After a gruelling 3 week battle between the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen and the US contender Fabiano Caruana, the tournament is all set for a thrilling end day. This is for the first time in the tournament’s history that all the games of the Championships have ended in a draw.
If the first eleven games were full of swings, the twelfth turned to be a story that would be told for time immemorial; for wrong reasons though. Carlsen was leading by almost 40 minutes on the clock with Caruana struggling at 9 minutes with still 9 moves to play before the second time-phase had to start. The World Champion offered a draw in a relatively better position than the Candidates tournament Champion. Playing with black, Carlsen started with Sicilian yet again but surprised the US player with 8..Ne7 instead of his earlier attempts of 8..Nb8. Carlsen virtually offered a draw with a repetitive sequence of moves but Caruana deviated. Apparently, the World No. 1 is a heavy favourite to win in the smaller formats of the game.
In the first game, Carlsen lost out on a clear win, while in the 6th, Fabiano missed a humanely impossible 68. Bh4!!.
How will the winner be decided now?
The next phase of the tournament is called the tie-breakers. The players would first play four games against each other with rapid time controls, i.e. with 25 minutes on the clock and an increment of 10 seconds after each move.
In case the deadlock persists, two “blitz” games will be played. Here, the players would have five minutes with an add-on of three seconds per turn. Another set of two games will be played in case nothing separates the two.
If after all those 20 games it still says 10-10, a final Armageddon game will take place. A winner always comes out of the Armageddon game. Here, if the match ends in a draw, the player with black is declared as a winner. To compensate for this disadvantage, white is blessed with more time on the clock. Usually, black gets three minutes whereas white gets four.
Where can the games be viewed?
Various Grandmasters are live streaming the game with commentary on their Twitch and Youtube Channel. Some of the leading chess channels are, Chesscom and Chess24. While the official stream can be viewed at World Chess. The games will begin at 20:30 IST (8:30 PM) on 28th November.
After the game, in the draw of lots Carlsen got white to begin the next phase of the tournament.