World Chess Championship 2018

World Chess Championship 2018

IM vinniethepooh

The World Championship 2018 is underway in London. Hype, action and anxiety are all over the surface, and everyone is making predictions, viewing their favourites, trying to understand who will grab the crown.

Let's discuss the important things we need to know about the World Championship, before moving on to match predictions! (To know more, visit this detailed preview by Peter Doggers)


All analysis by @vinniethepooh

Game 1: Draw. Read full news report with detailed analysis of the game here: WCC 2018 Rd 1: Caruana survives major scare in 7-hour thriller

Game 2: Draw. Read full news report with detailed analysis of the game here: WCC 2018 Rd 2: Black wins the opening battle once again, Carlsen withstands Caruana’s prep

Game 3: Draw. Game 4: Draw. Read full news report here: WCC 2018 Rd 3+4: Uninspired Chess leads to parity being mantained

Game 5-10: All drawn. Read full news report here: WCC 2018 Rd 5-10: Wildness and Peace
Game 11: Draw. Read full news report with detailed analysis here: WCC 2018 Rd 11: Fabiano neutralizes Magnus' final White with another Petroff
Game 12: Draw. Read full news report here: WCC 2018 Rd 12: Into the tiebreaks!
 Tie-break: Magnus victorious again. Read the final WCC 2018 report here: WCC 2018 Tie-Break: Magnus Carlsen defends title


This World Championship is the second World Championship between the World #1 and World #2 on the FIDE rating list after Kasparov-Karpov back in 1990.

Champion: Magnus Carlsen of Norway (2835)

Image result for magnus carlsen images

Born on 30 November 1990, Magnus is considered to be the biggest talents in chess history. Magnus got the Grandmaster title in 2004.

Since mid 2011, Magnus has retained the no.1 spot without dropping it for a single time in the FIDE ratings list. He won the World Championship in 2013 against Viswanathan Anand and has retained it since, winning a rematch against Anand in 2014 and against Sergey Karjakin in 2016.

Wikipedia explains Carlsen's style as follows:

Known for his attacking style as a teenager, Carlsen has since developed into a universal player. He uses a variety of openings to make it more difficult for opponents to prepare against him and reduce the effect of computer analysis. He has stated the middlegame is his favourite part of the game as it "comes down to pure chess". His positional mastery and endgame prowess have drawn comparisons to those of former World Champions Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, Vasily Symslov, and Jose Raul Capablanca.

Challenger: Fabiano Caruana of USA (2832)

Image result for fabiano caruana

Born on 30 July, 1992, Caruana got the title of Grandmaster in 2007. He has earned the right to challenge Carlsen for the WCC title in 2018 after winning the FIDE Candidates earlier this year.

His major breakthrough which announced the world that he is here to stay, was in the 2014 Sinquenfield Cup when he started with a record 7/7 against a record field comprising of the World top 10.

Wikepedia describes Caruana's style as follows:

As a youth, Caruana had an aggressive style of play. Caruana's playing style is now universal, based on excellent opening preparation and good calculation.

Caruana is known as a hard working player, once saying: "Hundreds of games are played each day all around the world, and a lot of them are important. They're all available online, but you have to put in the time to look at them all. And you need to analyze, find new trends, keep trying to find new ideas to use against specific opponents."


Day Date Activity
Thursday November 8 Press conference & Opening Ceremony
Friday November 9 Game 1
Saturday November 10 Game 2
Sunday November 11 -
Monday November 12 Game 3
Tuesday November 13 Game 4
Wednesday November 14 -
Thursday November 15 Game 5
Friday November 16 Game 6
Saturday November 17 -
Sunday November 18 Game 7
Monday November 19 Game 8
Tuesday November 20 -
Wednesday November 21 Game 9
Thursday November 22 Game 10
Friday November 23 -
Saturday November 24 Game 11
Sunday November 25 -
Monday November 26 Game 12
Tuesday November 27 -
Wednesday November 28 Tiebreaks/Closing Ceremony


The venue for the match will be The College in Holborn, London. 

The building has a capacity of about 400-500 people per day, but the press release speaks of a capacity of 400.

The building has a theater, which will be used as the actual playing hall.


The official regulations can be found in PDF here.

  • The match will be played over 12 games. When a player reaches 6.5 points, he wins.
  • The time control is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.
  • A mutual draw agreement cannot take place before move 30.


  • If the match is leveled at 6-6 after 12 games, a tiebreaker of four rapid games with 25+10 will be played.
  • If the match still does not have any conclusion, two blitz games of 5+3 will be played.
  • If these are equal as well, another pair of 5+3 blitz will be played.
  • If there is still no winner after these tiebreaks, a sudden death, Armageddon match will be played. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds starting from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.


The first official world championship in chess history took place in 1886 between Johannes Zukertort and Wilhelm Steinitz. This World Championship is the 45th in chess history (excluding the Classical and FIDE World Championships 1993-2006)

The official world chess champions in order are as follows:


  • Wilhelm Steinitz
  • Emanual Lasker
  • Jose Raul Capablanca
  • Alexander Alekhine
  • Max Euwe
  • Mikhail Botvinnik
  • Vasily Symslov
  • Mikhail Tal
  • Tigran Petrosian
  • Boris Spassky
  • Robert James Fischer
  • Anatoly Karpov
  • Garry Kasparov
  • Vladimir Kramnik
  • Viswanathan Anand
  • Magnus Carlsen

Predictions (before the start of the event)

This match will be a lot about psychological factors.

I am supporting Fabiano, and will bravely go ahead saying that he can do it. I am predicting a match score of 2-1 with 9 draws in Caruana's favour.

Fabiano has been on fire in this year, and he would not find a better form to beat Magnus. It has to be now. It has to be now.

According to me, opening preparation is where Caruana can overpower Carlsen. He is known for his deep strategic novelties while Carlsen is known to be one of the top players who considers the opening as comparatively less important and just prefers playable positions in the middlegame.

I am biased towards Caruana, but I can clearly agree that if the match is going into tiebreaks, Carlsen is a heavy favourite there. This is Fabiano's biggest disadvantage in the match- it is not unknown that his speed chess skills are rather weak compared to other top players.


I'll now move on to analysing the 4 classical games between the players in 2018, before the World Championship. 3 draws, and 1 win for Magnus.

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4