The 81st edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament is happening on the 11th of January until the 27th, 2019, in Wijk aan Zee (among others). Who are vying for the crown in the Masters category?
A lot of people have been heavily criticizing Magnus Carlsen for offering a draw in a clearly winning position in Round 12 of the World Chess Championship 2018 against Fabiano Caruana. Others are mum and reserved their opinion after the tiebreaks.
But how “winning” Carlsen really was if he opted to continue with the play?
Chess.com ran the position among 8 engines, led by Stockfish and Komodo, for 56 games — double round robin, each engine playing both colors against every other engine. The results follow:
- White wins: 3 games
- Black wins: 27 games
- Draw: 26 games
Of course, the 3 white wins were games between some of the weakest engines as black and the strongest engines for white. These were:
From these results, I’d say Magnus Carlsen, playing as black, and at his caliber, had an 80:20 chance of winning this game. The tiebreak games would not have been necessary. And the Carlsen victory would have been more convincing.
The challenger, Fabiano Caruana, didn’t get a chance. The defending champion, Magnus Carlsen, won it all to retain his World Chess Champion title.
After 12 grueling rounds of classical chess games in the World Chess Championship 2018 in London, the score was tied at 6 apiece. No one blinked an eye during those 12 games, all games were drawn. Thus, the match headed to the playoffs/tiebreak.
The first mode to break the tie was the best-of-four rapid games. Unfortunately for Caruana, he lasted only 3 games, as Carlsen won them all. Well, that was as decisive as it can get.
That makes us wonder: the World Chess Championship would have been better off played with all rapid games instead?
World Chess Championship Rapid Game 1 (Tiebreak)
World Chess Championship Rapid Game 2 (Tiebreak)
World Chess Championship Rapid Game 3 (Tiebreak)
The final round of the World Chess Championship 2018 in London between the world champion Magnus Carlsen and the challenger Fabiano Caruana ended in another draw. It seems to me that both players just waited till the 30-move rule for draws was over and rushed to agree on the draw, and opted to settle the deadlock via the tiebreak games.
That’s a total of 12 draws in this 12-game match. Rest day follows Round 12. Tiebreak follows with 4 rapid games. If another deadlock ensues, 5 pairs of blitz games will be played, and if nothing yet is settled by then — Armageddon. Regardless of how deep into the tiebreak the match goes, all tiebreak games happen in one day.
Here’s how the Round 12 happened:
The 11th round of the World Chess Championship 2018 between the world champion Magnus Carlsen (white) and the challenger Fabiano Caruana (black) started with the Petroff Defence and ended in another draw anyway. That’s what happened.
If the score stays at 6-6 at the end of Round 12, match goes to 4 rounds of rapid, then 5 pairs of blitz, and Armageddon, if necessary.
Replay Round 11 game below:
In the 10 classical games that were played so far in the World Chess Championship 2018 between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, we’ve seen all draws. They’re not necessarily old boring draws — they’re exciting, heart-pounding even, but draws nonetheless.
I can surmise the exhaustion this match must bring to both players, just as well as we’re tired by the draws. That makes us wonder: have these two already solved the game and mystery that is chess?
The 2018 World Championship match is set for 12 classical games. If the match remains undecided, it goes through 4 rounds of rapid games. If still even, up to 5 pairs of blitz games will be played. An Armageddon game will finally resolve the deadlock, if any.
Replay the Round 10 game below:
Three-quarters of the way through the World Championship match of 2018, and no one blinked an eye. All nine games between the challenger Fabiano Caruana and the defending champion Magnus Carlsen ended in draws, albeit not necessarily without fanfare.
Replay Round 9 game below:
The story of the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana so far has been all that: draws. Four more rounds to go.
Replay Round 8 game below:
The World Chess Championship 2018 in London between the challenger Fabiano Caruana and the defending champion Magnus Carlsen is set for 12 rounds of classical games. Seven rounds in and we’ve seen all draws so far. Are we gonna see draws all throughout the classical games of the match?
Replay the Game 7 draw below:
In Game 6 of the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana in London, we saw an exchange of Queens early in the game. By move 46, we saw an imbalance in the position so that white was up three pawns in exchange for a piece. But the inevitable cannot be avoided. The game nevertheless ended in another draw.