The highly anticipated World Chess Championship 2018 in London finally started yesterday.
The was a lot of talk and guessing about which openings we were likely to see in the match, the seconds of the two players, psychological aspects of the match and a lot more.
Now, the moment of truth has come.
Lots were drawn for the distribution of colors in the match at Thursday’s opening ceremony. Fabiano Caruana was assigned the White pieces in the first game, meaning he’ll have White in the first and the last game.
Magnus Carlsen, in contrast, will have the White pieces twice in a row in round 6 and 7.
The first round finally took place on Friday. Looking at the last World Championship Matches, you can say that the first world chess championship games usually tend to be relatively calmed and often end in quick draws.
The players usually don’t want to risk too much; they don’t want to show their cards in terms of opening preparation and often test some openings which we don’t see any more later in the match. This match, however, had a completely different start!
We saw a 115 move and seven hour endgame draw after Magnus Carlsen built up a winning position in the middlegame, but missed several chances to secure the win.
Without further ado, let’s see what happened in the first game.
During the match, ichess.net will be publishing annotations of the world chess championship games, both in video and written form on the blog. If you missed a game, don’t hesitate to visit our blog and check what happened.
Women’s World Chess Championship 2018: Several Favorites Out
Last newsletter, we informed you about the Women’s Knockout World Championship which might be overshadowed by the big match between Carlsen and Caruana. It’s a 64-player knockout tournament (running from November 3-23) and is being held to determine the new Women’s World Champion.
With just two rounds played, several favorites have already been knocked out. Second seed Humpy Koneru from India lost her match to Jolanta Zawadzka in round 2. Eighth seed Zhongyi Tan from China also lost her match in round 2. The young Mobina Alinasab from Iran, who has a relatively modest rating of 2236, has knocked out two favorites already. After beating Elisabeth Paehtz (2495) in round 1, she knocked out Monika Socko (2463) in round 2.
Other favorites were also close to falling. Ekaterina Atalik, who recently produced a Master Method for ichess.net, for example, was close to knocking out former Women’s World Champion Mariya Muzychuk in round 2.
The current Women’s World Champion, Wenjun Ju, made it to round 3 by knocking out the American player Irina Krush.
Blog Article of The Week
Our blog article of the week deals with a fashionable chess opening for Black against 1.e4 – the Petroff Defense (also known as the Russian Defense).
There is no better time than now to study this opening as it’ll most likely be seen in the current World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana.
The Petroff Defense is a chess opening for Black which occurs after the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6. The opening got its name from Alexander Petrov, a Russian chess player who popularized it in the 19th century. It is a positionally sound opening full of hidden bite.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Petroff Defense was known as one of the toughest nuts to crack for White and players like Kramnik, Anand and Gelfand used it with Black to achieve easy draws at the top level. Since then, sadly, the Petroff gained a reputation of being too drawish an opening which is not suitable for many club players.
Today, however, thanks to the efforts of Fabiano Caruana and other strong GMs, the Petroff has attracted general attention again and is slowly finding its way back to the tournament halls.
Our opening guide on the Petroff Defense provides you with all you need to know about this fascinating opening. What are the overall advantages of playing the Petroff Defense? Which opening traps and typical tactical motifs should Black be aware of? And what are the main lines and the latest theoretical developments for both sides?
This Week’s Exclusive FREE Video
This week’s exclusive video can be watched as an appetizer to the World Championship Match. GM Damian Lemos analyzes the tactical skills of the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen.
Over the years, Carlsen has developed a universal playing style. He is a strong tactical and positional chess player and he uses a variety of openings which makes it hard for his opponents to prepare and play against him.
Today, GM Damian Lemos takes a closer look at two of Magnus’ games and points out his strong tactical abilities. Let yourself be inspired by Magnus’ resourcefulness.
Last Week’s Puzzle:
Here’s the solution to last week’s puzzle:
This Week’s Puzzle:
It is White to move. What should he play?
Answer next week.
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