… White pieces again, as he had in game 6. This was a big moment, a big chance, to open the score.
World Chess Champion starts the game with 1.d4, for second time in the match, and the Queen's Gambit Declined appears on the board. Very fast the game becomes symmetrically because the c and d pawns exchanged as many of the pieces.
The only asymmetry in the position was the Knight against the bishop. Caruana manages to equalize the game easily and get a comfortable half point.
An interesting statistic is that everyone who manages to open the score in previous matches finally lost it; as it happened on Kasparov - Anand 1995, Anand - Gelfand 2012, and Carlsen - Karjakin 2016.
Another point is that in the previews match, Carlsen was behind in score with Karjakin and for that reason he would like to play very solidly and avoid to be with his back in the wall.
Report From GM Daniel King
(7) Carlsen Magnus (2835) – Caruana Fabiano (2832)
Fide World Chess Championship (7), 18.11.2018
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0–0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.a3 Qa5 10.Nd2
This was a surprising move and put Carlsen to deep thinking. The idea was to keep the d4 break open and avoid all the tricks with b4 or Nb3.
11.Nb3 Bb6 12.Be2 Qe7 13.Bg5 dxc4 14.Nd2 Ne5
This is a very safe move; and after that the position pretty balanced.
15.Nce4!? Magnus said it was his main chance to play dynamically. 15...Bd7 16.Qc3 Nxe4! 17.Nxe4 (17.Bxe7 Nxc3) 17...f6! 18.Qxe5 fxg5 (18...fxe5 19.Bxe7) 19.Bxc4, This is a double-edged position and Magnus didn't go for it because Black have the Bishop pair and pressure on the f-line.
15.f4 This is very risky!
15...Bd7 16.Bf4 Ng6 17.Bg3 Bc6 18.Nxc4 Bc7 19.Rfd1 Rfd8 20.Rxd8+ Rxd8 21.Rd1 Rxd1+ 22.Qxd1 Nd5 23.Qd4 Nxc3 24.Qxc3 Bxg3 25.hxg3 Qd7 26.Bd3 b6 27.f3 Bb7 28.Bxg6 hxg6
Here we can see the only unbalance in the position which is Knight vs Bishop. Usually this piece coordination favorite White, because Queen can coordinate better with the Knight; however, the position is very symmetrical with pawns in the both sides of the chess board and White didn't managed to achieve anything at all.
29.e4 Qc7 30.e5 Qc5+ 31.Kh2 Ba6 32.Nd6 Qxc3 33.bxc3 f6 34.f4 Kf8 35.Kg1 Ke7 36.Kf2 Kd7 37.Ke3 Bf1 38.Kf2 Ba6 39.Ke3 Bf1 40.Kf2 ½–½
Lupe's picture was very successful; present both players fighting for wooden weapons. None of them was in position to fight or put real pressure to his opponent; mainly because he doesn't like to take any risks.
View the game