World Championship 2018 Game 5: The Sicilian Rossolimo In The Spotlight Again

World Championship 2018 Game 5: The Sicilian Rossolimo In The Spotlight AgainIn round five, Fabiano Caruana had the White pieces. While Magnus has mixed up his opening choice with White so far from (1.d4 to 1.c4), Fabiano stuck to his guns and played 1.e4 in both his games with White.

In both games, Magnus replied with 1…c5 and we saw a Sicilian Rossolimo Bb5 Sicilian. In his first game with White, Fabiano got nothing out of the opening and even lost track in the early middlegame which left him with a position that was very tough to defend. In his second game with White, Fabiano got a little edge after the opening, but did not continue in the most challenging way.

Before round five, there was a lot of guessing over what Fabiano would play this time with the White pieces. Interestingly, he did not change his approach and played 1.e4 again. Magnus didn’t change his opening response either and we were to see a third Sicilian Rossolimo in the match.

This time, Fabiano refrained from capturing on c6 and went for a very aggressive line with an early b2-b4 instead. As he blitzed out his moves until move 12, it seemed like he was really well prepared. Yet, as Magnus confirmed in the press conference after the game, the World Champion was also booked up. It took him a little more time to make the first moves, but he found a convincing way to equalize.

The game soon transposed into a roughly equal endgame. If anyone had a very slight edge and could have pressed for more, it was Magnus. Fabiano, in turn, continued with precise moves which finally lead to a draw in 34 moves.

Let’s take a closer look at the fifth game between the two players:

Caruana, Fabiano (2832) – Carlsen, Magnus (2835): World Chess Championship – Game 5 (London 2018)

Round six starts on Friday. It’s key to notice that Magnus will now have the White pieces two times in a row. Will he use his chance to put some more pressure on Fabiano Caruana?

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