More than half the games in regulation have been played in the World Championship match in London and neither player has been able to notch a victory.
The latest effort was Sunday in Game 7. Magnus Carlsen, the World Champion from Norway, had White for the second game in a row and, for the second time in the match, he opened with 1 d4.
As he had in Game 2, Fabiano Caruana, steered the game into a Queen’s Gambit Declined. The players repeated the moves from Game 2 until Carlsen, who had been outplayed in the earlier game, deviated by playing 10 Nd2. That move has been played many times before, so it could not have been a surprise to Caruana.
Caruana’s reply, 10 … Qd8, was not the best, and Carlsen soon had a slight edge. But it was no more than that and, as the game progressed, Caruana was never in any danger.
After a wholesale exchange of pieces from moves 18 to 25, chances were equal. Though the game continued until Move 40, a draw already seemed like a foregone result.
The match is now tied at 3.5 points apiece.
The best-of-12 game match has a prize fund of a million euros (about $1.1 million), with 60 percent for the winner. Each win is worth a point and each draw a half point. The first player to reach 6.5 points is declared the winner. (If the match should be tied after 12 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breakers and the winner of the match would receive 55 percent of the prize fund.)
The match is organized under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, or FIDE, the game’s governing body, and World Chess, the official organizer of the World Championship cycle.
The venue for the event is in central London at The College in Holborn, an historic, Victorian-style building. Fans can watch online at Worldchess.com, the official site of the championship.
The match’s sponsors include PhosAgro, a giant, Russian-based international fertilizer company; Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s top information security companies; S.T. Dupont, a leading French luxury goods manufacturer; Prytek, a Russian venture capital company specializing in technology and financial services; and Unibet, an online gambling operator that operates in more than 100 countries.
The match has now reached the same point as the match in 2016, which also started with seven draws. At that point, Carlsen tried too hard to beat Sergey Karjakin, who was then the challenger, and lost. It would be surprising if that happened again.
At the same time, except for Game 1, when Caruana was in real trouble, neither player has come close to victory. Fans, and even the players themselves, have to be wondering when or if one of the players will crack.
Game 8 is on Monday at 3 PM local, or GMT, time.