World Chess Championship 2018: Carlsen-Caruana

World Chess Championship 2018: Carlsen-Caruana

On November 9, the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana will start in London.


Day Date Activity
Thursday November 8 Press conference & Opening Ceremony
Friday November 9 Game 1
Saturday November 10 Game 2
Sunday November 11
Monday November 12 Game 3
Tuesday November 13 Game 4
Wednesday November 14
Thursday November 15 Game 5
Friday November 16 Game 6
Saturday November 17
Sunday November 18 Game 7
Monday November 19 Game 8
Tuesday November 20
Wednesday November 21 Game 9
Thursday November 22 Game 10
Friday November 23
Saturday November 24 Game 11
Sunday November 25
Monday November 26 Game 12
Tuesday November 27
Wednesday November 28 Tiebreaks/Closing Ceremony


This is a match between the top two players in the world in terms of FIDE Elo rating: Carlsen is world number one, and Caruana world number two. This is quite unique in fact; the last time the world championship was a battle between the highest ranked chess players was in 1990 between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov.

Magnus Carlsen (Norway) is the reigning world champion, who will be defending his title. He is 27 years old, and has held the title since 2013, when he defeated then world champion Viswanathan Anand of India.

Carlsen is known as one of the biggest chess talents that ever lived. He became a grandmaster at the age of 13 years, 4 months and 27 days. He has won numerous tournaments and has been the world number one player continuously since 2011.

Fabiano Caruana (USA) has earned the right to challenge the world champion by winning the FIDE Candidates’ Tournament, in March of this year in Berlin. He is 26 years old and a former chess prodigy as well; he earned the grandmaster title when he was 14 years, 11 months and 20 days.

Caruana was born in Miami, grew up in Brooklyn but moved to Italy in 2005. He represented that country until 2015, when he returned to the USA. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri—the city where he won the 2014 Sinquefield Cup after starting with a historic seven straight wins.


Tickets for entering The College in Holborn, London are on sale at Ticketmaster. Prices range from 45 pounds ($58.85 / 50.63 euros) to 100 pounds ($130.73 / 112.47 euros).


The official regulations can be found in PDF here. These are most important things to know:


The world championship of chess has a long tradition. The first official match was held in 1886 between Johannes Zukertort and Wilhelm Steinitz. The latter won, and became the first official world chess champion in history.

Emanuel Lasker (Germany), José Capablanca (Cuba), Alexander Alekhine (Russia/France) and Max Euwe (Netherlands) subsequently took the titles by beating the reigning champions in a match.

Alekhine won back the title but due to his death in 1946, it became vacant. FIDE organized a tournament in 1948 which was won by Mikhail Botvinnik (Soviet Union), who then lost his title but successfully won it back in matches against compatriots Vasily Smyslov and Mikhail Tal. After losing to Tigran Petrosian, Botvinnik lost the right for an automatic return match and stopped participating in the world championship cycle.

Boris Spassky was the one beating Petrosian, but with him the Soviet hegemony ended as Bobby Fischer (USA) famously won the Match of the Century in 1972 in Reykjavik. Because FIDE didn’t accept all of Fischer’s demands for a match with Anatoly Karpov in 1975, Fischer refused to play and forfeited his title. Karpov was declared world champion.

The Russian GM remained world champion for 10 years, when he lost his second match to Garry Kasparov in 1985 after the first had been terminated a year earlier by FIDE when there was still no decision after 48(!) games.

Kasparov won three more matches with Karpov but then stepped away from FIDE and played three matches under the newly founded Professional Chess Association (PCA). He defeated Nigel Short and Vishy Anand, but lost to Vladimir Kramnik in 2000, who thus is considered to be the 14th classical world champion.

Anatoly KarpovAlexander Khalifman, Vishy Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Veselin Topalov won world titles in official FIDE events in the 1990s and 2000s, but these titles have been disputed because e.g. Kasparov and Kramnik did not participate, and they didn’t follow the tradition of one-to-one matches.

Meanwhile, Kramnik defended his title in 2004 against Peter Leko and then won a “reunification match” against Topalov in 2006. Anand took over the title from Kramnik in a tournament in 2007 in Mexico, and subsequently defended it successfully in matches against Kramnik in 2008, Topalov in 2010 and Boris Gelfand in 2012.

Magnus Carlsen defeated Anand in 2013 in Chennai, and successfully defended his title against the same opponent in 2014, and against Sergey Karjakin in 2016. His third match opponent will be Fabiano Caruana, in November 2018.


November 6, 2018