The most anticipated event among the followers of the game of chess is moments away. The three-time World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen is all in readiness to further his claim of being the greatest chess player the world has ever seen.
Carlsen will face the US’ only contender since the great Bobby Fischer ended the Soviet domination in 1972, Fabiano Caruana.
Magnus Carlsen is not someone new to the scene, after topping the FIDE rating table for nearly three years, in 2013, he defeated India’s Vishwanathan Anand, a five-time World Champion. Without needing to play last two games, Carlsen had defeated the celebrated stalwart of the game at his home turf(Chennai). A year later, Anand fought the Candidates tournament again and successfully claimed a rematch against the Norwegian. With a little more effort than the last time, Magnus prevailed the second time.
In the latest World Championship battle, Magnus nearly lost his crown to Russia’s Sergey Karjakin. After 7 draws the world number 1 lost the 8th. Subsequently, he made a comeback and forced a tie-breaker, where he eventually came out as a victor.
For Caruana, it’s a first go at the championships, for America its a first after a very long time. It was in 1972 when a young Fischer defeated USSR’s Boris Spassky in what is called the Match of the Century and gave the USA an intellectual edge over the USSR in the cold war-ridden world. Though Caruana became Grandmaster in 2007, he truly made a mark in the chess world at the Sinquefield Cup, 2014. He recorded a historic performance of 3101, becoming the third highest rated player ever in the world with 2844 ELO points. In the tournament, he won the first seven games; commented by Levon Aronian as a “historical achievement”.
He won the Candidates Tournament this year with one full point and earned the right to contest for the World Chess Championship.
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In the 2018 World Chess Championship, a total of 12 classical games will take place(less, in case one surpasses the score of 6). In case of a tie, tiebreaker rapid games will take place, as was the case in 2016.
The matches will take place in London at 15:00 UTC (20:30 IST). The tournament will follow the game day-game day-rest day pattern, with the first game taking place on November 9, 2018.