25 September 2018

Carlsen / Caruana Record 2017-18

I started last week's post, Karpov Talks Carlsen - Caruana, stating,

With only 50 days remaining before the start of the 2018 Carlsen - Caruana World Championship match, I'd like to start running a weekly post about the match.

Yesterday's post, Carlsen's Record 2017-18, gave me the raw material for a comparison of the two players' records against each other over the last two years. It makes a total of 15 games.

For another, larger view of the same data, see >2016: Carlsen - Caruana (chessgames.com). How did the players score against each other? The data gives us the means to look at the record according to the time control (slow games vs. fast):-

  • Slow: +2-0=7 in favor of Carlsen
  • Fast: +3-1=2 (ditto)

If we take the 12 match games to be played at slow time control, Carlsen has the edge. If we take the tiebreak at fast time control, Carlsen also has the edge. It appears that Caruana is facing an uphill battle to become World Champion. This is confirmed by the lifetime record of the two players against each other (also chessgames.com):-

Classical games: Magnus Carlsen beat Fabiano Caruana 10 to 5, with 18 draws.
Only rapid/exhibition games: Magnus Carlsen beat Fabiano Caruana 13 to 6, with 4 draws.

As for openings, the Chessgames.com data shows that both players are comfortable in all sorts of systems. 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4, 1.Nf3, irregular openings -- anything is possible.

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