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World Championship 2018 Game 7: No Wins In Sight

world chess championship 2018 magnusGame seven of the World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana again ended in a draw. It’s was the seventh draw in seven games.

Now, there are only five classical games left. That said, the tension rises as the cost of a mistake increases for both players. If anyone loses a game, there are not many games left to bounce back and level the score. Will one of the two players crack under pressure?

On the one hand, one could argue that Magnus’ experience in World Championship Matches might start to count now. In his last match against Sergey Karjakin, Magnus had a similar match situation.

The players made seven draws in a row and in game eight, Magnus, playing White, pressed too hard for a win and lost. Back then, he urgently needed to win one of the remaining four games which was not an easy task against the “Minister of Defense”. It seems like he has learned his lesson and does not lose his objectivity easily anymore.

On the other hand, it also has to be noted that the trend of the match slightly favors Fabiano. He not only had the upper hand in most of the opening battles so far, but also managed to easily hold his two games with Black in rounds six and seven. Not only that, he was not far away from even winning game six with Black. Out of the remaining five games, Fabiano has White three times.

Coming back to game seven, it was interesting to see which opening Magnus would go for. In his three games with White so far, he neither got an edge with 1.d4, nor with 1.c4 or 1.e4.

In game seven, he did not try yet another opening move such as 1.f4, but went for 1.d4 again. Fabiano repeated the Queen’s Gambit Declined from game two where he comfortably managed to draw with Black. After nine moves, we saw the same position on the board as in game two (see the diagram on the right).

magnus carlsen fabiano caruanaHere, Carlsen deviated first with 10.Nd2 (Magnus played 10.Rd1 in game two). Yet, it was Caruana who had the real surprise in store. He went for the very rare 10…Qd8!? and answered Magnus’ 11.Nb3 with the novelty 11…Bb6!

Magnus had to think for quite a while to make his next moves and did not obtain any advantage whatsoever. Again, the opening duel went to Team Caruana.

After that, Fabiano had little problems to secure the draw with Black. After 40 moves, he claimed a threefold repetition in an equal endgame.

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

Carlsen, Magnus (2835) – Caruana, Fabiano (2832): World Chess Championship – Game 7 (London 2018)

Round eight starts on Monday. Fabiano will have the White pieces this time.

Other interesting articles for you:

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