offensive fireworks and star quarterbacks booking FastPass times at the tea cups. Sometimes that leaves little room for an appreciation of subtler things, like defense. But in this case, all eyes should be on that rougher side of the football — it will be a long time before you see another defensive clash of this caliber on Super Bowl Sunday.Check out our live coverage of Super Bowl 50. 2004Buffalo135129135 Source: Football Outsiders, FootballPerspective 2008Pittsburgh133125133 DEFENSIVE DVOA INDEX 1974Pittsburgh139130138 1982Miami12785143 1980Washington11886132 1998Miami133114137 2002Tampa Bay146114148 YEARTEAMOVERALLVS. RUNVS. PASS 2013Seattle137114140 1970Minnesota135118136 Best pass defenses of the Super Bowl era (1966-2015) 1988Minnesota144121146 1999Tampa Bay12791134 1994Pittsburgh131114132 2015Denver135120135 1977Atlanta127115132 1969Minnesota134123132 1991Philadelphia150147142 1985Chicago135119137 2009N.Y. Jets136114134 2003Baltimore135125132 read more

Denvers Defense Used To Make Up For Its Terrible Offense Not This

Entering Denver’s Monday night AFC West showdown with the first-place Kansas City Chiefs, there are few people who hold out much hope for the Broncos’ offense. The unit is perhaps the most beleaguered in the NFL right now. (And there are some really beleaguered units out there — have you watched the 49ers?) After routing the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, Trevor Siemian and the Broncos have scored just three touchdowns in their past four games — and in their last outing were completely shut out by the Chargers.Now Denver is 3-3, with two more games against divisional leaders looming after tonight. But here’s the interesting thing about the Broncos’ apparent unraveling: The offense may be terrible, but it’s been terrible for three years — including the 2015-16 Super Bowl title run.A closer look at the numbers reveals that the vaunted Denver defense is perhaps not getting enough share of the blame. The Bronco defense is hardly struggling, but Denver’s recent formula for winning allows very little margin for error, and this year there’s been some error.Over the previous two seasons, the Denver defense was truly dominant — No. 1 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA1Defense-adjusted value over average, explained here. for both 2015 and 2016. The Broncos also finished first in passing yards allowed, first in passing net yards allowed per attempt and fourth in total points allowed in both seasons. This despite well-documented struggles at quarterback that limited the offense’s output.While the Broncos’ defense is ranked No. 1 in total yards allowed in 2017, it’s lagging behind the 2016 and 2015 editions in many key metrics. Going into Week 8, the Broncos were ranked fourth in defensive DVOA, and they were allowing a ninth-best average of 5.5 net passing yards per attempt — worsened from league-leading marks of 5.0 in 2016 and 5.1 in 2015. They’re now allowing an average of 19.7 points per game, up from 18.5 in 2015 and 18.6 in 2016.The uptick in points per game might be due to some decline in the unit’s play in high-leverage spots. Per TruMedia, before this weekend’s games, the Broncos were ninth in rate of first downs allowed per pass attempt, down from third in 2016 and first the year before. After two straight years of far surpassing the rest of league in defensive expected points added,2EPA is a metric popularized by ESPN’s Brian Burke, capturing down-to-down effectiveness based on game situation. the Broncos’ 44.84 is a very distant second to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 83.84 — which shows the Broncos are still great at slowing offenses but not quite as great as they’ve recently been.The other culprit is the Broncos’ lack of turnovers. They’ve forced just four turnovers through six games, which currently ranks 30th in the NFL. That’s an average of 0.67 turnovers per game, down from 1.69 in both 2016 and 2015.All these stats paint an almost-complete picture of what’s going on: The Broncos are allowing slightly more yards, first downs and points to come out of the passing game while forcing far fewer turnovers, so they’re less effective at stopping opponent drives.3For the record, the Broncos had the No. 1 per-carry run defense in 2015, fell to No. 18 in 2016 and currently rank No. 2, per Pro Football Reference. But these swings haven’t made much impact on overall defensive effectiveness because of the pass-heavy nature of the NFL — and how dominant the pass defense has been.It’s easy to point to the offense here, too. If you have an offense that can’t win the field-position battle and can’t give the defense time to breathe, it’s hard to dominate on defense. This year, Broncos opponents’ average start position is 32.5 yards out, the furthest-downfield starting position in the NFL.But again, Denver’s defense should be used to this. The previous two iterations of the Broncos’ defense weren’t helped much by the offense and special teams, either; their opponents’ average start positions from their own end zone of 29.5 yards in 2015 and 29.3 yards in 2016 ranked 30th and 23rd, respectively. The field-position woes are also inflating the Broncos’ yardage defense; they’re ranked No. 1 partly because their opponents have the shortest distances to go.Really, the Broncos’ consistency has been remarkable — this year’s dip aside — especially considering the personnel changes. Pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware and safety T.J. Ward were two of Denver’s five Pro Bowl defenders from 2015; the former has since retired, and the latter was released at the beginning of the season. But plenty of superstar talent remains, including All-Pro pass-rusher Von Miller and All-Pro cornerbacks Chris Harris and Aqib Talib — and new arrivals like free-agent DT Domata Peko have made an impact.It’s literally impossible to win when a team’s offense is shut out, as the Broncos’ was in Week 7. But if Denver’s defense can regain the slight edge it had the past two years, the team doesn’t need Siemian to perform like Peyton Manning did in 2014. It just needs Siemian to perform like Manning did in 2015, when taking care of the ball in big games and moving the ball in key spots were enough to win an NFL championship. read more

The American Grandmaster Who Could Become World Champion

If you ask the people who know Fabiano Caruana what Fabiano Caruana is like, they will tell you that Fabiano Caruana is, you know, just a normal guy.He likes movies. He likes music. He likes to eat. He works out. He goes on dates.Just a normal guy.Just a normal guy who is ranked second in the world in chess. A normal guy who was pulled out of school after seventh grade to do nothing but play the ancient and intricate game. A normal guy who is a hairbreadth away from prying the No. 1 position loose from probably the best player ever to play the game. A normal guy who, beginning Friday, will sit down at a table in London with this probably-the-best-ever player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, in a grueling, weeks-long battle for the world championship of chess. A normal guy who could be the first American to win the title since Bobby Fischer in 1972. Real 99.99999999th percentile stuff.Just a normal guy. Sher told me one more chess story. It was about another Soviet former world champion, Tigran Petrosian. Someone once asked Petrosian which was the happiest day of his life. “The day I became world chess champion,” Petrosian said. That person then asked him which was the unhappiest day of his life.“The day after that,” he said.FiveThirtyEight will be covering the world chess championship match, which begins Friday, here and on Twitter. Caruana himself is a hard person to reach these days. After initially agreeing to provide FiveThirtyEight access to pre-championship training sessions, Caruana’s managers (he has two) declined to make him available for an interview. So instead I turned to his father, Lou.It all started with some squirming Lou told me. Caruana was just a normal kid.“He was fidgeting in school,” Lou explained when I visited him this spring in St. Louis. “So to increase his concentration, we thought it would be a good idea if he started playing chess.”The person who ran Fabiano’s after-school chess program in Brooklyn made what was, in retrospect, perhaps the most important phone call in recent U.S. chess history, informing his parents that Fabiano exhibited a remarkable amount of talent for someone of such a young age.Fabiano’s first tournament was soon after, in May 1998, in Queens. After that, he played every day. He played nights and weekends. He got even better. After six months, his dad stood no chance against him.So they turned to a mentor. I met Miron Sher, a Russian-born grandmaster, in the predominantly Russian neighborhood of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, where he has lived for the past decade. He carried a chess magazine featuring Caruana and Carlsen on its cover, so that I’d recognize him.Sher was Caruana’s chess coach for “four years and 10 months, before he left to Spain.” Those were formative years, which saw Caruana’s U.S. Chess Federation rating climb from 1300 (a player in the dubiously named “fourth category”) to 2305 (a “life master”). Sher remembered those exact numbers correctly. We sat on a bench at the boardwalk, talking over crashing waves, staring at an ocean that stretches to the lands where Caruana came of age.“Fabiano does not think about a life without chess,” he said. 12345678hgfedcba 87654321abcdefgh Something like bishop to f4 seems natural (at least to me) here, since it would attack the black pawn. But Caruana opted for something more subtle: He moved his rook to a2, which gives black a very hard time when white later moves his pawn to b4, exposing an attack on black’s bishop. Chess.com called the move “unnatural.” Robert Hess, an American grandmaster, told me it was “spectacular” and “an extremely strong and obscure move.”It’s also the move the computer recommends.But Caruana can also play like a human being. “I think Fabiano’s chess is testy,” Sher said. “He is a sharp player. He is an emotional player.”Just a normal guy with quirks and idiosyncratic preferences. A guy, for example, who favors the Petrov defense. “Frankly, the Petrov is what I think about when I think of Fabi, since that’s ‘his’ opening,” Hess said. “He’s found a way to not just try to equalize with it, but also play for more than just equality.” That opening — in which Caruana has the black pieces and mirrors the white pieces’ first two moves — looks like this and was exhibited to great effect in a game from this year’s Candidates Tournament, which sent Caruana to the world championship. Another early appearance was in 2002 in the New York Daily News. That story featured a photo of a 10-year-old Caruana in an oversized T-shirt staring at a chessboard and grasping a bishop. He was taking on 15 opponents simultaneously in Bryant Park in Manhattan. He didn’t lose a single game.When you look at stories like those, Caruana’s championship bid seems preordained, the unavoidable result of an intense, prodigious and celebrated chess upbringing. But another quick search of the archives turns up dozens of other names that have also had their chess picture in the paper, and have also been teased by the press as The Next Bobby Fischer: Josh Waitzkin, Carissa Yip, Hikaru Nakamura, Eric Hicks, Jorge Zamora, Michael Wilder, Steven Zierk, Robert Lau, Gata Kamsky, Vinay Bhat, Ray Robson, Jordy Mont-Reynaud, Alan Tsoi, David Newmuis, Jeff Sarwer, Kayden Troff, Sam Sevian, etc., etc.You almost certainly haven’t heard of most — or any — of these people. None of them has played for the world championship of chess. Caruana will. Caruana makes his move during an event with the Turinese Chess Club in 2008. Caruana became a grandmaster at the age of 14. Pigi Cipelli/Archivio Pigi Cipelli/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images Caruana, left, and Wesley So, the top American grandmasters, play in the Candidates Tournament in Berlin this past March. Caruana won the tournament, which sent him to the world championship. Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for World Chess Indeed, one way to measure the strength of human players these days is to measure how often their moves agreed with the moves a computer would’ve made. Chess.com has done this with its CAPS system, as did two scientists from Slovenia. Computers are the closest we have to a Platonic ideal of how chess should be played. As a result, top players train with them extensively. The defending world champion Carlsen matched the computer’s moves 85.3 percent of the time — more machine than man. Fischer did it 83.5 percent of the time.Caruana, too, can play like a machine. This summer he faced Wesley So, another top American grandmaster, in a rapid game with hefty pro-chess-circuit implications. After 25 moves, Caruana, with the white pieces, faced this position: Here’s an old Caruana family legend. While traveling in Europe, years ago, Caruana and his parents boarded a plane — one of many planes that he’s boarded in his young life. Once seated, he immediately pulled out a little chess set and began to play the game that has come to define him. The plane taxied and accelerated and took to the sky, cruising high above the earth at hundreds of miles an hour toward their destination. A rapt and oblivious Caruana kept playing, transfixed. Eventually he looked up, turned to his father and asked him a question.“When are we going to take off?” Running on my laptop, Stockfish, the powerful chess engine, assesses black — Caruana, in this case — with about a half-pawn disadvantage after the first two moves. Nevertheless, Caruana won the game. Sher is 66 years old and has taught chess for 47 of those. Caruana was one of his most devoted students. Sher estimates that during Caruana’s years under his tutelage, Caruana solved some 23,500 chess problems. Caruana’s family invested in an early and expensive digital chessboard, imported from the Netherlands, which could be hooked up to a computer. Caruana studied David Bronstein’s classic 1953 volume, 384 pages dense with chessboard diagrams and chess move notation. He studied former world champion Boris Spassky’s collected games. He digested Mark Dvoretsky’s “Endgame Manual.”In 2004, when Fabiano was 12, the Caruana family decamped for Europe. The tournaments were stronger, the competition was tougher, and the top coaches were in greater supply. Caruana flew up the ranks. He became an international master in 2006. He became a grandmaster in 2007. He entered the world’s top 100 in 2008 and has never left. In 2015 he was lured back to the United States. He became No. 2 in the world — one match away from the pinnacle of his game.And now, he’s just a normal guy. I joined Yuanling Yuan, a top Canadian women’s player with a degree in economics from Yale, in a Manhattan cafe. Caruana and Yuan met at (where else?) an international chess tournament in 2016. He’s a normal guy. He’s got friends.I asked Yuan for her best Fabiano Stories — what anecdotes encapsulate this normal guy? “Let me get a moment to collect my thoughts,” she said. Over the next half-hour, a handful of anecdotes, telling or not, emerged.One, he often orders healthy food. Two, he’s ridden on and enjoyed roller coasters. Three, he loves the game Plants vs. Zombies — “It’s his nightly ritual.” Four, he yells and screams when he plays certain strategy card games. And five, if chess doesn’t work out, he’d become a bean farmer. (Or least that’s the running joke, given the purported etymology of his first name.) In other words, he’d be a normal guy. Caruana, age 10, takes on 15 challengers simultaneously in Manhattan. He didn’t lose a single game. Keith Torrie / NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images read more