... an interesting pawn sacrifice in the opening 6.b4!? However, this move wasn't unknown to the World Champion. He played quite fast and he managed to equalize the game easily. After that it was Fabiano's time to search for the draw. Actually the game ended in a draw in 34 moves.
In the press conference player asked who their favorite player of the past was. The Challenger chooses the great American player, Robert Fisher. In the other hand, Magnus said that his favorite player was himself 3 - 4 years before. He also adds that the he's not in the position to admire other players! At this current stage of the match we can see that he has a lot of confidence for himself and for his position.
Report From Amazing GM Daniel King
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Caruana,Fabiano (2832) - Carlsen,Magnus (2835)
Fide World Chess Championship (5), 15.11.2018
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0–0 Bg7 5.Re1 e5 6.b4!?
This is the third most popular option. Obviously, Fabiano would like to surprise Magnus and use his superiority in opening preparation. After the game Magnus said that this move wasn't new to him, however he didn't reveal his opening preparation. 6.Bxc6 This is the first most popular option; 6.c3 This is the second most popular option.
6...cxb4 7.a3 b3 8.cxb3 Nge7 9.Bb2 0–0 10.b4 a6 11.Ba4 d5 12.exd5 Qxd5 13.Nc3 Qd3 14.Ne4 b6 15.Rc1 Bb7 16.Qe2 Qd5 17.Qe3 Qd8 18.Qg5 f6 19.Qe3 Kh8 20.Qe2 Rc8 21.Bb3 Nd5 22.d4 Nxd4 23.Nxd4 Rxc1 24.Rxc1 exd4 25.Qd2 Re8 26.Qxd4 Nf4 27.Qxd8 Rxd8 28.Ng3 h5 29.Rc7 Bxg2 30.Bc1 Bd5 31.Bxd5 Nxd5 32.Rc6 Kh7 33.Ne4 Ne7 34.Rc7 Rd1+ 35.Kg2 Nd5 36.Rc6 g5 37.Bd2 g4 38.Rd6 Ne7 39.Rd7 Nf5 40.Nxf6+ Kg6 41.Ne4 Be5 42.f4 Bxf4 43.Rd3 Nh4+ 44.Kf2 Bxh2 45.Ke2 Ra1 46.Rc3 Nf3 47.Be3 Kf5 48.Nd6+ Bxd6 0–1 Bacrot,E (2708)-Grischuk,A (2761)/GCT Rapid Paris 2017
This leads to some simplifications, which is usually beneficial for the defending side. 7...Qc7!? 8.c3 Nc6 9.d4 Nf6 10.dxc5 White have full compensation for the sacrificed pawn.
8.a3 axb5 9.axb4 Rxa1 10.Bxa1 d6
10...cxb4 11.Bxe5 Bxe5 12.Nxe5 Again, in this particular line Black is a pawn up, however, he has triple b-pawns. White have a dominant position in the center and the dark-squares in the king-side are vulnerable. For that reasons White have total compensation for the sacrifice pawn and it's logical that Magnus didn't go for this line.
Again Caruana played the most forcing line, however his last move was criticized by many commentators. The reason behind it is that the game will simplify a lot and it wasn't obvious how White can get any advantage here. 12.cxd6!? Qxd6 13.d4 exd4 14.Bxd4 (14.e5!?) 14...0–0 15.Bxg7 Qxd1 16.Rxd1 Kxg7 This is the critical position because Black have double pawns on the b-line and White is more active. However, he cannot create an immediate threat against these pawns, so the position is dynamically balanced. 17.Nd4 (17.Na3 b4 18.Nc4 Nc6=) 17...b4 18.Nd2 Nc6=]
12...b4 13.Qc4 Qa5!
Carlsen is trying for queens exchange. He will temporarily give up a pawn, however, he will manage to develop his pieces and equalize the game.
14.cxd6 Be6 15.Qc7 Qxc7 16.dxc7 Nc6
Black should be happy about the outcome of the opening, because the c7-pawn will be doomed and he will not have any problems to activate his h8-Rook. Apart from that Black have the bishop pair and there is not an obvious way for White to press the doubled b-pawns.
17.Rd1! This was a more challenging idea in order to open the center with d2-d4. 17...Kd7 18.d4 b3! This is a very strong and unexpected move. Black is descending from the double attack on d5 with a counter-blow. 19.d5 (19.dxe5+ Kxc7; 19.cxb3 Bxb3; 19.Nxe5+ Kxc7! 20.cxb3 Ra8 Black is two pawns down but he has enough compensation; thanks to his extremely active pieces.) 19...bxc2!
17...Kd7 18.cxb4 Ra8 19.Bc3 Kxc7 20.d3
20...b5! Here Magnus lose an opportunity to increase his pressure. The b4-pawn is weak and first of all you should blockade it. After that he can arrange an attack on it. The position is playable but Black is pressing.
In the game, Magnus had the idea to attack the b4-pawn with his King, to proceed actively. However he may missed his opponent move because right now he cannot play his King to b5.
21...Rd8 22.Be3+ Kb5 23.Nc3+ Kxb4 24.Nd5+!
Caruana found the best move in order to capture the dangerous b-pawn. White here is fighting for the draw.
24...Bxd5 25.exd5 Rxd5 26.Rb1+ Kc3 27.Rxb7 Nd8 28.Rc7+ Kxd3
Black is a pawn up, however White's c7-Rook is very active and d8-Knight should be stay passively in order f7-pawn.
29.Kf1 h5 30.h3 Ke4 31.Ng5+ Kf5 32.Nxf7 Nxf7 33.Rxf7+ Bf6 34.g4+ ½–½
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