5 Conclusions from World Championship 2018 as it approaches the half-way mark
The World Championship 2018 is currently taking place in London between Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen. Photo: Mike Klein/Chess.com

5 Conclusions from World Championship 2018 as it approaches the half-way mark

IM vinniethepooh

The World Chess Championship 2018 has been quite exciting so far, with some really interesting moments. The current scoreline is 2.5-2.5, and we are yet to see a decisive result.

A seperate news report will be written on round 5 and the game analysis. This post focuses on 5 Conclusions from the WCC as it closes in on the halfway mark.

5 Conclusions from World Championship 2018 as it approaches the halfway mark

1. Fabiano has handled World Championship pressure quite well

After the opening game where Fabiano barely survived walking a tightrope, he has been rather comfortable despite all the pressure and flooding media.

He has slowly, but surely got into the groove. His confidence and determination already classes him as a regular WCC contender.

Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana is much more settled now. Photo: Mike Klein/Chess.com

2. Magnus simply loves the two bishops!

In all the three games with Black, Magnus essayed the Sicillian and found no problems in facing the Rossolimo, as he got the pair of bishops in every game!

In fact, even in game 4, when Magnus played the English, he showed that he was ready for a "Reverse" Rossolimo!

He really loves those two diagonally moving sharp monsters. And they work best in tandem.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen knows well about.. Photo: Mike Klein/Chess.com

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The power of the bishop pair in chess. Photo: Remote Chess Academy

3. Magnus becomes a theoretician during World Championships

In general, Magnus is not considered too much of a opening specialist. He just likes some playable positions and just a normal chess game, where he can prove his strategic superiority.

However, @alexcolovic mentioned in his WCC preview that Magnus is usually very well prepared in WCC matches. I was not quite sure about this, but now it looks like the case.

He seems to have done some deep preparation for this championship. The Sicillian, The Queen's Pawn, The English.. and yesterday in round 5 he thwarted off Fabiano's surprise gambit 6.b4.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen, so far doing fine in the openings. Photo: Mike Klein/Chess.com

4. Black is the new White!

Black has been so comfortable so far, sometimes even getting better positions from the opening, that it is being claimed as the 'New White'.
In game 4, Magnus got the tiniest of tiny edges with White. So tiny that it would have to be seen by a microscope.
Unfortunately, Magnus did not have access to that in the playing hall.

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The organizers have committed the serious mistake of not keeping something as important in the playing arena. Photo: Anonymous

In game 3, Fabiano got some advantage with the White pieces, but Magnus could have played more accurately in the opening to equalise. But will Magnus pose sterner tests to Black when he gets a double White in round 6 and 7?

Magnus Carlsen Fabiano Caruana

Black has been the one who has been giving dominant handshakes so far. Photo: Mike Klein/Chess.com

5. Anish Giri has his blessings over the players

It's clear that the players went to seek blessings from the one and only Anish. And he probably responded with a 'good luck'.
And everyone knows what his good luck means.. a drawfest!

With all due respect, as is many times said about Anish, he plays very exciting games at times but the draw-curse always refuses to leave his side. Exactly the case here.

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Anish Giri, influencing the match heavily? Photo: Twitter