World Championship, Game 6: A Long, Hard-Fought Draw Keeps the Match Tied at the Halfway Point
Friday, November 16, 2018 at 5:42PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2018 World Championship, Fabiano Caruana, Magnus Carlsen

Six games, six draws, but this was a good one. Magnus Carlsen had White and decided to test Fabiano Caruana in the Videogate opening, the Petroff. Carlsen chose a really obscure line and even here couldn't surprise Caruana. A very dull quiet queenless middlegame ensued with the champion enjoying a token plus but with a draw the likeliest result. The expectation was that he would grind and grind, but that Caruana would be a favorite to hold the draw.

Something like that happened...but it was the other way around! Caruana outplayed the champion, outshining him in his own territory. Once he started to get into trouble he played better, and his piece sac on move 44 was a brave, deep defensive idea. It was correct, but not an automatic draw by any stretch of the imagination. For a long time Carlsen defended correctly, but Caruana's persistence finally induced an error on move 67. Unfortunately for the challenger, the endgame was at times a little too subtle for both players, not just Carlsen, and on move 68 he missed his chance. Caruana tried a little longer, but his final plan was harmless and the game was agreed drawn after 80 moves.

This was an excellent fight, worthy of a world championship match. Hopefully the second half of the match will see more games like this one. The players are off tomorrow, and game 7, with Carlsen again having White will take place on Sunday. As for the game and my notes, the latter will take a while, so for now, here's the game without any comments. Look for an update later on.

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