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Carlsen – Caruana 2018 game 7 LIVE!

photo by Niki RigaReplay: Caruana – Carlsen game 1 / Carlsen – Caruana game 2 / Caruana – Carlsen game 3 / Carlsen – Caruana game 4 / Caruana – Carlsen game 5 / Carlsen – Caruana game 6

Hello everyone and welcome to the live coverage of the 2018 World Chess Championship match between the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and the challenger Fabiano Caruana (USA). In this live blog + live games from WCC 2018 we will be covering the event Carlsen – Caruana with the latest news, developments, interviews, and in-game details.

The most important feature here will be the lines of analysis by Lc0 – the open Neural Network, and the TCEC champion Stockfish running on a Super Computer of 128 cores.


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Current move eval: Move 39: Lc0 +0.00 , SF[128] +0.00

Update 19:30

After massive exchanges we reach the 7th draw of the match and 12th consecutive for Magnus Carlsen. Caruana has survived the two whites of Carlsen. The question now is can he use his white advantage tomorrow.

Update 18:00

Only one piece remains undeveloped in Caruana’s camp, the light squared bishop. Lc0 suggestion for development

15. .. Bd7 16. Bf4 Ng6 17. Bg3 Bc6 18. Nxc4 Bc7 19. Rac1 b5 20. Nd2 Bxg3 21. hxg3 Rac8 22. Qb3 Rfd8 23. Rfd1 a6 24. Qb4 Qxb4 25. axb4 Nd5 26. Na2 Nb6 27. Nc3 Nd5 28. Na2 Nb6 29. Nc3 Nd5

SF 128 prefers intermediate move

15. .. h6 16. Bh4 and then …Bd7 17. Bg3 Qc5 18. Bxe5 Qxe5 19. Nxc4 Qc7 20. b4 Rac8 21. Qb2 Rfd8 22. Rac1 a6 23. h3 Be8 24. Nxb6 Qxb6 25. Rc2 Rc7 26. Rfc1 Rdc8 27. Nb1 Qd6 28. Rxc7 Rxc7 29. Bf3 Bc6 30. Qd2 Qf8 31. Bxc6 Qc8 32. Rc3 Rxc6 33. Qc2 Rxc3 34. Qxc3 Qd8 35. Nd2 Nd5 36. Qc5 Nf6

Update 17:00

Both engines Lc0 and SF128 claim black has equalized. However, the position is not dry at all, and this is clearly seen by the early deviations in the possible lines:

Lc0 line 1: 13. .. dxc4 14. Nd2 Ne5 15. Nce4 Bd7 16. Qc3 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 f6 18. Qxe5 Bc6 19. Bxc4 Rae8 20. Bd3 Rd8 21. Bc4 Rde8 22. Bd3 Rd8 23. Bc4 Rde8

Lc0 line 2: 13. .. h6 14. Bh4 dxc4 15. Nd2 Ne5 16. O-O Bd7 17. Nce4 Bc6 18. Nxf6+ gxf6 19. Qc3 Bc7 20. Nxc4 Ng6 21. Bxf6 Qc5 22. Ne5 Qxc3

SF128 : 13. .. dxc4 14. Nd2 Ne5 15. O-O h6 16. Bh4 Bd7 17. Nce4 Ng6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Qc3 Bd8 20. Ng3 f5 21. Nh5 e5 22. Nxc4 b5 23. Na5 Rc8 24. Qd2 Be6 25. Rac1 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 f4 27. Nc6 Qg5 28. g3 fxe3 29. Qxe3 Qxe3 30. fxe3 Bc7 31. e4 a6 32. Kg2

Lc0’s second line with 13…h6 is perfectly fine to resolve the immediate threat. The question is how deep Caruana’s preparation in this position goes.

Update 16:45

Now Carlsen has lot’s of moves to choose from: Bg3, Rd1, Bg5, O-O, h3, Na4, h4, all of them valid for white. Black’s main reply to all of them is dxc4

Update 16:35

Carlsen goes for the second line of Lc0, a one that can lead to more complications along the way. Caruana’s reaction here will be important

Update 16:30

Lc0 recommends two approaches, each with eval +0.23 here. One is 12. Rd1, the other 12. Be2

Lc0 line 1: 12. Rd1 Qe7 13. Be2 dxc4 14. Bxc4 Bc7 15. Bxc7 Qxc7 16. Nb5 Qb6 17. Be2 a6 18. Nd6 Nd5 19. Rc1 Rd8 20. Nc4 Qc7 21. O-O Bd7 22. Nca5 Qb6 23. Nxc6 Bxc6 24. Nd4 Rac8 25. b4 h6 26. Bf3 Bd7 27. Qb2 a5 28. Bxd5 exd5 29. h3 Rc4 30. Rb1 axb4

Lc0 line 2: 12. Be2 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Bd7 14. Rd1 Ne7 15. Qe2 Rc8 16. O-O a6 17. Nd2 Ned5 18. Be5 Bc7 19. Bd4 Bc6 20. Nxd5 Nxd5 21. Nf3 Qe7 22. Ne5 Bxe5 23. Bxe5 Qg5 24. f4 Qg6

Update 16:10 CET

Magnus Carlsen deviates, instead of 10. Rd1 (the main line) now he deviates 10. Nd2. Caruana goes for immediate Qd8

Lc0 +0.50: 11. Nf3 Qa5 12. Rd1 Be7 13. Be2 Ne4 14. cxd5 Nxc3 15. bxc3 exd5 16. O-O Bf6 17. c4 Be6 18. Bg5 dxc4 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. Bxc4 Qc5 21. Rc1 Qxa3 22. Qe4 Qe7 23. Bb5 a5 24. Bxc6 bxc6 25. Nd4 a4

SF128 +0.33: 11. Nf3 Qa5 12. Rd1 Be7 13. Be2 Ne4 14. cxd5 Nxc3 15. bxc3 exd5 16. O-O h6 17. a4 Rd8 18. Rb1 Bd6 19. Bxd6 Rxd6 20. Rfc1 Rb8 21. h3 Qc7 22. Bd3 Qe7 23. Nd4 Bd7 24. Qa2 Ne5 25. Bf1 Nc6 26. a5 Nxd4 27. cxd4 Bf5 28. Rb5 Be4 29. Rbc5 Rc6 30. a6 Rxc5 31. Rxc5 bxa6 32. Qxa6 Rb6 33. Qa1 Rb8

Update 16:03 CET

The game is on, following game 2 opening 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Be7 * , replay the key moments of game 2 here

Update 15:30 CET

Game 6 of the World Chess Championship was Carlsen’s 11th consecutive draw. Besides the 6 games at the WCC, he also drew his last five games of the European Club Cup. In quite a few of these games, Carlsen was against the ropes.

In this World Championship match he is not in a must-win situation. Six more consecutive draws will lead him to a tiebreak, where he has proven superior in faster time controls. Caruana, on the other hand, is gaining confidence with every game and may already be hungry for a win.

Update 15:15 CET

Caruana is cruising safely so far with the black pieces thanks to solid home preparation. If Carlsen wants to take this match, he might need to go for slightly riskier openings. The early queen exchange that looked like fireworks was really just a few moves excitement that allows black to equalize early on.

Will we see 1. d4 today or another repeat of a theoretical battle?

Update 15:00 CET

One hour is left to the start of game 7 of the World Chess Championship match between Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen. This is the first game after the halftime of the match. With the score equal 3-3 Magnus Carlsen will have the white pieces for a second consecutive game.

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