World Chess Championship Match 2018

After two games, one an epic 7 hour duel, Magnus Carlsson is tied with Fabiano Caruana, each with one point. Both games were draws. The match is 12 games.

538 Report on Game 2

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Oh Woody Harrelson, you’ll always be Woody Boyd to me ������������

2019? Wait a minute… have you got a time machine?

Note that the defending champion’s name is generally rendered as Magnus Carlsen.

It seems to be the common view among savvy commentators that Carlsen had achieved a meaningful advantage in Game 1 by around move 34, which he managed to fritter away by move 43. The game continued for several more hours, ending in a predictable draw.

Yeah, I was apparently not paying much attention to my fingers yesterday. I probably ought to restart the whole thread for that reason! :smiley:

Nuh-uh, you took your finger off of it!

Yes, sort of, but …

The match ends if any player reaches 6.5 points, which may happen in fewer than 12 games.

If after 12 games they are tied (6 - 6), they play a 4-game match of rapid chess (harsh time controls). If still tied, they play a series of up to five 2-game matches of blitz chess (really savage time controls). If still tied, they play a sudden-death game, under rules guaranteed to produce a winner.

So, with the match score currently at 1-1, we can confidently predict that the total number of games will be between 8 and 27, inclusive.

If the match goes past 12 games, I think Magnus will be viewed as having a significant advantage - he’s notably strong in speed chess.
Perhaps we’ll hear from glee, who I believe is the SDMB’s chess guru.


Wait, what? What rules would be guaranteed to produce a winner? About the best I could think of would be that a draw would be counted as a win for black, but even then, you’d still have to decide who plays black.

Or you could do something crazy like call a stalemate a loss, eliminate the threefold rule and the 50-move rule, and call it a loss for the first side to have insufficient material to checkmate. But that’d be rather drastic.
Oh, and I fixed the title.

From Wikipedia:
If the match is tied after 12 games, tie breaks will be played on the final day in the following order, if necessary:

Best of 4 rapid games (25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move). The player with the best score after four rapid games is the winner; otherwise they proceed to blitz games.
Up to five mini-matches of best of 2 blitz games (5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment after each move). The player with the best score in any two-game blitz match is the winner. If all five two-game matches are tied, an “Armageddon” game is played.
One sudden death “Armageddon” game: White receives 5 minutes and Black receives 4 minutes. Both players receive an increment of 3 seconds starting from move 61. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. In case of a draw, the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

So yeah, it is rather drastic, but draws are dragging the sport down. A twelve game match is really too short, but the chess federation depends on corporate sponsorship to finance the matches.

That’s about right. Random draw for color; white get more time; draw goes to black:

ETA: Simulpost.

Interesting to note that the current rules contain no vestige of an inherent advantage for the defending champion.

BITD, a world championship would consist of a defined maximum number of games with generous time control. If the match was tied at the end of these games, the challenger was deemed to have failed and the defending champion was declared the winner.

I prefer playing tiebreak games to the old champion draw odds, but 12 games really is too short. Several of the recent championship matches have gone to the rapid games, though none have made it to the blitz IIRC.

Most kind!

Firstly I won’t comment on the games, because there are International Masters already doing so (alongside the games themselves e.g. here)

Next I agree with you that Magnus is stronger in speed chess (although Caruana is no slouch…)

Others have mentioned previous World Championship matches.
There has been an evolution of the choice of challenger, match duration and winning conditions over the decades.

In Capablance - Alekhine in 1927, any challenger needed to raise $10,000 (a lot of money in 1927!) and matches were arranged privately (since FIDE had only just been founded.)

In the 1950s Botvinnik was World Champion, but used a rematch condition to regain the title a couple of times after he lost the initial match. This condition was dropped later.

One of the Karpov - Kasparov matches (under the rule of first to 6 wins becomes Champion) lasted 48 games :eek: and was summarily terminated with Karpov leading 5-3. You can imagine the costs involved being part of that decision…
After this matches had a limit on the number of games.

There have been various controversies (including two simultaneous Champions :smack: ) over time, which you can read about here.

Although I agree with borschevsky that 12 games is too short, at least we have a single title with two world-class players playing for it.
Plus the games are all published on the Internet with analysis.

N.B. I’m certain that a top computer program would win the title if allowed to play…

Though possibly not directly relevant to this thread, here’s an interesting YouTube video graphing the strength of the world’s top 10 chess players over time, from 1809 to 2016.

I like the horsey one, it moves funny.

Sadly that silly comment possibly reflects my ability at chess. I like a game now and again but I’m setting no worlds on fire.

Still, I find these big match-ups fascinating. It is a game and event that was pretty much waiting for modern technology to catch-up. We now have instant and varied commentary with the ability to project relative game position strength and suggest potential upcoming moves. It all provides a wonderful backdrop to the simple theme of two blokes and a chess board.

Didn’t world championship matches have game limits until Fischer demanded FIDE get rid of them for his scheduled 1975 defense against Karpov (which never happened, apparently because Fischer also demanded that, as champion, he should only have to win 9 games while Karpov would have to win 10, as part of the “champion’s advantage in a tied match”)?

I think that the one thing that surprises me about the older matches was, they only had to make 16 moves (by each player) an hour. I am not a fan of the “if the match ends in a tie, play with shorter time limits” system. (Here’s my idea for “overtime”; sudden death - first win wins the match (or the champion retains if they reach a certain number of games) - and the champion gets choice of color for the first game, with colors alternating after that.)