Round-four clash at the 2018 world chess championship (Tue 13 November) between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana ended in the shortest draw of the bunch, at less than three hours. The match is tied 2.0-2.0 after Carlsen’s English Opening went nowhere, but the intrigue actually began around 6 a.m. local time.
Likely before either player arose (Carlsen famously wakes quite late, often not even in the a.m. hours), a video was posted online for the “Today in Chess” program produced by the Saint Louis Chess Club. Caruana is seen hanging out at Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield’s farm estate on the Osage River in in central Missouri. He played basketball, rode in a four-wheeler, and prepared for the match.
There was just one glaring problem: A few of the scenes clearly show opening names on a computer screen and specific variations that he was preparing for London. Most of the file names dealt with how we will defend as Black against 1. d4 or 1. e4, but today he faced 1. c4, so it was not a concern. At least not yet.
Cristian Chirila, the only member of Team Caruana who makes public visits to the venue, would not comment to Chess.com on the video. The challenger was asked about it at the press conference, and offered the same: “I’d really rather not comment on this actually.”