The contest between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana started in London on 9 November 2018. It is a 12 game match with a tie break system of 4 rapid play games and then, if necessary, blitz games if the score reached 6-6.
The entire event can be watched live on worldchess.com for 20 dollars or other free sites such as chess24.com show the moves as they happen with commentary but you can’t watch the players.
It might have been expected that the first game be a cautious affair with a draw the likely outcome as neither player would want to lose the first game. However, the opposite happened. Fabiano chose to play the Rossolimo variation (3.Bb5) against Magnus’s Sicilian but as the first time limit at 40 moves approached Fabiano was in time trouble and Magnus had a clear advantage. However, Magnus failed to find the best moves and lost his advantage and although he played on for another 60 moves trying to test Fabiano’s stamina in the endgame the game was eventually agreed as a draw after 115 moves and 7 hours of play. This was one of the longest games in the history of the World Championship.
Game 2 was a conventional Queen’s Gambit declined and a draw was agreed after 47 moves.
Games 3 and 4 were drawn and were cautious affairs and pretty level all the way through. Fabiano repeated the Rossolimo variation in game 4 and Magnus opened with the English variation in Game 4.
The tension will start to increase as one of them will need to take chances to try to win a game but one defeat could be fatal.
The next game is at 3.00pm on Thursday 15 November.