2018 World Chess Championship:
Magnus Carlsen Beats Fabiano Caruana
(Report by Ichess.net)
Magnus Carlsen has retained his World Chess Championship title with a crushing 3:0 victory over Fabiano Caruana in rapid tiebreaks.
Over the course of almost three weeks, chess fans followed one of the closest World Chess Championship matches in a very long time.
12 classical games were played with neither player able to beat the other. After 12 hard-fought draws, the match had to be decided in tiebreaks.
Fabiano Caruana had played very strongly in the classical portion of the match. The tiebreaks, however, took a different direction. After Magnus offered a draw in a clearly better position with more time on the clock in game 12, many followers wondered if he started to lose his nerves. Many chess fans started to claim that Fabiano might have a psychological advantage in the tiebreaks.
Yet, the reigning World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, showed why he owns the chess crown and gave a stunning performance in the tiebreaks, proving that his decision was the right call when it came to maximizing his match-winning chances, and proving all his critics wrong.
According to the tiebreak format, four rapid games are played with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move. If one player scored 2,5 points or more out of these four games, he would win the match.
World Championship 2018 Game 12:
Match To Be Decided In Tiebreaks
The 2018 World Chess Championship will be decided in a tiebreak on Wednesday as game twelve of the World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana ended in another draw.
All the twelve classical games have ended in draws, leading to a final standing of 6:6.
In game twelve, Fabiano, playing White, repeated the Open Sicilian and tried to prove an opening advantage against Magnus’ Sveshnikov Sicilian. Yet, it was Magnus who came up with the first surprise.On move eight, he did not retreat his knight back to b8, but to e7 – a variation which has already been tried by players like Kramnik, Ivanchuk and Nakamura (see the diagram on the left).
Yet, Fabiano seemed to be slightly surprised and took some time to make his opening moves.
In fact, playing the move 8…Ne7 was a clever choice by Magnus. Fabiano and his team had to spend most of their opening preparation time on 8…Nb8, the move Magnus had been playing in the two previous games.
Carlsen could study the position after 8…Ne7 a lot more in detail on the rest day and seemed to be the better-prepared player this time.
Twice, Fabiano had the chance to repeat moves in the opening and agree to a quick draw. However, he showed no fear and bravely went for a fight and tried to play the position against Magnus’ preparation.
Fabiano was soon significantly down on the clock and did not manage to prove anything against the World Champion. It became worse and worse for him. After 24 moves, Magnus not only had twice as much time as Caruana on the clock but also the better position.
Fabiano was under pressure but defended well. However, Magnus wouldn’t have taken a huge risk to play on and press for a win. In fact, he offered a draw after his 31st move. Fabiano, defending an unpleasant position, accepted the offer.
After that draw, many chess fans were shocked by Magnus offering a draw in the position he had.
Even the great Garry Kasparov posted on Twitter:
“In light of this shocking draw offer from Magnus in a superior position with more time, I reconsider my evaluation of him being the favorite in rapids. Tiebreaks require tremendous nerves and he seems to be losing his.”
In the press conference, Magnus explained that his plan for the last game was to take as little risk as possible. When he got the upper hand on the board and on the clock, it was difficult for him to change his mindset.
In any event, chess enthusiasts can be happy to watch another day full of exciting chess. There’s one more rest day and on Wednesday there will be a tiebreak which will definitely decide the outcome of the match.
Here’s what’s going to follow on the tiebreaks:
- First of all, four rapid games with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move. If one player scores 2,5 points or more out of these four games, he immediately wins the match.
- If there is a tie after the four rapid games, the players will play up to five mini-matches of two blitz games with 5 minutes for each player with a 3-second increment after each move.
- If all these five mini-matches are still drawn, then one Armageddon match will be played where the player with the White pieces gets five minutes and Black only gets four minutes (with a 3-second increment after move 60 for both players). If the game ends in a draw, the player with the Black pieces wins the match.
The tiebreak starts on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. local time in London (10:00 a.m. EST). Magnus Carlsen will play with the White pieces in the first game of Wednesday’s tiebreaks.