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.