‘Deadlock’ in Carlsen-Caruana match after third draw: Our Round 3 report


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The World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana remains, in the champion’s words, “deadlocked” after a third straight draw.

There is still nothing to separate the world’s top two players – divided by just three points in the rankings – following another shut-out in round 3.

The Norwegian top dog pressed his American challenger…

But could find no way through.

Carlsen-Caruana Game 3 press conference
Carlsen-Caruana Game 3 press conference

Carlsen-Caruana Game 3 took place after the first rest day. GM Judit Polgar revealed beforehand in the commentary room that she was “pretty sure” Carlsen spent his time off “was watching some sporting activities in a stadium somewhere, that’s what he likes to do”.

The ‘Three Ps’

It was apparently the 0-0 draw between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge. Carlsen, it seems, had been true to his word about at least one of the “Three Ps” – pizza, poker and Premier League.

Fabiano, Polgar said, probably went for a walk.

The game opened along similar lines to Game 1 with 1.e4 played by Caruana and a Sicilian from Caruana that went into the Rossolimo line.

The players blitzed out the first few moves before Caruana made the first deviation – albeit just in the move order – with 6. 0-0 instead of h3.

Carlsen-Caruana Game 3: a bore draw
Carlsen-Caruana Game 3: a bore draw?

Carlsen then played Qc7 and we were into new ground between the two.

Carlsen continued to his energetic play by offering up a pawn with 9.0-0 but Caruana declined the invitation. Exchanges followed and the rooks came off the board.

From move 20 the position looked equal and drawish, with most commentators predicting the inevitable.

Carlsen-Caruana Game 3 ends in 49

Carlsen being Carlsen, he battled on trying to squeeze some juice out of the position but Caruana being Caruana defended accurately. The game ended after 49 moves and four and a quarter hours.

>> Magnus Carlsen complains about the cold at World Chess Championship

There was one moment of apparent drama when Carlsen adjusted a piece and it was unclear to spectators whether he said “j’adoube”.

Asked about it in the post-match press conference, the champion poured cold water on that suggestion insisting he had and there was no story there.

Carlsen Vs Caruana
Carlsen Vs Caruana

He was also not satisfied with the outcome of the opening.

“Nope,” Carlsen quickly replied when asked about it. “Clearly after Qa1 Black is no-where near equality. It might not be so bad because the position is fairly solid but I am not going to equalise the game anytime soon and White’s going to have all the fun.

“So there was definitely no reason to be satisfied and I was just in for a long day. Obviously a few minutes later I was much happier.”

Asked whether he was getting frustrated or bored by the series of draws, Carlsen said: “It’s three!

“No, I feel like there are some encouraging signs but so far neither of us have anything to show for it. I guess it’s deadlocked but ask me again after nine or 10 rounds.”

Caruana also responded to the question saying: “No no I’m not bored.”

Round 4 is on Tuesday, starting at 3pm GMT.

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