Epic Round Six Draw as Caruana Presses Carlsen in Petroff

Round six at the World Chess Championships, Photo Eric Rosen

After a nearly flawless game five, Carlsen and Caruana continued to thrill fans and spectators with an epic game six draw. The game started out somewhat tepidly, as Carlsen played 1.e4 for the first time in the match, but got nothing against Caruana's well prepared Petroff. Fabiano Caruana began to outplay the World Champion at his own game- grinding an edge from a seemingly equal ending. IM Eric Rosen, tweeting for US Chess, pointed out early that the star of the show was Fabi's Petroff knight, which took an incredible tour.

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Later Five Thirty-Eight created a graphic demonstrating the knight's full path.

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For more on the actual "Knight's Tour" problem, see our article by Patrick JMT on this site. The pressure caused the World Champion to bail out into a highly reduced endgame.

Commentators and even computer engines had a lot of trouble figuring out whether the game was drawn easily, drawn with precise play, or winning for Black. At one moment, Caruana had a deep, study like path to victory, which stunned fans and commentators. I was blown away by the beauty of the idea: placing the knight on g1 threatens the maneuver Ng1-h3-f4, forcing White to try placing his bishop on g4.
The aesthetic winning construction. The bishop does not have enough squares on the h3-c8 diagonal and White will find himself in zugzwang.

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No one blamed Caruana for missing it though.

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Garry Kasparov went even further, suggesting that playing the winning continuation was beyond the reach of the human brain.

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Magnus himself was shocked by the news.

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[pgn] [Event "Carlsen-Caruana FIDE World Chess Champs"] [Date "2018.11.16"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2835"] [BlackElo "2832"] [PlyCount "160"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "Norway"] [BlackTeam "United States"] [WhiteTeamCountry "NOR"] [BlackTeamCountry "USA"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nd3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 6. Nf4 Nc6 7. Nd5 Nd4 8. Nxe7 Nxe2 9. Nd5 Nd4 10. Na3 Ne6 11. f3 N4c5 12. d4 Nd7 13. c3 c6 14. Nf4 Nb6 15. Bd3 d5 16. Nc2 Bd6 17. Nxe6 Bxe6 18. Kf2 h5 19. h4 Nc8 20. Ne3 Ne7 21. g3 c5 22. Bc2 O-O 23. Rd1 Rfd8 24. Ng2 cxd4 25. cxd4 Rac8 26. Bb3 Nc6 27. Bf4 Na5 28. Rdc1 Bb4 29. Bd1 Nc4 30. b3 Na3 31. Rxc8 Rxc8 32. Rc1 Nb5 33. Rxc8+ Bxc8 34. Ne3 Nc3 35. Bc2 Ba3 36. Bb8 a6 37. f4 Bd7 38. f5 Bc6 39. Bd1 Bb2 40. Bxh5 Ne4+ 41. Kg2 Bxd4 42. Bf4 Bc5 43. Bf3 Nd2 44. Bxd5 Bxe3 45. Bxc6 Bxf4 46. Bxb7 Bd6 47. Bxa6 Ne4 48. g4 Ba3 49. Bc4 Kf8 50. g5 Nc3 51. b4 Bxb4 52. Kf3 Na4 53. Bb5 Nc5 54. a4 f6 55. Kg4 Ne4 56. Kh5 Be1 57. Bd3 Nd6 58. a5 Bxa5 59. gxf6 gxf6 60. Kg6 Bd8 61. Kh7 Nf7 62. Bc4 Ne5 63. Bd5 Ba5 64. h5 Bd2 65. Ba2 Nf3 66. Bd5 Nd4 67. Kg6 Bg5 68. Bc4 Nf3 69. Kh7 Ne5 70. Bb3 Ng4 71. Bc4 Ne3 72. Bd3 Ng4 73. Bc4 Nh6 74. Kg6 Ke7 75. Bb3 Kd6 76. Bc2 Ke5 77. Bd3 Kf4 78. Bc2 Ng4 79. Bb3 Ne3 80. h6 Bxh6 1/2-1/2[/pgn]

Interact with Eric Rosen on twitter @USChess using the hashtag #CarlsenCaruana. Find out Eric’s philosophy on tweeting and match predictions in our earlier interview.  Worldchess.com is the tournament website. The Today in Chess broadcast daily with a new start time of 10 AM ET  will feature a star-studded schedule of interviews. Full list of viewing options in our Couch Potato guide. Find our media kit and mainstream media round-up here.  

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] crossed the halfway point, with Magnus Carlsen employing his second straight White in Game 7 after an epic draw in Game 6. Today’s 40-move draw followed the recurring narrative of the match—Magnus got surprised as […]

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

10th game Caruana will win!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] Throwback to Game Six, one of the most intriguing endgames of World Championship history, where Fabiano Caruana had a deep […]

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] is very difficult to find, but it’s not as difficult as 68…Bh4! (and 70…Ng1!!) were in Game 6 of the Carlsen-Caruana match. (Thanks to Jen Shahade for the example.) There, no one could reasonably have expected Caruana to […]

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