WCC R5: A Tricky Wing Gambit Ends in a Draw

11.15.18 Two great players are battling it out at the World Chess Championship in London. In Game 5, the Challenger Fabiano Caruana, playing the white pieces, went for the unconventional Wing Gambit out of a Sicilian Rossolimo opening. Magnus Carlsen met this surprise with cool-headed sure play and the players entered a very interesting middlegame. After pawn sacrifices in both directions the position lost most of its dynamism and the players agreed to a draw after white's thirty-first move. The Match is now tied at 2.5 points apiece.

Fabiano Caruana (left) and Magnus Carlsen contemplate a tense middlegame position in Game 5 of the World Chess Championship Match currently underway in London.images: worldchess.com

Cauana, controlling the white pieces, again went into a Sicilian Rossolimo but rather than 4.Bxf6 Caruana played 4.0-0. The real surprise came, however, when Caruana put the Wing Gambit on the board by uncorking 6.b4. Analysts were both stunned and excited about the very rich possibilities after only half a dozen moves had been made in this game.

Incredibly, Carlsen responded with nearly flawless moves very quickly in a position in which it was doubtful that he had specifically prepared for. Although up a pawn, after white's 19th move Bd3, it was the first player who had the more difficult time coming up with natural moves and the Champion seemed to have a comfortable time of it..

Caruana engineered a plan to jettison his extra pawn, liquidate his weaknesses, and enter a rook and minor piece endgame a pawn down but positionally equal.

At the post-game press conference, Caruana stated that at no point in the game did he think he was worse. Carlsen said he was happy about the opening and that after the position calmed down he thought that only black could be better.

Magnus got a big laugh at the press conference when he answered a question about his favorite player of the past. He responded that his favorite player was himself three years ago.

Tomorrow, November 16th, the players will be back for Game 6.

The Challenger showed that he is very willing to go into less-popular lines when he essayed the Wing Gambit in Game 5.

Magnus Carlsen, always cool under challenge and pressure, responded in kind and fended off what could have been a dangerous situation in less chartered waters.

The players field questions at the press conference following Game 5 of the World Chess Championship.

Official Site of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018

Official site of the venue for the Match: The College

Match Schedule
All games will be played at 10:00 a.m. eastern U.S. time (3:00 p.m. GMT.)

Game 1 Friday, November 9

Game 2 Saturday, November 10

Rest Day Sunday, November 11

Game 3 Monday, November 12

Game 4 Tuesday, November 13

Rest Day Wednesday, November 14

Game 5 Thursday, November 15

Game 6 Friday, November 16

Rest Day Saturday, November 17

Game 7 Sunday, November 18

Game 8 Monday, November 19

Rest Day Tuesday, November 20

Game 9 Wednesday, November 21

Game 10 Thursday, November 22

Rest Day Friday, November 23

Game 11 Saturday, November 24

Rest Day Sunday, November 25

Game 12 Monday, November 26

Tie Break/Awards Ceremony Tuesday, November 27

Tie Break/Awards Ceremony Wednesday, November 28

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