After 8 moves in the 8th game between Carlsen and Nepomniatchi this position was reached.

[FEN "r2qk2r/pppb1ppp/3b4/3p4/3P4/3B4/PPPB1PPP/R2QK2R w - - 0 1"]

The position is perfectly symmetrical and the d file is completely occupied by pieces. Is this the first time something like this has happened in a World Championship match?


1 Answer 1


Using this CQL query:

cql(input all_wcc.pgn)

[Aa][a1-8] == 8
or [Aa][b1-8] == 8
or [Aa][c1-8] == 8
or [Aa][d1-8] == 8
or [Aa][e1-8] == 8
or [Aa][f1-8] == 8
or [Aa][g1-8] == 8
or [Aa][h1-8] == 8

square all Square in .
 colortype Square == -colortype makesquare (file Square 8 - rank Square + 1)

and running it against a PGN that contained all the World Championship games (collected from Mega Database according to Wikipedia - 2.22 MB) indicated that such a position first occurred at the 5th World Championship (1894) between Lasker and Steinitz:

[FEN ""]
[Event "World Championship 5th"]
[Site "USA/CAN"]
[Date "1894"]
[Round "17"]
[White "Lasker, Emanuel"]
[Black "Steinitz, William"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[StartPly "10"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 Bb6 7.Qd2 Na5 8.Bb5+ 
c6 9.Ba4 Bxe3 10.fxe3 b5 11.Bb3 Qb6 12.O-O Ng4 13.Rae1 f6 14.h3 Nh6 15.Ne2 Nxb3
16.axb3 O-O 17.Ng3 a5 18.d4 Nf7 19.Qf2 Ra7 20.Rd1 a4 21.b4 Qc7 22.Ne1 c5 23.Qd2
Be6 24.d5 Bd7 25.Ra1 cxb4 26.Qxb4 Rc8 27.Qd2 Qc4 28.Rf2 Ng5 29.Qd3 Rac7 30.h4 
Nf7 31.Qxc4 Rxc4 32.Rd2 g6 33.Kf2 Nd8 34.b3 R4c7 35.Rdd1 Nb7 36.Rdb1 Kf7 37.Ke2
Ra8 38.Kd2 Na5 39.Kd3 h5 40.Ra2 Raa7 41.b4 Nc4 42.Nf3 Ra8 43.Nd2 Nb6 44.Rf1 
Rac8 45.Nb1 Ke7 46.c3 Nc4 47.Raf2 Na3 48.Ne2 Nxb1 49.Rxb1 Bg4 50.Rc1 Rc4 51.Rc2
f5 0-1

Then at the 6th World Championship (1896) between the same players:

[FEN ""]
[Event "World Championship 6th"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1896"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Lasker, Emanuel"]
[Black "Steinitz, William"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C50"]
[StartPly "8"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 Bxe3 7.fxe3 Na5
8.Bb3 Nxb3 9.axb3 Ng4 10.Qe2 f6 11.d4 c6 12.O-O-O Qe7 13.h3 Nh6 14.g4 Bd7 15.
Nh4 g6 16.Nf3 Nf7 17.Rdg1 O-O-O 18.b4 Kb8 19.Qf2 Rdf8 20.Qg3 h6 21.Rf1 Nd8 22.
Rhg1 Ne6 23.Rf2 Nc7 24.Rgf1 Rfg8 25.Nh4 Ne8 26.b5 Ka8 27.bxc6 bxc6 28.Nf3 g5 
29.Rg2 h5 30.b3 Rh6 31.Kb2 Rgh8 32.Qf2 Nc7 33.Ra1 Rb8 34.Qe2 Rb7 35.Rgg1 Rh8 
36.Rad1 hxg4 37.hxg4 Rc8 38.Qd3 Be6 39.Nd2 Nb5 40.Ndb1 Rbc7 41.Na4 Rb7 42.Kc1 
Rcb8 43.Rg2 Rd7 44.Nbc3 Nc7 45.d5 cxd5 46.exd5 Bg8 47.Qc4 Rc8 48.Kb2 Rb8 49.e4 
Rdd8 50.Rf2 Rf8 51.Rdf1 Bh7 52.Rxf6 Rxf6 53.Rxf6 Qxf6 54.Qxc7 Qh8 55.Qc6+ Rb7 
56.Nb5 Kb8 57.Qxd6+ Kc8 58.Qc6+ 1-0

At the 24th World Championship (1961) between Botvinnik and Tal:

[FEN ""]
[Event "World Championship 24th"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1961.??.??"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Botvinnik, Mikhail"]
[Black "Tal, Mihail"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D14"]
[StartPly "12"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bf4 Bf5 7.e3 e6 
8.Bb5 Bb4 9.Ne5 Qa5 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.O-O Bxc3 12.bxc3 Qxc3 13.Qc1 Qxc1 14.Rfxc1
O-O 15.f3 h6 16.Nxc6 Rfe8 17.a4 Nd7 18.Bd6 Nb6 19.Bc5 Bd3 20.Nxa7 Rxa7 21.Bxb6 
Ra6 22.a5 Bc4 23.Ra3 f6 24.e4 Kf7 25.Kf2 Raa8 26.Ke3 Reb8 27.Rac3 Rc8 28.g4 
Rab8 29.h4 Rc6 30.h5 Rbc8 31.e5 g6 32.hxg6+ Kxg6 33.R3c2 fxe5 34.dxe5 Rh8 35.
Rh2 Rcc8 36.Kd2 Bb3 37.a6 Bc4 38.a7 Rh7 39.Ra1 Ra8 40.Be3 Rb7 41.Rxh6+ Kg7 42.
Rah1 Rb2+ 1-0

And finally in 2008, between Kramnik and Anand:

[FEN ""]
[Event "WCh"]
[Site "Bonn GER"]
[Date "2008.10.14"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Kramnik, V"]
[Black "Anand, V"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2783"]
[ECO "D14"]
[EventDate "2008.10.14"]
[StartPly "14"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Bf4 Nc6 6.e3 Bf5 7.Nf3 e6 8.Qb3 
Bb4 9.Bb5 O-O 10.Bxc6 Bxc3+ 11.Qxc3 Rc8 12.Ne5 Ng4 13.Nxg4 Bxg4 14.Qb4 Rxc6 15.
Qxb7 Qc8 16.Qxc8 Rfxc8 17.O-O a5 18.f3 Bf5 19.Rfe1 Bg6 20.b3 f6 21.e4 dxe4 22.
fxe4 Rd8 23.Rad1 Rc2 24.e5 fxe5 25.Bxe5 Rxa2 26.Ra1 Rxa1 27.Rxa1 Rd5 28.Rc1 Rd7
29.Rc5 Ra7 30.Rc7 Rxc7 31.Bxc7 Bc2 32.Bxa5 Bxb3 1/2-1/2

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