Game 11 of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano in London, was yet another draw. This brings them to 11, the total number of draws, with the players now having 5.5 points apiece.
Former challenger for the World Chess Title in 2016, GM Sergey Karjakin, made the ceremonial first move, which was quite a surprise, 1. b4, the Orang Utan Opening. There was quite a bit of laughter and amusement in the room after Karjakin made the move. This obviously did much to diffuse the tension before the game.
After Karjakin had played b4, Carlsen asked to retract that move and played 1. e4.
This was quite a big surprise for the author because that most likely meant he was going to play against the Petroff Defence. Did he have anything special prepared? It turned out he did. The Queens were swapped off early in the game and soon after there was an ending with opposite coloured bishops. Though Carlsen was now a pawn up, but there was little prospect of him winning the game, unless Caruana lost his way somewhere in the endgame.
Caruana and his team will be satisfied with the outcome of the game, because black was able to equalise without too much trouble. The author is quite sure that Carlsen will be disappointed with his last effort as white in the classical part of the match.
In his true style, Carlsen continued playing with a few tricks, but there was no chance that Caruana was going to mess up, and the players finally agreed to a draw after 55 moves.
With 11 games drawn, we have one more game to go. Caruana will have white in the last game. He needs to win that game to avoid going into the tie break, where Carlsen will surely be a heavy favourite to win.
In the press conference, Carlsen conceded that there wasn’t much for him in the game. Caruana also commented that nothing much happened in game 11.
½-½ in 55 moves.
— Chess.com (@chesscom) November 24, 2018
Asked about Game 12, Carlsen had this to say:
Magnus Carlsen on game twelve: “A lot depends on what he wants to do. If he wants to shut it down, that’s fine by me, we’ll play rapid. Otherwise, we’ll have a fight.” pic.twitter.com/5qJzwJr4kz
— Olimpiu G. Urcan (@olimpiuurcan) November 24, 2018
Here is the game for replay:
You can watch the press conference below
The best of 12 game match has a prize fund of a million euros (about $1.1 million), with 60 percent for the winner. The first player to reach 6.5 points is declared the winner. (If the match should be tied after 12 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breakers and the winner of the match would receive 55 percent of the prize fund, while the loser receives the other 45%.)
FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018 is also supported by PhosAgro, a leading chemical company as the Official Strategic Partner; Kaspersky Lab as the Official Cybersecurity Partner; PRYTEK as Technology Transfer Partner; S.T. Dupont as Official Writing Instrument; Isklar as the official mineral water of the Championship Match; Unibet as the Official Betting Partner.