World Championship 2018 Game 8: Battleground – Open Sicilian Territory

World Championship 2018 Game 8: Battleground - Open Sicilian TerritoryAnother day, another draw. In game eight of the World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana we were to see the players sharing points again.

At first glance, the opening promised to set the scene for a fighting game with a huge imbalance. After Fabiano went for the Sicilian Rossolimo (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5) in all his three games with White, he finally accepted Magnus’ challenge and entered Open Sicilian territory with 3.d4.

It was still not entirely clear which Sicilian Magnus would play. While it was most likely that we were to see a Sicilian Sveshnikov, Magnus still had the chance to go for several other Sicilians like the Taimanov Variation, the Accelerated Dragon or the Kalashnikov Variation.

Yet, he stuck to his guns and played the Sveshnikov (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5) which he has already played quite often in the past.

Fabiano was very well prepared, as we’ve come to expect, and went for a rather new line against the Sveshnikov. He blitzed out his moves and even obtained a clear advantage in the middlegame. Yet, it needs to be said that it was not straightforward to convert or even keep this advantage. Fabiano had to find several hard-to-spot computer moves which he did not manage over the board.

Magnus defended the position well and finally managed to obtain an equal endgame.

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

Caruana, Fabiano (2832) – Carlsen, Magnus (2835): World Chess Championship – Game 8 (London 2018)

Tuesday is a rest day. Round nine starts on Wednesday. Magnus will have the White pieces.

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