Before we get to the World Championship games, I need to report that the Women’s Championship has gone into the tie-break phase as the match was tied 2-2 after the classical games. Up a point on Ju Wenjun, all Kateryna Lagno had to do was draw the fourth game with White and she would be Women’s World Champion. But she lost in 32 moves, two moves before mate.
An interesting thing from the “backstage” is that Magnus Carlsen showed up for game nine against Fabiano Caruana with a black eye, the result of a head clash with a Norwegian journalist during an off-day soccer game.
We present games 6-8 with light notes. After 8 games, its 4-4
#61.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nd3 Carlsen was hoping to catch Caruana with this rare line but Fabiano was well prepared for it. Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.Nf4 Nc6 7.Nd5 Nd4 8.Nxe7 Very cute is 8.Qc4 Nc3+ 9.Nxe7 Nxc2# 8...Nxe2 9.Nd5 Nd4 10.Na3 Ne6 11.f3 N4c5 12.d4 Nd7 13.c3 c6 14.Nf4 Nb6 15.Bd3 d5 16.Nc2 Bd6 17.Nxe6 Bxe6 18.Kf2 h5 19.h4 Nc8 20.Ne3 Ne7 21.g3 c5 22.Bc2 0–0 23.Rd1 Rfd8 24.Ng2 cxd4 25.cxd4 Rac8 26.Bb3 Nc6 27.Bf4 Na5 28.Rdc1 Bb4 29.Bd1 Nc4 30.b3 Na3 31.Rxc8 Rxc8 32.Rc1 Nb5 33.Rxc8+ Bxc8 34.Ne3 Nc3 35.Bc2 Ba3 36.Bb8 a6 37.f4 Bd7 38.f5 Bc6 39.Bd1 Bb2 40.Bxh5 Ne4+ 41.Kg2 Bxd4 42.Bf4 Bc5 43.Bf3 Nd2 44.Bxd5? 44.Nf1 Nxf3 45.Kxf3 d4+ 46.Kf2 Be4 47.g4 Is only slightly better for Black. 44...Bxe3 45.Bxc6 Bxf4 46.Bxb7 Bd6 47.Bxa6 Ne4 48.g4 Ba3 49.Bc4 Kf8 50.g5 Nc3 51.b4 Bxb4 52.Kf3 Na4 53.Bb5 Nc5 54.a4 f6 55.Kg4 Ne4 56.Kh5 Be1 57.Bd3 Nd6 58.a5 Bxa5 59.gxf6 gxf6 60.Kg6 Bd8 61.Kh7 Nf7 62.Bc4 Ne5 63.Bd5 Ba5 64.h5 Bd2 65.Ba2 Nf3 66.Bd5 Nd4 67.Kg6 Bg5 68.Bc4 The computer gives 68.Bh4 as winning, with mate in 32 in one line Nf3 69.Kh7 Ne5 70.Bb3 Ng4 71.Bc4 Ne3 72.Bd3 Ng4 73.Bc4 Nh6 74.Kg6 Ke7 75.Bb3 Kd6 76.Bc2 Ke5 77.Bd3 Kf4 78.Bc2 Ng4 79.Bb3 Ne3 80.h6 Bxh6, ½–½
#7 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0–0 6.e3 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.a3 Qa5 10.Nd2 In the 2nd game Carlsen played 10.Rd1. which may be more accurate as after 10...Rd8 11.Nd2, 11...Qd8 is not possible. 10...Qd8 [Strangely not considered by Carlsen] 11.Nb3 Bb6 12.Be2 Qe7 13.Bg5 dxc4 14.Nd2 Ne5 15.0–0 Bd7 16.Bf4 Ng6 17.Bg3 Bc6 18.Nxc4 Bc7 19.Rfd1 Rfd8 20.Rxd8+ Rxd8 21.Rd1 Rxd1+ 22.Qxd1 Nd5 23.Qd4 Nxc3 24.Qxc3 Bxg3 25.hxg3 Qd7 26.Bd3 b6 27.f3 Bb7 28.Bxg6 hxg6 29.e4 Qc7 30.e5 Qc5+ 31.Kh2 Ba6 32.Nd6 Qxc3 33.bxc3 f6 34.f4 Kf8 35.Kg1 Ke7 36.Kf2 Kd7 37.Ke3 Bf1 38.Kf2 Ba6 39.Ke3 Bf1 40.Kf2 Ba6; ½–½
#8 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 Nb8 9.a4 Be7 10.Be2 0–0 11.0–0 Nd7 12.Bd2 f5 13.a5 a6 14.Na3 e4 15.Nc4 Ne5 16.Nb6 Rb8 17.f4 exf3 18.Bxf3 g5? 19.c4 f4 20.Bc3 Bf5 21.c5! Nxf3+ 22.Qxf3 dxc5 23.Rad1 23.Rae1 Bf6 24.h4 Bxc3 25.bxc3 g4 26.Qxf4 Qxh4 27.Qh2 Qxh2+ 28.Kxh2 Bc2 29.Rxf8+ Rxf8 30.Kg3 Bf5 31.d6 Kf7 32.Re7+ Kf6 33.Kf4 Be6 34.Rxh7 Kg6+ 35.Ke5 White is better 23...Bd6 24.h3? 24.Nc4 or 24.Qh5 are on the verge of winning for Caruana Qe8! 25.Nc4 Qg6 26.Nxd6 Qxd6 27.h4 gxh4 28.Qxf4 Qxf4 29.Rxf4 h5 30.Re1 Bg4 31.Rf6 Rxf6 32.Bxf6 Kf7 33.Bxh4 Re8 34.Rf1+ Kg8 35.Rf6 Re2 36.Rg6+ Kf8 37.d6 Rd2 38.Rg5; ½–½