World Chess Championship 2018 begins in London

World Chess Championship 2018 begins in London
Magnus Carlsen v Fabiano Caruana: World Chess Championship, Game 1 – live!
Spared a time crunch for the first time in hours, Caruana takes his time with 41. Qxf4 before a frustrated Carlsen answers with 41. … Bd4. For a moment there Carlsen was poised to become the first champion to win Game 1 of a world title match as black in 37 years, when Anatoly Karpov defeated Viktor Korchno in the opener of their rematch in Merano, Italy. Now a draw appears far more likely, but it wont come quickly. Strap in as this could be a long endgame.

What a turn of events! As time bears down on both players (38. c3 Be5 39. Kc2 Qg7), Caruana makes his 40th move (40. Nh2) with three seconds on the clock, giving him the desperately needed 50 minutes of extra time. But Carlsens response (40. … Bxc3) lets his opponent off the hook! The look on the champions face says it all as he shakes his head in disappointment.

How To Watch The World Chess Championship: Carlsen vs Caruana

Another flurry of moves with 34. Nh2 h5 35. Rf2 Qg1 36. Nf1 h4 37. Kd2 Kb7. Caruana comes dangerously close to losing on time (again) but comes up with 38. c3 to give himself a bit of breathing room. Only two more moves until the much-needed added time, but the time pressure has allowed Carlsen to open a significant positional advantage.

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The grandmaster Susan Polgar is no fan of 36. … h4, calling it the sort of inaccuracy that Carlsen did not make when he was at his peak.

Its the biggest chess event of the year as World Champion Magnus Carlsen will try to defend his title against the American challenger Fabiano Caruana.

From Chessboard To Boardroom: Magnus Carlsens Winning Regimen

Caruana goes with 33. Ke2 and Carlsen with 33. … Qg5. The American is inside a minute … 50 seconds … 40 seconds … 30 seconds … 20 seconds … 10 seconds! Were on the edge of our seats! At last Caruana pulls a knight into retreat (34. Nh2), but it reeks of desperation. Carlsen with more than 17 minutes and content to take his time with his opponent in survival mode. The computer analysis shows a clear advantage for Carlsen. Barring a blunder, hes going to win the opening game of the world championship as black.

Game one will start Friday, November 9 at 7 a.m. Pacific time (10 a.m. Eastern, 3 p.m. London/GMT. Your local time: ).

Squeaky-bum time for Caruana after another back-and-forth exchange (29. Nf2 Rg8 30. Ng4 Qe8 31. Qf3 Qxh5 32. Kf2). The American will have 2min 26sec to make eight moves, though he receives an extra 30 seconds with each move. Whites king looking a bit vulnerable at the moment.

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Another relative flurry of moves (26. … Rhg8 27. Qe2 Rxg2+ 28. Qxg2). Carlsen continues to press the time advantage. Heres a look at the board.

The moves are coming more quickly (23. Nh5 Bxh5 24. gxh5 Nf4). A bit of a head-scratching sequence of moves for Carlsen, who appears to have let Caruana off the hook. According to the computer analysis it was 21. … Nf8 where he surrendered his positional advantage, though the champion is still well ahead on time.

The players receive 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and finally 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus a 30-second bonus per move starting from move 1.

Next Caruana takes Carlsens knight (25. Bxf4) and Carlsen takes a bishop right back (25. … gxf4). The American then opts for 26. Rg2 and after the 30-second increment hes working with just over seven minutes compared to about a half hour for Carlsen.

In this DVD the author answers how to realize an advantage, considering both the psychological aspects of the realisation of an advantage and the technical methods.

Fischer vs. Spassky | World Chess Championship 1972

25…gxf4 26. Rg2 This is an inaccuracy due to time pressure. As I said earlier, as well as in my pre-match assessment, Caruana MUST play faster. This will cause him big trouble if he does not fix it.

Caruana opts for 21. Nd1 and Carlsen doubles down on his ambition with 21. … Nf8. A spicy pawn sacrifice by the world champion and hes going for the whole thing. What drama! Caruana goes up a pawn on the next move (22. Nxf6) but Carlsen answers quickly (22. … Ne6) and the American is under 10 minutes with 18 moves to make before the time control.

The American Grandmaster Who Could Become World Champion

Caruana goes with 20. b3 and Carlsen answers with 20. … Bf7. The challenger, moving more quickly out of necessity, takes a bit of a gambit with 21. Nd1, which he hopes will force Carlen to think and cut into the time deficit. The American has a little over 16 minutes to make 19 moves before he gets more time, while the Norwegian champion is just inside the 40-minute mark as he ponders his 21st move.

I never changed nationalities. I had dual nationality from birth and I changed federations when I was 13. I was a kid and I was living in Europe and this was mainly to get back to my roots – my mothers Italian – and when I changed back to the United States when I was in my 20s this was a personal decision. I do feel connected to both countries. I would like to represent them both, but only one is possible, and I live in the United States and represent the US now, and I feel very much an American, but I do also cherish my Italian roots.

Caruana opts for 19. g4, stopping the clock with a little over 18 minutes (and 21 moves until the time control). Carlsen, with nearly a half-hour time advantage, has a long think before going with 19. … f6. Heres a look at the board.

During the build-up there has been plenty of speculation about how Carlsen and Caruana have been training, and a particular focus on what openings they have been working on. According to rumors, Caruana may have been getting some extra help from a small US-based website called Chessable, which specializes in training chess openings. The Guardian approached Leon Watson from Chessable but he refused to give anything away. Obviously we have to keep the names of our users very secret, he said. It is very important to all chess players, not just grandmasters, to keep secret what their opening choices are because they dont want the opposition to be able to prepare for them. However, one thing I can say is that we do have players of every level using the site.

I think most of all it matters what moves you play and what you do on the board, but there is an element of psychology, an element of bluff in chess. Its not as prevalent as it is in other games or sports but I think people are aware of it, but its not going to be the main story I think this time. I think were just both pretty much focused on making the best moves and take it from there.

Reigning chess champ Carlsen says need to step up game against US challenger

Caruanas 17th move (17. Nf6) is a blunder. Hes now behind on position and on the clock and Magnus Carlsen is playing for a win as black before move 20 in Game 1 of the World Chess Championship. What a turn. Carlsen quickly responds with 17. … Nd7. Caruana answers with 18. Nh5 and Carlsen wastes no time with 18. … Be5, pressing his time advantage. Less than 22 minutes on Caruanas clock with 22 moves before the time control, meaning Caruana will need to average a move a minute to stay above water. Not ideal. The American will have to play very well to avoid losing here.

I dont think that Magnus has any clear weaknesses. Usually the mistakes he makes are very individual and they dont have a clear pattern to them, and I think this also goes for most of the players at the very, very top, but that being said, he still makes mistakes, we all do, and the only challenge is to be ready to take them when they come.

A group of young onlookers watch Fridays opening game at the College in Holborn. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA Updated at 7.04pm GMT

Inevitably, the prospect of psychological warfare on the board came up – understandable given that both players will be sitting barely a metre from each other for up to eight hours a day. During the 1951 world championship match between Mikhail Botvinnik and David Bronstein, for instance, one onlooker noted that at the end of each game both men were wreathed in beads of sweat, such was their toil. While during the Moscow Marathon between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov – which lasted five months and 48 games – Karpov lost 10kg in weight.

Magnus Carlsen vs. the American in a Chess Championship for the Ages

Caruana takes his time and proceeds with 15. Raf1 and Carlsen responds with 15. … Qd6, opening the path for his king to hide on the queenside. The clock keeps ticking down on the American challenger, who has less than 32 minutes (and counting) to make 25 moves before the time control. Hes had his hands full with Carlsens aggression in this opening game (1. … c5 and 14. … g5, most notably).

Thu 8 Nov – Opening ceremony Fri 9 Nov – Game 1 Sat 10 Nov – Game 2 Sun 11 Nov – Rest day Mon 12 Nov – Game 3 Tue 13 Nov – Game 4 Wed 14 Nov – Rest day Thu 15 Nov – Game 5 Fri 16 Nov – Game 6 Sat 17 Nov – Rest day Sun 18 Nov – Game 7 Mon 19 Nov – Game 8 Tue 20 Nov – Rest day Wed 21 Nov – Game 9 Thu 22 Nov – Game 10 Fri 23 Nov – Rest day Sat 24 Nov – Game 11 Sun 25 Nov – Rest day Mon 26 Nov – Game 12 Tue 27 Nov – Rest day Wed 28 Nov – Tie-break games/Awards and closing

The American then goes with 16. Ng4 and Carlsen castles (16. … O-O-O). Says Russian grandmaster Sasha Grischuk: Sometimes Magnus can lose his sense of danger, but so far hes playing this game brilliantly.

Carlsen delivers something of a crowd-pleaser with 14. … g5. Its an ambitious stroke that suggests hes not simply content to get rid of a black game. Meanwhile, reports of frigid temperatures in the playing hall appear to be confirmed by Carlsens decision to put a coat on.

However, when Carlsen was asked whether he saw himself as the favourite or underdog, the alpha dog in him finally came out. It has been a while since I have considered myself an underdog, to be honest, he said, smiling. If you have been the No1 ranked player in the world for seven years and have won three world titles in a row, then there is something seriously wrong with your psyche, I think.

Caruana goes with 14. Qd2 and Carlsen has plenty of time to ponder his response. Heres a look at the board as it stands. The American challenger has a little over 46 minutes to make 26 more moves before the next time control. (Remember: the time control for each game is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.)

Psychology will play a huge part, Caruana told the Guardian. Part of Carlsens success is that he has a very stable psychological demeanour. He rarely gets rattled, and when he loses a game he brushes it aside. Of course, the fact this is his fourth world championships is also in his favour. I will have to learn on the fly, but I feel I am more than ready for the challenge.

After Carlsen responds with 13. … h6, its Caruana eating up clock again. The position on the board is even, but the American is heading toward 46min remaining, which is a half hour behind Carlsen (1hr 16min 32sec).

Very quickly, however, things got serious as the two best players in the world headed for a sharp and unusual Sicilian position with opposite-sided castling. Caruana, who is bidding to become the first American since Bobby Fisher in 1972 to be world champion, is a renowned expert in openings. But despite having the advantage of the white pieces he found himself under pressure from the early stages, with Carlsen – who has held the world title since 2013 – pressing hard for victory during the fourth hour of play after riskily giving up a pawn for a venomous attack.

Just spoke to the British grandmaster and commentator Daniel King, who runs the popular PowerPlayChess channel on YouTube. He was intrigued by Caruanas 10. Nh2, where Qd2 is the more common move, and says while he regards the position as level that it is great for the match that the position is opening up so quickly, giving both sides a chance to attack.

Carlsen goes with 12. … Be6 and Caruana responds with 13. Rf2. A fascinating psychological battle developing in the opener, certainly more engaging than Game 1 of the last world championship in New York, where Carlsen played the seldom-used Trompowsky Attack (which hed later confess was at least partially inspired by the name of Americas newly minted president-elect) but Sergey Karjakin scratched back to force a mostly forgettable draw after 42 moves.

Spectators at the match, which is being played at the College in Holborn, were offered live commentary from Judith Polgar, the strongest female player in history, and could witness every move up close. Among those riveted by the action was the American film director Bennett Miller, twice nominated for an Academy Award for Capote and Foxcatcher, who knows a thing or two about slow-burning drama.

Caruanas time management has been called into question, but it cant be said that Black is better at this point.

Carlsen has long been a celebrity back home: by the age of five, when his father introduced him to chess, he could recite the populations of all 422 Norwegian municipalities and name every capital city in the world. By 13 he was a grandmaster. According to Fide, chesss governing body, he is the highest-rated player in history.

Another lengthy wait for Caruana, who finally settles on 11. f4. Carlsen takes a pawn with 11. … exf4, and the American takes one back with 12. Rxf4.

That could look a wise investment if he claims the €600,000 (£525,000) on offer to the winner – especially given the endorsements that will also come his way if he triumphs. The loser, incidentally, will walk away with €400,000.

Carlsen back on the clock (1hr 26min) with a more than 20-minute advantage over Caruana (1hr 5min 37sec).

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reigning World Chess Champion Norways Magnus Carlsen (right) shakes hands with his challenger, Fabiano Caruana after the first move ceremony. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty At the end, coping with defeat will be hard for whoever loses. Caruana has already suffered at the end of the 2016 candidates when Sergey Karjakin beat him in the decisive game to become the challenger, so this would be his second failure, raising the spectre of becoming an eternal deuxième like Paul Keres or Viktor Korchnoi.

So far Caruana has developed his pieces normally while Magnus has most of his pieces on the back rank, king in the center, doubled pawns…hes playing like an amateur!

Caruana finally settles on 10. Nh2 and Carlsen responds with 10. … Nf8. Heres a look at the board after 10 moves. Carlsen has a 12-minute advantage on the clock with 30 moves left until the first time control.

The opening continues with 6. h3 Nf6 7. Nc3 Nd7 8. Be3 e5 9. O-O b6. But Caruana, who was already a few minutes behind on time, has been pondering his next move for more than 10 minutes now, perhaps taken aback by 9. … d6.

Carlsen (1hr 33min 7sec) is already 15 minutes ahead of Caruana (1hr 18min and counting). Not a critical development yet, but it does appear Magnus has surprised the American challenger with his opening choice.

Asked the loser question in a recent interview, Carlsen replied: I will be very sad. I cant think too much about it. His sister Ellen went further, suggesting that he might simply retire. Years ago Carlsen already said that he planned to give up before his 40s, and he could easily afford to do so. So far Bobby Fischer is the only one of the 16 world champions to have retired in youth while still at the top.

Caruana playing with the white pieces opens with 1. e4 while Carlsen surprises with a Sicilian Defence response (1. … c5). The opening continues with 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7.

The next day, Fischer dug himself an 0-2 hole and lost one of his turns with White when he refused to show up because of the proximity of television cameras. The match moved to a “ping pong” room for game three, where Fischer struck back with a knight posting that is now immortalized on a t-shirt by the Q Boutique in St. Louis.

The line is famous for the game Anand-Grischuk where the ex-world championship won a beautiful attacking game #CarlsenCaruana

Spassky stabilized the situation briefly with a draw as Black in game four, but then Fischer won the next two to take the lead. Game five knotted the match at 2.5-2.5 after the reigning champion fell victim to a blunder reminiscent of Fischers Candidates opponents. “Fischer fever” seemed to still be contagious:

Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana shake hands before the start of their world championship match on Friday in London. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters Updated at 3.30pm GMT

Fischer took the lead in game six by playing the Queens Gambit for the first time in his life. The movie “Pawn Sacrifice” called this effort the best chess game of all time. While that superlative is highly debatable, it was a punishing effort by Fischer, and the opposite of winning via one-move blunder:

How not to love the one and only Woody Harrelson? He knocks down Caruanas king and makes two ceremonial moves after misunderstanding Fabianos suggestion. Hilarious.

Spassky got his best win of the match the next round to briefly make it interesting (his only other wins were the first two rounds—the speculative Bxh2 game and the forfeit). In fact, Fischer was crushed in the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn variation, his only loss ever as Black in that opening.

Good afternoon from a slightly chaotic media room in Holborn, which unsurprisingly, is dominated by Norwegian journalists. Just been speaking to Bernt Brennevann from the NTB agency, who tells me he is just one of 15 reporters from Norway here to cover the Carlsen match, which is being covered on the main TV channel in the country. Also quickly popped into the gift shop, which has some slightly risque offerings. Make a move, anyone?

The press room is now so busy its standing room only. Meanwhile, the actor Woody Harrelson has headed into the building wearing a suit and a light blue beanie hat. If the rumors are correct hell be making the first move.

Heres a look at the format for the world championship match. It will consist of 12 classical games with each player awarded one point for a win and a half-point for a draw. Whoever reaches six and a half points first will be declared the champion.

The time control for each game is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 1. Players cannot agree to a draw before Blacks 30th move.

At the airport, in the hotel or at home on your couch: with the new ChessBase you always have access to the whole ChessBase world: the new ChessBase video library, tactics server, opening training App, the live database with eight million games, Lets Check and web access to

If the match is tied after 12 games, tie-breaks will be played on the final day in the following order:

ChessBase will be publishing extensive annotations, both in video and written form. For our popular daily video round-up shows, we have three of our regular commentators lined up with Yannick Pelletier taking games 1-5 and Lawrence Trent and Erwin lAmi taking turns on games 6-12.

• Best of four rapid games with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move.

Scarcely any world champion has managed to captivate chess lovers to the extent Carlsen has. The enormously talented Norwegian hasnt been systematically trained within the structures of a major chess-playing nation such as Russia, the Ukraine or China.

• If still tied, they will play up to five mini-matches of two blitz games (five minutes for each player with a three-second increment).

• If all five mini-matches are drawn, one sudden-death Armageddon match will be played where White receives five minutes and Black receives four minutes. Both players will receive a three-second increment after the 60th move. In the case of a draw, Black will be declared the winner.

Our Sean Ingle was at yesterdays press conference at the College in Holborn, which you can watch below. It was a mostly conciliatory affair, as these things tend to be, and there is a very real mutual respect between the contestants. Yet Carlsen, when asked if he saw himself as the underdog or the favorite, couldnt help but reveal signs of the alpha dog within.

It has been a while since I have considered myself an underdog, to be honest, he said. If you have been the No 1 ranked player in the world for seven years and have won three world titles in a row, then there is something seriously wrong with your psyche, I think.

Hello and welcome to London for day one of the World Chess Championship. Weve got a cracker of a tie ahead as Norways Magnus Carlsen defends the title hes held for the past five years against Fabiano Caruana of the United States. The best-of-12-games match is taking place at the College in Holborn over the next 19 days, with the winner earning a 60% share of the €1m ($1.14m) prize fund if the match ends in regulation (or 55% if its decided by tie-break games).

Carlsen, 27, has been ranked No 1 for eight straight years and was considered the worlds best player even before he defeated Viswanathan Anand for the title in 2013. Caruana, 26, is ranked No 2, having earned his place the table by winning the candidates tournament in March. No American-born player has won or even competed for the world title since Bobby Fischer in 1972.

It marks the first title match between the worlds top two players since 1990, when Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov faced off for a fifth and final time.

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime heres Sean Ingles lookahead to the next three weeks.