Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana – Who Will Win The World Chess Championship 2018?
The World Chess Championship 2018 is set to be a close struggle between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana. Who will win the epic battle and emerge as the World Chess Champion? Will Carlsen retain the title, or can Caruana pry it away from him? GM Damian Lemos says that it is actually too close to call, as close to 50/50 as you can get.
On the one hand, we all know how good a player Magnus Carlsen is. Current champion, and the greatest player of recent history, if not all time. His is a household name, and he has shown time and again why he’s the highest rated player in the world. But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean this is a sure thing – Fabiano Caruana has been consistently improving over the past few years, getting better and better.
In the Candidates, Caruana showed just how impressive he can be, coming out on top of a tough group of players, including Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who played well enough to win any tournament any other day, had it not been for the extraordinary and excelling performance Caruana put in.
On top of that, it is Caruana who has the stronger opening preparation of the two. In openings with theory battles, Carlsen regularly chooses the quiet lines, but Caruana confidently selects sharp variations. In the middlegame, these players are evenly matched.
In this video, GM Damian Lemos talks about the upcoming match for the World Chess Championship, shares some of his predictions, and looks closely at a game that was played between the two contenders back in 2013. Think of it as a teaser for what we’ve got to come later this year!
Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana, 2013
How does the game between Carlsen and Caruana from 2013 open? Let’s take a look! 1. Nf3 – this is an ever increasingly popular opening move at the top level due to how flexible it is. White keeps his options open. 1…Nf6 2. g6 and Carlsen with the White pieces goes for a Reti set up. 2…d5 3. Bg2 c6. This pawn structure for Black is a very strong approach, it creates a solid wall against White’s fianchettoed bishop. You can see the position on the left.
Next, Carlsen plays 4. 0-0 and Caruana plays 4…Bg4. This is, of course, much better than …e6, where Black’s light-squared bishop would be trapped behind its own pawns. …Bf5 is another possibility for Black, playing a London system with reversed colors.
5. c4 e6 6. cxd5 Bxf3 – an interesting in-between move from Caruana, not immediately recapturing the pawn. What is the thinking behind this move? It prevents moves such as Ne5 coming in from White which could be troublesome for Black. It’s also logical to trade off this light-squared bishop now that Black has decided to place pawns on the light-squares.
7. Bxf3 cxd5 reaching a Slav type of setup. 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. d4. White has to stake a claim to the center. 9…Be7. You can see the resulting position on the right. It is clear that both sides are pretty equal at this point, both sides have solid positions – much as it will be come November at the World Chess Championship match! So, what happened next? You’ll have to watch the video!
Carlsen or Caruana – Who Will Win?
It’s anyone’s guess who will win! Both players have great chances and it may be a very close match. These rivals will surely give it their all, and we’re looking forward to seeing who comes out on top, hopefully with some entertaining games along the way.
How do players like Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana take down their toughest opponents? There are a number of quick fixes we can apply to avoid painful defeats and take down our rivals. Sign up to the FREE masterclass from GM Lemos here.
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