World Championship 2018 Game 4: Caruana’s Preparation Accidentally Revealed?

World Championship 2018 Game 4: Caruana's Preparation Accidentally Revealed?So far in the 2018 World Chess Championship, we’ve seen that the player with the Black pieces has had little trouble. In games one and two, it was the Black player who gained the initiative in the early middlegame. Game four continued this trend.

Fabiano Caruana, playing Black, was again well prepared and blitzed out his moves against Magnus Carlsen who went for the English Opening with 1.c4.

In the second game, Magnus didn’t manage to get an advantage out of the opening when he played 1.d4 with White. Fabiano Caruana was well prepared for one of the main lines of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. The move 1.c4 is not that frequently played by Magnus, but it was also not a major surprise.

Maybe Magnus wants to avoid the move 1.e4, probably testing Fabiano Caruana in the Petroff Defense. But the move 1.c4, introducing the English Opening, could have also been a tribute to the country in which the World Championship takes place.

In any event, we probably won’t know the reason for the player’s opening choices until the match is over and the players reveal a bit more about their team and their preparation.

In the game, it was not too tough for Fabiano to equalize and the game ended peacefully with a draw after 34 moves.

Yet, the main upset happened away from the board. On Tuesday, Caruana’s team uploaded a promotional video that gave the viewers some behind-the-scenes insights into some of their match preparation! In the video, you were able to see the team preparing, you saw two of Caruana’s seconds (Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Alejandro Ramirez) and – accidentally or not – a laptop screen with a ChessBase database, including several of Magnus’ games against Sergey Karjakin and some opening files.

Did Caruana’s team accidentally provide Magnus’ team with valuable insights into the challenger’s opening preparation? On the one hand, the video soon got deleted from YouTube which might be a hint that it was indeed an accident. On the other hand, the upload might have also happened intentionally to confuse Magnus’ team. Due to the fact that neither Fabiano nor his seconds gave a definite answer to this video, we can’t know.

In any event, one could only see a very small part of Fabiano’s preparation. For this reason, the video might probably not play that an important role for the remaining games of the match.

With that said, let’s turn back to chess and take a closer look at the fourth game between the two players:

Carlsen, Magnus (2835) – Caruana, Fabiano (2832): World Chess Championship – Game 4 (London 2018)

This Wednesday is a rest day for the players and the next round is on Thursday.

If you are unsure how to spend this rest day, we can only recommend to review the games which have been played so far in this match. For the first two games, for instance, we have an exclusive video analysis by GM Damian Lemos who took a very detailed look at the games for you:

Caruana, Fabiano (2832) – Carlsen, Magnus (2835): World Chess Championship – Game 1 (London 2018)

Carlsen, Magnus (2835) – Caruana, Fabiano (2832): World Chess Championship – Game 2 (London 2018)

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