Magnus Carlsen does not miss the fast games and retains the title of chess world champion

The Norwegian, after some surprising tables in the twelfth game, did not fail in the fast games and won with an easy 3-0 to Fabiano Caruana
Source: Cadena Ser

Magnus Carlsen enforced his stat of the world’s best player in the fast chess games and got rid of Fabiano Caruana with a speedy 3-0 to retain the title of world champion.

Caruana, who dreamed of returning the world title to the United States after 43 years, with the great Bobby Fischer in the memory, suffered a complete romp in the tiebreaker, which clearly showed the superiority of the Norwegian that presaged the statistics in fast games.

Magnus won all three games. It was not necessary to reach the fourth one that contemplated the regulation and the final score reflects a misleading 9-6 for the champion, who had been slightly inferior to the American in the «regular» phase.

For the second consecutive time, Carlsen retained the title thanks to his analysis speed in the tiebreak. Two years ago he also defeated the Russian Sergey Karjakin in that way. This was the tenth tiebreaker he played in eleven years and, as in all previous ones, he liquidated his adversary with great ease.

After finishing the twelve classic chess games in a draw, an unprecedented event in the history of the World Cup, the title had to be elucidated at a rapid pace, with games of 25 minutes per player and 10 seconds of addition per movement.

Everything pointed to an easy victory for the champion. The Norwegian led the ranking of classic chess with 2,835 ELO points, only three more than Caruana, but was also the best in fast (2,800) and in lightning or blitz (2,939), modalities in which the applicant is much weaker: tenth with 2789 and eighteenth with 2767, respectively.

There was, however, a loophole for hope for Fabiano, who had made remarkable progress in fast chess. In the last three years, his account with Carlsen was tied in fast (2-2) and yielded to the Norwegian by 2.5 to 5.5 in blitz.

Carlsen opened fire with white in the first fast and did with the English 1.c4 to get the American from the preparation from the start.

The champion temporarily sacrificed a pawn to mess up the black queen’s flank and get the pair of bishops. Then it was accentuating the weaknesses of Caruana but it was delayed 9 minutes before playing 24.Axe6 +, which was not the most acute, but agreed to an end with extra pawn.

And with one minute in the clock Caruana made the fateful error with 37 … Rxe4, omitting a previous check of the tower in a2. Carlsen took advantage of the gift and settled the battle in 55 movements. What he had not achieved in more than 50 hours of classic games, he got in the first accelerated lance.

All the pressure in the second game for the aspirant, who opened, as always, with 1.e4 in an open Sicilian. Caruana, who had kissed the canvas, was forced to play aggressive when he got up and was not calm enough to get the right line. On the contrary, he attacked his bare chest and made another big mistake with 26.c7 that cost him the game and left him on the edge of the final K.O.

There was no need to exhaust the four items. Caruana, again with blacks, replied in the third with a Sicilian against 1.e4 that the champion used for the first time in this World Cup.

The candidate needed to complicate the position because he was only worth the victory. Carlsen, on the other hand, always sought solidity against a desperate opponent who made another serious mistake and closed the World Cup with three defeats and a result perhaps unfair.

The overwhelming victory of Carlsen in the fast ones, in comparison with the slight superiority of Caruana that had registered the classic games, intensified the controversy on the best way to solve the ties in a World Cup.