World Championship 2018 Game 10:
Fabiano Goes For A Fight
(Report by Ichess.net)
Game ten of the World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana ended in another draw. This does not sound like big news. Yet, it was one of the most exciting games of the match so far.
Fabiano Caruana, playing White, went for the Open Sicilian again and tried to prove an edge against Magnus’ Svshenikov Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5).
In round eight, Fabiano already came up with a rather new and fashionable idea to play with White. This time, he was again superbly prepared. He repeated the opening from game eight until move 11 and then came up with the novelty 12.b4 (see the diagram on the left).Magnus was the first player to have a deep think and countered Fabiano’s idea with very dynamic play. As in game eight, the position soon became very double-edged. Whilst Fabiano had a huge initiative on the queenside, Magnus launched a very threatening kingside attack.
The position was far too complicated to give a definite evaluation. While the engines claimed that the position was dynamically balanced, any move could have decided the game in the one or the other direction. Hence, both players had to play accurately.
Fabiano defended well against Magnus’ kingside attack but also lost his huge initiative on the queenside. Finally, in the late middlegame, queens were exchanged and the players entered an unbalanced but objectively equal rook endgame.
Just like in round two, Fabiano emerged with an extra pawn (3 vs. 2 pawns on one wing), but soon agreed to a draw.
World Championship 2018 Game 11:
Showdown In The Last Game
Game eleven of the World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana ended in another draw.
Magnus, playing White, went for 1.e4, but was again surprised by a line which Fabiano chose in the Petroff Defense. Hence, the World Champion did not go for the most critical lines in the game and played a lot more safely.
With his very precise and accurate play, Fabiano had little problems to secure the draw with the Black pieces.
With eleven out of twelve classical games played, it can be clearly stated that Fabiano Caruana and his team had the upper hand in the opening preparation so far. In all his six games with White, Magnus did not manage to put real pressure on Fabiano. Fabiano, in contrast, got several promising position with White so far out of the opening. Yet, he did not manage to convert them.
This already brings us to the last classical game of the match which will be played on Monday. Fabiano has the White pieces and thus the chance to go for a fight. As Fabiano was very consistent with the White pieces so far, we’ll very likely see him playing 1.e4 again.
Yet, it will be highly interesting to see what Magnus will play. If he goes for the Sicilian Defense again, Fabiano will definitely have a chance to go for a complicated struggle in the opening. If Magnus changes his opening in the last round in order to avoid Fabiano’s preparation, he goes a huge risk of running into another line which Fabiano prepared for the match.
Round twelve starts on Thursday. Fabiano will have the White pieces this time. With only one round remaining, the pressure will be extremely high for both players.