World Chess Championship 2018: Magnus Carlsen vs Fabiano Caruana – Game 6

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[Event “World Chess Championship 2018”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus”]
[Black “Caruana, Fabiano”]
[Site “London”]
[Round “6”]
[Result “*”]
[Date “2018.11.16”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6

{Petroff’s Defense – Alexey Root covered it recently! It’s Caruana’s favorite so it’s going to be difficult for Carlsen to beat.}

3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nd3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.Nf4 Nc6 {this is very uncommon} 7.Nd5 Nd4 8.Nxe7 Nxe2 9.Nd5 Nd4 10.Na3 Ne6

{“This is one of the more peculiar openings I’ve seen in a while!” – GM Peter Svidler}

11.f3 N4c5 12.d4 Nd7 13.c3 c6 14.Nf4 Nb6 {Carlsen still enjoys a minor advantage} 15.Bd3 {Carlsen spent 15 minutes on this move.} d5 16.Nc2 Bd6 17.Nxe6 Bxe6

{Grandmasters already bet the game will end in draw.}

18.Kf2 h5 19.h4 Nc8

{The pace has slowed down considerably. Both players spend more and more time on each move and their positions look symmetrical and impenetrable.}

20.Ne3 Ne7 21.g3 c5 22.Bc2 O-O 23.Rd1 Rfd8 {[#] Difficult position} 24. Ng2 cxd4 25. cxd4 Rac8 26. Bb3 Nc6 27. Bf4 {The tide is slowly turning in Caruana’s favor.} Na5 28.Rdc1 Bb4 {Caruana doesn’t want to trade.} 29.Bd1 Nc4 30.b3 {Carlsen’s position is weakening.} Na3 31.Rxc8 Rxc8 32.Rc1 Nb5 33.Rxc8+ Bxc8 {The position is once again equal.} Ne3 Nc3 35.Bc2 Ba3 36.Bb8 {Carlsen took 15 minutes on this and the game is getting tense.} a6 37.f4 Bd7 38.f5 Bc6 39.Bd1 {The pressure on Carlsen is mounting.} Bb2 40.Bxh5 Ne4+ 41.Kg2 Bxd4 42.Bf4 {Carlsen still has a problem with the backward a2 pawn.} Bc5 {Clearing the way for the d5 pawn.} 43.Bf3 Nd2 44.Bxd5 Bxe3 45.Bxc6 Bxf4 46.Bxb7 Bd6 47.Bxa6 Ne4

{[#] Black’s advantage is now a full pawn according to computers!}

48.g4 Ba3
{“Black had to stop the Queenside pawns from advancing to give time for the Knight to swing over to capture the pawns.” – Susan Polgar}

49.Bc4 Kf8 50.g5 Nc3 51.b4 Bxb4 52.Kf3

{Carlsen can only hope for a draw at this point, while Caruana eyes a victory. The game is entering its 6th hour!}

Na4 53.Bb5 Nc5 54.a4 f6 55.Kg4

{Caruana needs at least one pawn to win.}

Ne4 56.Kh5 Be1

{“This endgame is very complicated. But it is fitting for a closely contest World Championship like this one. I think it is too hard for most players, including Grandmasters.” – Susan Polgar}

57.Bd3 Nd6 58.a5

{Carlsen gave up his a-pawn to get his king to g6}

Bxa5 59.gxf6 gxf6 60.Kg6

{[#] Carlsen now has to protect his h-pawn and force Caruana to protect the black f6 pawn.}

Bd8 61.Kh7 Nf7 62.Bc4 Ne5 63.Bd5 Ba5 64. h5 Bd2 65. Ba2 Nf3 66. Bd5 Nd4 67. Kg6 Bg5 {Carlsen must prevent Caruana from placing his king on g7 or g8.} 68. Bc4

(68. Bc4 Bh4 69. Bd5 Ne2 70. Bf3 Ng1 71. Bg4 Kg8 72. Kh6 Be1 73. Kg6 Bc3 74. Kh6 Bd2+ 75. Kg6 Bg5 76. h6 Kh8 77. h7 Bh4 78. Kh6 Bf2 79. Kg6 Bd4 80. Kh6 Be3+ 81. Kg6 Bg5 82. Bh5 Nh3 83. Bg4 Nf4+ 84. Kf7 Kxh7 85. Bd1 Kh6 86. Kf8 Bh4 87. Kf7 Kg5 88. Kg7 Kxf5 89. Kh6 Ke5 90. Kg7 f5 91. Kh6 Be1 92. Kg5 Nh3+ 93. Kh5 f4 94. Kg4 Ng1 95. Kg5 f3 96. Kg4 f2 97. Kg3 f1=Q+ 98. Kh2 Qh3+ 99. Kxg1 Bf2+ 100. Kxf2 Kf4 101. Ke1 Ke3 102. Be2 Qf5 103. Kd1 Qb1#)

Nf3 69. Kh7 Ne5 70. Bb3 Ng4 71. Bc4 Ne3 72. Bd3 Ng4 73. Bc4 Nh6 74. Kg6 Ke7 75. Bb3 Kd6 76. Bc2 Ke5 77. Bd3 Kf4 78. Bc2 Ng4 79.Bb3 Ne3

{[#]The position is once again equal. Amazing!}

80. h6 Bxh6

{[#]}

1/2-1/2

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Armand Niculescu

Armand Niculescu is a full-stack developer and creator of SparkChess. He has two BDs in engineering and marketing and a MSc in Management. He's been programming since the age of 12 and he also loves design, photography, and - obviously - chess.

One Response

  1. Darren Bithen
    Darren Bithen at

    Legs go Magnus