Game 10: Carlsen wins and is back in the match / Notes by Wesley So

11/24/2016 – In the tenth game of the World Championship in New York Magnus Carlsen scored his first win to come back into the match. With two games to play the score is now 5-5. In a nervous game with mistakes by both sides Carlsen finally managed to convert a clear advantage into a win. Game 10 annoated by Wesley So. Newsblog, Nov. 24 2016

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!

Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!


World Chess Championship News - 2016-11-24

Game No 10 - Notes by Wesley So


02.32 / 20.32: Karjakin resigns! Carlsen equalized the match. This loss might be a heavy blow for Karjakin who could have drawn in about 20 moves. With two games to play the score is now 5-5.

9.00 Mumbai/ 4.30 Hamburg/ 22.30 New York: ChessBase India tries a novel idea of analyzing the tenth game with the new Tactical Analysis feature of ChessBase 14. Check it out here

02.27 / 20.27: Carlsen solved his biggest problems and reached a rook endgame that looks like a relatively easy technical win. Judit Polgar: "It is impossible that Carlsen does not win."

02.17 / 20.17: A rook endgame is on the board and this endgame is probably won - but Carlsen still might go wrong.

02.10 / 20.10: Karjakin shows tenacious defense again and with 63...Kb8 poses Carlsen unexpected problems. Moreover, Carlsen's clock is ticking down and he suddenly has to find precise moves to secure the win.

02.02 / 20.02: It's an endgame but suddenly tactics flare up and Karjakin might have hopes that Carlsen goes astray in the complications.

01.54 / 19.54: Susan Polgar sums it up:

01.45 / 19.45: Carlsen's pawn push 57.b5 netted him a pawn and Carlsen reaches the second time-control after 60 moves a pawn up. He is now close to equalizing the match.

Carlsen and Karjakin after reaching the second time-control

01.38 / 19.38: After moving about with his rooks for some time Carlsen finally gets active and advances his b-pawn with 57.b5, breaking open Black's king position. The engines now see Karjakin in serious trouble.

01.03 / 19.03: Does Carlsen have a way to break through Karjakin's defenses? Opinions are divided:




00.41 / 18.41: It's similar to game four: Carlsen is better but has to find a way to win.

00.14 / 18.14: Judit Polgar: "Of course, White is better in this endgame and Black might have to suffer for hours but the position is not lost yet."

23.56 / 17.56: This game is crucial for the match. If Karjakin manages to hold a worse position again he is not only leading with 5.5-4.5 but would also have a clear psychological advantage in the last two games. However, if Carlsen wins this game he might have a psychological advantage in the last two games, much more so because Karjakin missed a couple of chances in game ten.

23.39 / 17.39: The endgame is better for White but Carlsen takes his time - and now is behind Karjakin on the clock.

Karjakin on the defense again

23.20 / 17.20: Carlsen now has a clearly better endgame.

23.05 / 17.05: The tension is rising and Carlsen and Karjakin both played moves that Judit Polgar and Ian Nepomniachtchi found hard to comprehend.

Position after 26.Rfe1

Judit Polgar and Ian Nepomniachtchi were wondering what would White now do after 26...Raf8? After the natural 27.Re2 Black has 27...Nf4+ with the idea 28.gxf4 gxf4 threatening 29...f3+. But instead Karjakin played 26...h5 and was worse.

22:56 / 16.56: Now an endgame is on the board which made Judit Polgar exclaim: "Oh my God, what a beautiful position for White. It's going to be an awful difficult for Sergey... This is Magnus' favorite type of position." Ian Nepomniachtchi predicted "endless torture" for Black.

22.47 / 16.47: After missing (?) the possible (?) draw Karjakin seems to drift into an endgame that Judit Polgar things to be "long and painful" for Black. "This is Magnus' chance."

22.42 / 16.42: What happened? Experts wonder:




22.35 / 16.35: Either Karjakin did not want the perpetual or he did not see it - or he saw more than the commentators. At any rate, after Carlsen's 20.Nd2 he quickly played 20...d5 avoiding the possible perpetual.

22.22 / 16.22: Will the game suddenly end in a draw? By exchanging on e6 on move 19 Carlsen opened the f-file for Black and Judit Polgar and Ian Nepomniachtchi discovered drawing lines in the analysis room.

Position after 19.Bxe6 fxe6.

One drawing line given by Judit Polgar is 20.Nd2 Nxf2+ 21.Kg2 Nh4+ 22.Kg1 Nh3+ 23.Kh1 and now Black can force a repetition of moves with 23...Nf2+ 24.Kg1 Nh3+.

22.04 / 16.04: How important will the clock be in this game?



22.02 / 16.02: "No pressure, no diamonds." Thomas Carlyle

21.48 / 15.48: After 16 moves Carlsen is more than 25 minutes ahead on the clock. While Karjakin used a lot of time for his last moves, Carlsen played quickly and appears confident.

21.34 / 15.34: After Carlsen's 15.Bc4 it was Karjakin's turn to go into the tank and he spent more than 20 minutes on his next move.


21.26 / 15.26: “Well, it’s pressure, there’s no doubt. I was nervous and that’s a good thing. That means you care. You can try and use that energy as best you can to heighten your focus and then get into the right situation and it worked out great for me this week.”

Golf player Tiger Woods after winning the 2008 US Open

21.13 / 15.13: If Carlsen just wanted to have a playable, strategically complex game with White in game ten, his opening was a success.

21.00 / 15.00: "Chess gives children so much emotionally and socially." Said Judit Polgar while discussing with Spanish chess journalist Leontxo Garcia why chess is an attractive and inspiring game.

20.55 / 14.55: After 12...Qf6 by Karjakin Carlsen went into the tank and thought for more than 25 minutes before playing 13.g3. Carlsen's long think made Judit Polgar comment: "Usually not a good sign."

Focused: World Champion Magnus Carlsen

20.42 / 14.42: Some observers liked Carlsen's opening choice...


... and some did not:



20.37 / 14.37: Nobody knows what the future will bring but maybe that's why people like predictions. Sam Shankland dared a "bold" one:

20.13 / 14.13: After playing the first nine moves quickly, Carlsen and Karjakin slowed down and took more time for their moves.

Still preparation?

20.03 / 14.03: It's a Ruy Lopez again. After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 Karjakin invited Carlsen to a Berlin but the World Champion politely and quickly declined with 4.d3.

19.50/ 13.50: Game ten will begin in ten minutes. Will Carlsen bounce back and show a strong finish as he has done so often in tournaments in the past? But how? And what opening did he and his team prepare for such a situation?

17.09 / 11.09 am: Did the players consider 46.Qh8+ and then 47.Qd4 instead of 46.Qd4? .

16.22 / 10.22 am: Magnus Carlsen about game 8 and what happened afterwards.

15.43 / 9.43 am: Impressions from game 9.

18.30 Mumbai/ 14.00 Hamburg/ 8.00 New York: IM Sagar Shah analyzes the ninth game on ChessBase India newspage and points out the various critical and key positions from the game.

Which Archangel was it? Gabriel, the Messenger? Raphael, the Pilgrim or Michael, Vanquisher of the devil? Uriel, Light and Fire of God? Defeat threatened to strike down the Champion this time. The drama was in the air. Some expected the game to peter out in a quick draw, following the russian rule that after a defeat, being shaky it's good to reach normality again. The Black position started boldly with an ambitious line of the Ruy Lopez - the Archangelsk. Black was ready to play actively while giving away a pawn for superior coordination and activity. No big deal these times, seventy years after the baptism of the Volga Gambit in the magazine 'Shakhmaty v SSSR'. Watching the game, Fabiano Caruana initially expected a short game with a peaceful result. But have a look and follow his annotations, which again provides ample food for thought.

12.36 / 6.36 am: Our snippets from the press conference part 2, here questions from the audience.

12.34 / 6.34 am: Our snippets from the press conference, here analysis from the players.

11.38 / 5.38 am: Daniel King did a round up show on of game 9. Click here to watch it for free.

Nov. 24, 7.25 Hamburg / Nov. 24, 1.25 am New York: What a fight! Complaining about the many draws misses the point. In game nine the Champion had Black and was on the verge of another defeat and being down 3.5-5.5 in the match with only three games to go. The theme of the game: The Archangel. Not enough drama?

The spectators saw Carlsen in real danger. One of them was Teimur Radjabov:

Of course, Karjakin could have played better in the second half of the game (but for this "Coulda. Shoulda. Woulda." see Yasser Seirawan's notes to game 3) but it's easy to find improvements with an engine running. However, at the board in New York Karjakin was all alone. He was +1 ahead, had a good position, enough time. Combining optimism and caution he reaches for the title that seems to be close and ready to be grabbed. But he is still fighting against the best player on the planet.

1.40 / 7.40 pm: Draw! After more than five and a half hours of play.

1.13 / 7.13 pm: 

1.10 / 7.10 pm: Carlsen succeeded in placing his pieces quite well while Karjakin has not made any progress - a draw seems inevitable.

0.45 / 6.45 pm: Carlsen seems to be relieved, the game could have gone much worse.

0.32 / 6.32 pm: 

0.29 / 6.29 pm: According to Polgar, Magnus has to decide whether to bring his king to the queenside or leave it on the kingside. It's a long way to go, but he should draw it in the end.

0.12 / 6.12 pm: Magnus is a bit lucky that the position holds.

0.12 / 6.12 pm: 

0.02 / 6.02 pm: The 40th move have been reached. Karjakin sacrificed his light squared bishop on f7 but has a strong attack and may win his material back. A huge chance for the challenger to increase the standing on 2-0, but Carlsen may hoild with precise play.

23.52 / 5.52 pm: Karjakin takes his time on this important decision - he goes down to the five minutes mark but still shows no sign of nervousness.

23.50 / 5.50 pm: "In this game Sergey played better than Magnus" (Judit Polgar)

23.45 / 5.45 pm: Body language: Karjakin highly concentrated and bend forward, Carlsen seems to be deeply dissatisfied, almost nauseated with his position. Definitely a big moment in the match!

23.40 / 5.40 pm: 

Karjakin calculating the almost winning continuation 39.Qb3! followed by 40.Bxf7!

23.35 / 5.35 pm: Radjabov already sees it executed:

23.33 / 5.33 pm: After Carlsen's 38...Ne7 L'Ami spots a tactic:

+ + + 


World Chess Championship 2016 Newsblogs:

Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

chessmatt chessmatt 11/25/2016 06:30
In game 10 they both ended up following an engine v. engine game up until move 13. Hannibal 1.2 beat Houdini 2.0 in this opening as white in 2012. Carlsen deviated at move 13.

I wonder if Carlsen reviewed engine games as part of his preparation.

[Event "CCRL 40/40"]
[Site "CCRL"]
[Date "2012.06.23"]
[Round "78.1"]
[White "Hannibal 1.2 32-bit"]
[Black "Houdini 2.0c 32-bit"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2905"]
[BlackElo "3105"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2012.??.??"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 O-O 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 Be7 8.Nbd2 d6 9.O-O Nh5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Nc4 Nf4 12.Ne3 Qf6 13.a4 Ne7 14.Bc4 c6 15.d4 Neg6 16.Kh1 h5 17.g3 Nh3 18.Qe2 Re8 19.dxe5 Nxe5 20.Nxe5 Qxe5 21.Bd3 Qc5 22.f4 Bg4 23.Qd2 a5 24.Bc2 Rad8 25.Rae1 d5 26.b4 axb4 27.cxb4 Qe7 28.e5 Qe6 29.Qd3 Kf8 30.Qh7 d4 31.Nf5 Bxf5 32.Qxf5 g5 33.Qh7 gxf4 34.gxf4 d3 35.Bxd3 Ke7 36.f5 Qa2 37.f6+ Kd7 38.Bf5+ Kc7 39.Bxh3 Rd2 40.Kg1 Qb3 41.Qf5 Qb2 42.Qf4 Rd4 43.Qg5 Qb3 44.Qxh5 Qd5 45.Qh7

amandas amandas 11/25/2016 11:16
"Judit Polgar and Ian Nepomniachtchi were wondering what would White now do after 26...Raf8? After the natural 27.Re2 Black has 27...Nf4+ with the idea 28.gxf4 gxf4 threatening 29...f3+. But instead Karjakin played 26...h5 and was worse." Unfortunatelly that isnt correct because Komodo istead of 27.Re2 plays 27ReF1 and the PAWN 29...f3+ does not threat King and Rock as Judit expects.
wlk1977 wlk1977 11/25/2016 08:33
Yes!!! La Décima finally belongs to Magnus, the Real King. Now little break and then great final of the Champions League : Real Magnus - Atletico Sergei 2016. If we win on penalties, as in May, the better. !Vamos Real!
genem genem 11/25/2016 06:12
56.. r8h7? cost Black's rook its mobility to the a-wing, such as for rhc8.
Most of the tweets cited in the above article suffer by omitting both a move-pair number and its notated move.
bro bro 11/24/2016 10:05
The Time will be winner today. 11/24/2016 06:11
Lovely commentary by Fabiano! Thanks due to both him and the CB team for posting! :)
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/24/2016 05:10
"This game is in the grand tradition of "heroic defense" conducted by Lasker and Karpov. For that we are thankful to Carlsen." swaroo

And we are also thankful to Karjakin for the same reasons for games 3 and 4.

The heroic defense by Carlsen is worth a mention, but one could argue that Karjakin, globally, slighty outplayed Carlsen in this game, but not enough to win. This is why Carlsen had to show a heroic defense.

The reverse comment could be made for games 3 and 4 (same sentence but you replace the word Karjakin by Carlsen and conversely).
Cyric Renner Cyric Renner 11/24/2016 03:30
So Qb3! would be been lights out or very close to it. I was not following the game with a computer and have not analysed it with one, so do not know how decisive Qb3 was. I thought black was holding with NF5. I think the Championship is within Karjakin's grasp now. 12 games is too short though. Should be best of 15, minimum.
imdvb_8793 imdvb_8793 11/24/2016 03:13
"I just want again to thank very much ChessBase and Caruana for this ; to be able to have the notes of such a great player on several games of a World Championship match is really fantastic..." – Agreed!
swaroo swaroo 11/24/2016 02:05
Our thanks to Caruana for his explanation of all the critical stages of this epic. This game is in the grand tradition of "heroic defense" conducted by Lasker and Karpov. For that we are thankful to Carlsen.
KOTLD KOTLD 11/24/2016 01:10
Caruana is a great analyst. ChessBase should employ him full time.
(But does that mean Frederic Friedel will need to take a pay cut??)
[[Come on, Fred, how many sports cars do you really need?]] :)
Igor Freiberger Igor Freiberger 11/24/2016 12:18
Maybe 48. Bf6!? would give better chances to Karjakin. 48…De4 is forced and after 49. fe Kf7 50. e5 Ke6 51. f4 the endgame seems more appealing than the one played.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/24/2016 12:09
I havn't yet had time to read Caruana's notes, but I just want again to thank very much ChessBase and Caruana for this ; to be able to have the notes of such a great player on several games of a World Championship match is really fantastic...