World Championship 2018 Game 6: Fabiano Close To Winning With Black

World Championship 2018 Game 6: Fabiano Close To Winning With BlackIn round six, Magnus Carlsen had the White pieces again. In his first two games with White, he played 1.d4 and 1.c4, but was unable to gain an advantage either time. Logically, he switched his opening choice again and went for 1.e4.

This finally set the stage for the Petroff Defense – the opening which was expected to be seen at some point in the match as Fabiano is something of an expert in the Petroff and has experimented a lot with it in recent years.

The whole chess world was excited to see what Magnus’ team had worked out against the Petroff Defense – the opening that was frequently played with Black to draw before Kramnik popularized the Berlin Wall in his World Championship Match against Garry Kasparov in 2000.

It came as a slight disappointment that Magnus went for a relatively harmless sideline with 4.Nd3. Fabiano was excellently prepared to meet this move and even came up with a novelty as early as move 7. The players soon reached an equal position and nobody expected to see any fireworks in this game.

Yet, it was Fabiano Caruana who made the game a bit more spicy in the middlegame. Magnus played a little carelessly and Fabiano earned a slight edge. Magnus finally sacrificed a piece for a couple of pawns and tried to hold an endgame with a very non-standard material imbalance.

He succeeded, and the game ended in a draw after 6,5 hours of play and 80 moves in total. Yet, it has to be mentioned that the world’s best super-computers pointed out that Fabiano had a forced mate in 36 at some point. However, as all commentators and Super-GMs watching agreed, the variation pointed out by the engines was almost impossible to spot for a human being in a practical game.

In any event, Fabiano had no problems to hold the position with Black in the first of Magnus’ two games with White in a row.

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

Carlsen, Magnus (2835) – Caruana, Fabiano (2832): World Chess Championship – Game 6 (London 2018)

Round seven starts on Sunday. Magnus will have the White pieces again.

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