Chess: Fabiano Caruana ends winless run after Magnus Carlsen’s taunt

World title challenger in three-way battle with former Cuban champion and a speed specialist for the US crown this weekend

Fabiano Caruana is fighting back in the final rounds of the $194,000 US title contest this weekend after the world No 2 and defeated title challenger endured a record run of 27 classical games stretching back five months without a victory, plus a taunt from Magnus Carlsen, who tweeted, “When your winless streak matches your age,” after the 26th in the series.

The world champion’s jibe was arithmetically precise. Caruana, 26, had not won a classical game since October, drawing his last four at the Olympiad, all 12 classical games in their world title match before Carlsen won the rapid play-off, all four at the London Classic, and his first five in St Louis. He also had a loss (to Peter Leko) and a draw in the German Bundesliga.

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