For 20 days between 9 and 28 November 2018 the world’s two best Grandmasters sat in a soundproof studio in central London, with only a chessboard, their thoughts, and each other for company. But finally, after 15 games, 12 regular and 3 rapid, 773 moves and 51 hours of simmering tension, the Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen held his nerve, and his crown, with an emphatic rapid-play victory over the US challenger Fabiano Caruana.
Carlsen’s victory came in what amounted to sudden-death chess: a scheduled series of four so-called rapid games in which the players started with 25 minutes to make their moves. The speedier pace of the games, after the far more deliberate matchups of the previous three weeks, meant players were more likely to make mistakes. And that increased the chance of a victory by one player. Carlsen won rapid games convincingly with result 3-0. There was no need to play the fourth game.
Carlsen,Magnus (2835) – Caruana,Fabiano (2832) [A22]
World Chess Championship 2018 London First Rapid game 28.11.2018
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 Bb4 4.e4 0-0 5.Nge2 c6 6.Bg2 a6 7.0-0 b5 8.d4 d6 9.a3 Bxc3 10.Nxc3 bxc4 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Na4 Be6 13.Qxd8 Rxd8 14.Be3 Nbd7 15.f3 Rab8 16.Rac1 Rb3 17.Rfe1 Ne8 18.Bf1 Nd6 19.Rcd1 Nb5 20.Nc5 Rxb2 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Bxc4 Nd4 23.Bxd4 exd4 24.Bxe6+ Kf8 25.Rxd4 Ke7 26.Rxd7+ Rxd7 27.Bxd7 Kxd7 28.Rd1+ Ke6 29.f4 c5 30.Rd5 Rc2 31.h4 c4 32.f5+ Kf6 33.Rc5 h5 34.Kf1 Rc3 35.Kg2 Rxa3 36.Rxc4 Ke5 37.Rc7 Kxe4 38.Re7+ Kxf5 39.Rxg7 Kf6 40.Rg5 a5 41.Rxh5 a4 42.Ra5 Ra1 43.Kf3 a3 44.Ra6+ Kg7 45.Kg2 Ra2+ 46.Kh3 Ra1 47.h5 Kh7 48.g4 Kg7 49.Kh4 a2 50.Kg5 Kf7 51.h6 Rb1 52.Ra7+ Kg8 53.Rxa2 Rb5+ 54.Kg6 Rb6+ 55.Kh5 1-0