The 2018 World Chess Championship was flagged off in London on November 9 after a glittering opening ceremony. The defending champion GM Magnus Carlsen (Norway) who is also the world no.1 ranked player is challenged by Fabiano Caruana (USA) who is incidentally the world no. 2 ranked player.
Both the players maintaining a whopping 2800 + rating are just 42 points away with each other. Being for the first time world no.1 and no2. With above 2800 rating locking the horns more intense tussle is expected from this duel.
Normally the world championship title match will start off slowly but pick up the momentum in the latter part of the match, This is mainly for the players to warm up and pick up speed gradually. But the situation was totally different in this year’s match.
Playing black in the inaugural round Carlsen faced his opponent’s e4 opening with a well analysed variation of Sicilian defense. The world champion showed his expertise and proved his mettle in the opening and took total control of the board. The brilliant maneuvering and stupendous posting of his pieces methodically put Caruana under tight spot.
Carlsen improved his position inch by inch and saddled his queen, rook and the knight on the king side making white’s king to run for life. When every one watching the live game believed that it was going to be cake walk for Carlsen in the first round he made a blunder by capturing white’s c3 pawn with his bishop. This paved the way for the challenger to make counter moves and he escaped from the jaws of death by a whisker. No one could understand how a player of Carlsen’s caliber could make such a mistake in a crucial moment.
With the American GM equalizing the first game after exchanging the queens the game ended in a draw. The first game producing a surprise result the remaining games poised for the next few days to come will generate more heat and energy in the London match.