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World Championship 2018 Game 10: Fabiano Goes For A Fight

2018 world chess championship match 2Game 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’ Sveshnikov Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5).

In round eight, Fabiano had come up with a rather new and fashionable idea to play with White. This time, he was superbly prepared yet again. He repeated the opening from game eight right up to move 11 and then played the novelty 12.b4 (see the diagram on the left).

world chess championship 2018 1Magnus 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 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 as in round two, Fabiano emerged with an extra pawn (3 vs. 2 pawns on one wing), but soon agreed to a draw.

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

Caruana, Fabiano (2832) – Carlsen, Magnus (2835): World Chess Championship – Game 10 (London 2018)

Round eleven starts on Saturday. Magnus will have the White pieces this time. With only two rounds remaining, the pressure will be extremely high for both players.

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