Carlsen wins tie-break and remains World Champion!

11/30/2016 – Magnus Carlsen won the World Championship match against Sergey Karjakin. After three tie-break games he led with 2-1 and Karjakin had to win the fourth tie-break game with Black. But in a Sicilian Karjakin soon drifted into a passive position. He desperately tried to create counterplay but this allowed Carlsen to mate Black and finish the game and the match with a scintillating queen sacrifice. Review the showdown in the Newsblog...

World Chess Championship Carlsen Karjakin, New York - Newsblog 2016-11-30


07.30 Mumbai/ 03.00 Hamburg/ 21.00 New York: IM Sagar Shah brings you detailed coverage of the rapid tiebreaks with game analysis, key positions and pictures in his article entitled "All Hail King Magnus" on the ChessBase India newspage

00.45 / 18.45: With a stunning and brilliant mating combination Magnus Carlsen wins game four of the tie-break - and the match!

Here Carlsen played 50.Qh6+ and Karjakin resigned. After 50...Kxh6 White mates with 51.Rh8# and after 50...gxh6 White mates with 51.Rxf7#

Replay game 4

[Event "AGON FWCM 2016-Tiebreak"] [Site "New York"] [Date "2016.11.30"] [Round "1.4"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B54"] [WhiteElo "2853"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "ChessBase"] [PlyCount "99"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [TimeControl "1500+10"] 1. e4 {0} c5 {1} 2. Nf3 {0} d6 {1} 3. d4 {0} cxd4 {1} 4. Nxd4 {0} Nf6 {1} 5. f3 {0} e5 {25} 6. Nb3 {6} Be7 {40} 7. c4 {9} a5 {18} 8. Be3 {9} a4 {3} 9. Nc1 {4} O-O {64} 10. Nc3 {26} Qa5 {85} 11. Qd2 {99} Na6 {296} 12. Be2 {55} Nc5 {28} 13. O-O {56} Bd7 {37} 14. Rb1 {56} Rfc8 {113} 15. b4 {29} axb3 {2} 16. axb3 {2} Qd8 {55} 17. Nd3 {30} Ne6 {19} 18. Nb4 {4} Bc6 {24} 19. Rfd1 {27} h5 {27} 20. Bf1 { 258} h4 {3} 21. Qf2 {12} Nd7 {30} 22. g3 {136} Ra3 {286} 23. Bh3 {58} Rca8 {4} 24. Nc2 {57} R3a6 {13} 25. Nb4 {5} Ra5 {6} 26. Nc2 {53} b6 {35} 27. Rd2 {136} Qc7 {383} 28. Rbd1 {21} Bf8 {71} 29. gxh4 {64} Nf4 {47} 30. Bxf4 {6} exf4 {1} 31. Bxd7 {28} Qxd7 {3} 32. Nb4 {91} Ra3 {80} 33. Nxc6 {239} Qxc6 {1} 34. Nb5 { 14} Rxb3 {5} 35. Nd4 {2} Qxc4 {1} 36. Nxb3 {2} Qxb3 {1} 37. Qe2 {25} Be7 {28} 38. Kg2 {50} Qe6 {38} 39. h5 {8} Ra3 {6} 40. Rd3 {49} Ra2 {1} 41. R3d2 {5} Ra3 {1} 42. Rd3 {2} Ra7 {12} 43. Rd5 {7} Rc7 {14} 44. Qd2 {28} Qf6 {27} 45. Rf5 {6} Qh4 {1} 46. Rc1 {21} Ra7 {18} 47. Qxf4 {61} Ra2+ {10} 48. Kh1 {3} Qf2 {7} 49. Rc8+ {29} Kh7 {2} 50. Qh6+ {2} 1-0

00.42 / 18.42: Carlsen neutralizes all attempts by Black and now has a winning position. Carlsen has two minutes, Karjakin only seconds.

00.36 / 18.36: After a tactical sequence Karjakin lands in a position in which Black is an exchange down but might have entertain hopes to create swindling chances against White's king. Karjakin has only seconds on the clock, Carlsen still has three minutes.

00.31 / 18.31: Karjakin now has less than a minute on the clock but there is still no counterplay in sight. If Carlsen does not blunder he should at least draw this game and win the match.

00.26 / 18.26: Maurice Ashley in the commentator room thinks that Carlsen's position is so good that Carlsen might even decline should Karjakin offer a draw now. An idea that Judit Polgar thinks to be very unlikely.

00.22 / 18.22: Karjakin is searching for a way to create counterchances and is now down to five minutes. 

00.17 / 18.17: According to the engines White has a clear advantage - Carlsen gets closer to winning the match.

00.05 / 18.05: Carlsen is playing solidly, Karjakin tries to create chances. But the engines still like White.

23.59 / 17.59: Carlsen is playing quickly and confidently. And Sergey Karjakin has to find a way to create chanbes. But "the position is so terribly passive" - Judit Polgar.

23.54 / 17.54: Things look good for Carlsen: the engines like his position and he is five minutes ahead on the clock.

23.49 / 17.49: Karjakin is again behind on the clock. After 11 moves Karjakin has 19 minutes left, Carlsen 24.

23.46 / 17.46: After winning game three of the tie-break for the first time Carlsen takes the lead in the match. 

23.41 / 17.41: Game four was a Sicilian in which Carlsen avoided the main lines with 5.f3.

23.30 / 17.30: Carlsen wins game three! Karjakin finally cracked under the pressure and now has to win game four with Black to even the score.

Replay game 2

[Event "AGON FWCM 2016-Tiebreak"] [Site "New York"] [Date "2016.11.30"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2853"] [Annotator "ChessBase"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [TimeControl "1500+10"]1. e4 {0} e5 {1} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {1} 3. Bb5 {0} a6 {1} 4. Ba4 {0} Nf6 {2} 5. O-O {0} Be7 {1} 6. d3 {0} b5 {2} 7. Bb3 d6 {1} 8. a3 {0} O-O {5} 9. Nc3 {2} Na5 {2} 10. Ba2 {2} Be6 {3} 11. b4 {8} Nc6 {24} 12. Nd5 {32} Nd4 {1} 13. Ng5 {196} Bxd5 {248} 14. exd5 {3} Nd7 {31} 15. Ne4 {37} f5 {38} 16. Nd2 {8} f4 {6} 17. c3 {136 } Nf5 {18} 18. Ne4 {204} Qe8 {24} 19. Bb3 {170} Qg6 {90} 20. f3 {5} Bh4 {194} 21. a4 {90} Nf6 {11} 22. Qe2 {149} a5 {35} 23. axb5 {256} axb4 {15} 24. Bd2 { 135} bxc3 {84} 25. Bxc3 {2} Ne3 {42} 26. Rfc1 {8} Rxa1 {154} 27. Rxa1 {13} Qe8 {36} 28. Bc4 {29} Kh8 {73} 29. Nxf6 {134} Bxf6 {18} 30. Ra3 {23} e4 {85} 31. dxe4 {24} Bxc3 {2} 32. Rxc3 {1} Qe5 {2} 33. Rc1 {11} Ra8 {20} 34. h3 {5} h6 {84 } 35. Kh2 {13} Qd4 {28} 36. Qe1 {72} Qb2 {39} 37. Bf1 {5} Ra2 {15} 38. Rxc7 {94 } Ra1 {20} 0-1

23.27 / 17.27: Judit Polgar: "I think Magnus will win this." Karjakin now is down to less than one minute.

23.26 / 17.26: Judit Polgar: "It is very difficult to defend this position. I wonder if Karjakin will work his defensive magic again."

23.23 / 17.23: With 30...e4!? Carlsen sacrificed a pawn - once more, trying to put pressure on Karjakin.

23.21 / 17.21: After 30 moves Black is slightly better and Karjakin has less than three minutes on the clock - Carlsen still has ten.

23.10 / 17.10: After 24 moves Karjakin is already down to five minutes while Carlsen still has more than 15 minutes left. And the position on the board is slightly better for Black.

23.09 / 17.09: Judit Polgar: "Does Karjakin rejoice in defending these bad positions? I mean, the draw in game two must have felt like a win."

23.04 / 17.04: After 22 moves Karjakin is on the defensive again and with 22...a5 Carlsen plays on both sides.

23.01 / 17.01: Body language indicates that Carlsen recovered from game two and is trying to play for a win again.

22.54 / 16.53: After 19 moves Karjakin is down to 15 minutes, Carlsen still has 20. And the engines like Black's position better. Carlsen is starting an attack on the kingside.

22.51 / 16.51: After another miraculous escape by Karjakin, a lot of people suddenly seem to see Karjakin as favorite to win the match. However, after two tie-break games it's still 1-1. And Carlsen has a good position in game three and is again ahead on the clock.

22.45 / 16.45: Karjakin seeks the confrontation and Carlsen accepts. He is getting active with Black and another tense game might be ahead.

22.42 / 16.42: Whether one supports Carlsen or Karjakin - game two was a thrilling drama.

22.38 / 16.38: Game three saw another Ruy Lopez. But this time Karjakin seems to try to push.

22.36 / 16.36: After a break of ten minutes game three began - and Carlsen was still visibly shaken by the events of game two.

Magnus Carlsen at the start of game three.

22.22 / 16.22: Draw! Karjakin escaped once again - with only seconds left on the clock he found a way to draw the game and saved a position in which he was lost. The story of the match seems to repeat itself - and the question is how Carlsen will cope with the psychological of missing yet another chance to win. 

Replay game 2

[Event "AGON FWCM 2016-Tiebreak"] [Site "New York"] [Date "2016.11.30"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2853"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "ChessBase"] [PlyCount "167"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [TimeControl "1500+10"]1. e4 {0} e5 {1} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {1} 3. Bc4 {0} Bc5 {2} 4. O-O {0} Nf6 {1} 5. d3 {2} O-O {3} 6. a4 {2} a6 {1} 7. c3 {9} d6 {24} 8. Re1 {24} Ba7 {23} 9. h3 {9} Ne7 {6} 10. d4 {7} Ng6 {3} 11. Nbd2 {9} c6 {88} 12. Bf1 {24} a5 {236} 13. dxe5 {373} dxe5 {75} 14. Qc2 {15} Be6 {159} 15. Nc4 {38} Qc7 {49} 16. b4 {73} axb4 { 166} 17. cxb4 {2} b5 {1} 18. Ne3 {116} bxa4 {423} 19. Rxa4 {2} Bxe3 {14} 20. Bxe3 {233} Rxa4 {6} 21. Qxa4 {2} Nxe4 {36} 22. Rc1 {3} Bd5 {40} 23. b5 {7} cxb5 {140} 24. Qxe4 {3} Qxc1 {2} 25. Qxd5 {1} Qc7 {73} 26. Qxb5 {30} Rb8 {4} 27. Qd5 {18} Rd8 {70} 28. Qb3 {8} Rb8 {20} 29. Qa2 {13} h6 {17} 30. Qd5 {63} Qe7 {51} 31. Qe4 {44} Qf6 {49} 32. g3 {49} Rc8 {6} 33. Bd3 {63} Qc6 {5} 34. Qf5 {4} Re8 {7} 35. Be4 {287} Qe6 {6} 36. Qh5 {66} Ne7 {3} 37. Qxe5 {65} Qxe5 {5} 38. Nxe5 {2} Ng6 {9} 39. Bxg6 {8} Rxe5 {1} 40. Bd3 {5} f6 {63} 41. Kg2 {10} Kh8 {2} 42. Kf3 {22} Rd5 {1} 43. Bg6 {3} Ra5 {3} 44. Ke4 {9} Rb5 {3} 45. h4 {3} Re5+ {2} 46. Kd4 {2} Ra5 {1} 47. Kc4 {11} Re5 {21} 48. Bd4 {3} Ra5 {9} 49. Bc5 {2} Kg8 { 5} 50. Kd5 {1} Rb5 {3} 51. Kd6 {3} Ra5 {3} 52. Be3 {17} Re5 {8} 53. Bf4 {29} Ra5 {12} 54. Bd3 {38} Ra7 {8} 55. Ke6 {5} Rb7 {5} 56. Kf5 {6} Rd7 {23} 57. Bc2 {13} Rb7 {9} 58. Kg6 {2} Rb2 {23} 59. Bf5 {2} Rxf2 {16} 60. Be6+ {1} Kh8 {2} 61. Bd6 {31} Re2 {2} 62. Bg4 {122} Re8 {17} 63. Bf5 {25} Kg8 {7} 64. Bc2 {28} Re3 {19} 65. Bb1 {9} Kh8 {28} 66. Kf7 {17} Rb3 {15} 67. Be4 {3} Re3 {27} 68. Bf5 {23} Rc3 {5} 69. g4 {17} Rc6 {16} 70. Bf8 {6} Rc7+ {3} 71. Kg6 {2} Kg8 {7} 72. Bb4 {8} Rb7 {6} 73. Bd6 {9} Kh8 {6} 74. Bf8 {15} Kg8 {2} 75. Ba3 {3} Kh8 {2 } 76. Be6 {24} Rb6 {6} 77. Kf7 {16} Rb7+ {2} 78. Be7 {2} h5 {58} 79. gxh5 {39} f5 {3} 80. Bxf5 {5} Rxe7+ {2} 81. Kxe7 {1} Kg8 {1} 82. Bd3 {3} Kh8 {1} 83. Kf8 {2} g5 {5} 84. hxg6 1/2-1/2

22.17 / 16.17: Karjakin has only seconds on the clock but Carlsen does not seem to have a clear idea how to win.

22.13 / 16.13: Carlsen missed a win and is under two minutes on the clock.

22.11 / 16.11: Carlsen sacrificed a pawn to initiate a mating attack with the two bishops and his king.

22.09 / 16.09: Carlsen improves the position of his king and seems to edge closer to a win.

22.05 / 16.05: Karjakin now just lives on his increment. But Carlsen has to find a way to break through. But as he said after game four of the match: "I do not believe in fortresses."

22.03 / 16.03: Carlsen is down to 3 minutes. He offered the exchange of queens and an endgame arose in which Carlsen has the two bishops and Karjakin a rook.

22.01 / 16.01: Carlsen takes a lot of time, a sign that he is not sure how to convert his advantage to a win.

21.59 / 15.59: Maxim Dlugy: "But it's not ever yet. White still has to win."

21.56 / 15.56: Carlsen plays calmly and tries to exploit his advantage on the board and the clock.

21.53 / 15.53: Karjakin has less than one minute left, Carlsen has 11 minutes left. And the engines see a 75% winning chance for Carlsen.

21.51 / 15.51: Judit Polgar: "If Sergey keeps this position - he really is a genius."

21.49 / 15.49: Judit Polgar: "Sergey Karjakin is very close to losing." His position is worse and he is under two minutes on the clock.

21.47 / 15.47: After a tactical sequence Carlsen has two pieces for the a rook and has a clear advantage. Not to mention the clock - 3 minutes for Karjakin, 12 minutes for Carlsen. This game has good chances to decide the match.

21.44 / 15.44: Carlsen sacrificed a pawn and put Karjakin under pressure. Judit Polgar: "Karjakin is in a very critical position now." Carlsen is a pawn down but the engines see a slight advantage for White. And Karjakin is under four minutes on the clock.

21.42 / 15.42: Things are getting tense:

21.39 / 15.39: After 19 moves Karjakin is down to 7 seven minutes - Carlsen has 15 minutes left - and the engines think that White is slightly better.

21.34 / 15.34: Maxim Dlugy is commentating again and thinks that Carlsen should try to keep the tension up to emphasize his advantage on the clock.

21.32 / 15.32: Carlsen again has a slight plus on the clock: after 18 moves Carlsen has 16 minutes left, Karjakin 12.

21.30 / 15.30: After Karjakin pushed a pawn on the queenside the position suddenly flared up - and should be better for White, at least, according to the engines.

21.25 / 15.25: After 15 moves the position is equal - and Judit Polgar thinks that Karjakin plans to continue to defend solidly to provoke Carlsen into risking too much.

21.23 / 15.23: Sergey Karjakin and his wife on the way to the playing hall.

Karjakin auf dem Weg zur Markthalle

21.17 / 15.17: Really? Is it that simple?

21.15 / 15.15: After 12 moves Carlsen is again ahead on the clock. He has 23 minutes left, Karjakin 20.

21.08 / 15.08: Game two began with an Italian. The players followed theory and played the first ten moves quickly.

20.52 / 14.52: Draw! After 37 moves the first game of the tie-break ends in a draw!

Replay game 1

[Event "AGON FWCM 2016-Tiebreak"] [Site "New York"] [Date "2016.11.30"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C77"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2853"] [Annotator "ChessBase"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [TimeControl "1500+10"]1. e4 {0} e5 {2} 2. Nf3 {0} Nc6 {1} 3. Bb5 {0} a6 {2} 4. Ba4 {0} Nf6 {2} 5. O-O {0} Be7 {2} 6. d3 {0} b5 {2} 7. Bb3 {1} d6 {3} 8. a3 {2} O-O {3} 9. Nc3 {1} Nb8 {10} 10. Ne2 {135} c5 {13} 11. Ng3 {15} Nc6 {3} 12. c3 {30} Rb8 {48} 13. h3 {46 } a5 {10} 14. a4 {100} b4 {2} 15. Re1 {214} Be6 {101} 16. Bc4 {177} h6 {128} 17. Be3 {117} Qc8 {184} 18. Qe2 {110} Rd8 {52} 19. Bxe6 {92} fxe6 {83} 20. d4 { 2} bxc3 {41} 21. bxc3 {1} cxd4 {14} 22. cxd4 {1} exd4 {8} 23. Nxd4 {2} Nxd4 {7} 24. Bxd4 {1} Rb4 {3} 25. Rec1 {149} Qd7 {26} 26. Bc3 {9} Rxa4 {13} 27. Bxa5 {11 } Rxa1 {7} 28. Rxa1 {2} Ra8 {9} 29. Bc3 {23} Rxa1+ {7} 30. Bxa1 {1} Qc6 {7} 31. Kh2 {38} Kf7 {284} 32. Bb2 {161} Qc5 {33} 33. f4 {44} Bd8 {77} 34. e5 {119} dxe5 {49} 35. Bxe5 {7} Bb6 {150} 36. Qd1 {1} Qd5 {26} 37. Qxd5 {49} Nxd5 {2} 1/2-1/2 0-1

20.48 / 14.48: The engines evalute the position as absolutely equal but maybe Carlsen wants to try to exploit his advantage on the clock.

20.45 / 14.45: After 33 moves Karjakin is down to five minutes, Carlsen has ten minutes left.

20.44 / 14.44: With 33.f4 Karjakin gets active - but weakens the black squares around his king.

20.40 / 14.40: The position looks drawish but both players seem to be willing to play on and to try something.

20.35 / 14.35: After 30 moves the position simplified and a draw does not seem to be far away.

20.33 / 14.33: Judit Polgar: "Both players seem to be happy that the first game is so solid."

20.32 / 14.32: After some quick moves from both the position simplified and the engines say that's is equal.

20.28 / 14.28: Maxim Dlugy: "What is the only way not to lose on time in blitz? - Play faster than your opponent!" Karjakin is down to 11 minutes, Carlsen has 17 minutes left.

20.25 / 14.25: Judit Polgar: "I have a feeling that Carlsen is playing solid strategic chess and fast."

20.22 / 14.22: After 17 moves the game gradually takes shape in the middlegame and Carlsen is taking more time for his moves. However, with 19 to 13 minutes he is still much ahead on the clock.

20.13 / 14.13: Maxim Dlugy: "In blitz and rapid it is important to play good, solid moves. You simply do not have time to search for the best move."

20.11 / 14.11: Carlsen plays the opening quickly and after 15 moves he has eight minutes more on the clock than Karjakin.

20.05 / 14.05: The World Champion removes his jacket. Dlugy thinks that Carlsen is still in his preparation - he played ...Rb8 rather quickly.

20.03 / 14.03: Maxim Dlugy joined Judit Polgar in the commentary room and explained some of the basic patterns of the Ruy Lopez.

Maxim Dlugy, our man in New York, knows a lot about rapid and blitz.

20.01 / 14.01: The tie-break began. With a Classical Ruy Lopez again. 

19.57 / 13.57: Judit Polgar: "Today is the day. Today, we will have a World Champion."

19.50 / 13.50: Judit Polgar: "After game 12 both players looked as if they were World Champions. But now I feel that there's more pressure on Magnus Carlsen."

18.02 / 12.02: Sabrina Chevannes predicts a decision in the rapid games. She is visiting our headquarters in Hamburg to produce some "My First Repertoire" DVDs and says: "It's Magnus' birthday today, and what better birthday gift than to be awarded the title of World Chess Champion yet again. I believe that he has been conserving his energy for this rapid showdown and will show the world who's boss in the first four games. Prediction: 2.5-1.5 to Magnus." 

Sabrina Chevannes

16.56 / 10.46: Only three more hours to the tie-break. As a warm-up here's a blitz game Carlsen and Karjakin played at the Fide World Blitz Championship 2015 in Berlin.

15.14 / 9:14 - Interview with Vlastimil Hort:

What do you think about the World Championship in New York?
Very interesting, two young people, almost equally strong. I think Karjakin is very well prepared, Carlsen less so.

Does Carlsen play his best chess?
No, definitely not. I think, he is not 100% focused on the match. Maybe he did not take the task seriously enough. His schedule is probably too tight. Today he's here, the next month he's there. He does this and he does that. But you cannot juggle too many balls at once. For Karjakin things are different. For him, the match is the highlight of his career so far. And Carlsen was already down. After his loss in game eight Carlsen prepared a risky line in the Ruy Lopez. He easily could have lost a second game. He was lucky.

What did you predict before the match?
Before the match I did indeed risk some money at the bookies, not much, just a little, and I bet on a 6-6. I have to admit that I support Karjakin a bit more than Carlsen, you always root for the underdog. But I also have another reason: Karjakin and I are both Capricorns, born on January 12. I am only a bit older - 48 years! But Capricorns have stick together.

What was the best game of the match?
Carlsen's win in the Italian.

The worst game...?
Well, the last game, that was terrible. In this situation Fischer would have played on to the bare king, 100 moves or more if necessary.

What do you think about the format of the match?
Much too short. Twelve games, that is not enough. And the tie-break, terrible. Tennis has a tie-break, hockey has sudden death, soccer has a penalty shootout. All very similar to the actual competition. But rapid or blitz chess is something entirely different than classical chess. In the opera you can neither start as tragedy and finish as comedy.

What is better, a tie-break or the rules we had in previous matches - if the match is equal, the World Champion keeps the title?
Well, a difficult question: I once discussed it with Fischer, in Budapest. Fischer thought that it would be best to toss  a coin. 

Your prediction for the tie-break?
I think, Carlsen is better in these disciplines and he will win.

10.50 / 04.50: Not everyone is happy that a rapid, and possibly a blitz tie-break, will decide the World Championship in classical chess. Yesterday, Yasser Seirawan proposed a "radical solution" to avoid such tie-breaks in future World Championship matches. Seirawan's proposal provoked an enormous response.

Yasser Seirawan

09.04 / 03.04: As luck would have it, today is Magnus Carlsen's 26th birthday. He was born on 30. November 1990 in Tønsberg, Norway. This makes Carlsen a Sagittarius. For this star sign has some advice for today: "Don't let others push you into places you don't want to be. The key is to probe deeply with your penetrating mind and share your incredible insights with others. Don't be surprised if your actions cause some tension. Don't let this stop you from doing what you feel is right."

Sergey Karjakin was born on 12. January 1990, in Simferopol, Ukraine. His star sign is Capricorn. also has advice for him: "Emotionally speaking, you're probably doing quite well today, Capricorn. You have extra self-confidence to draw on to tackle your projects. The one difficult aspect of the day probably has to do with some sort of mental challenge that for some reason just isn't making sense. Don't continue to beat a dead horse. If things don't want to budge, let them sit. Tackle them later."

08.08 / 02.08: Here are the basic rules of the tie-break - we will see a minimum of three and a maximum of 15 games.


The players start with a four-game rapid match (25 min + 10 sec/move). Karjakin has the white pieces in the 1st game. In case of a 2-2 after four games, the match will be decided by blitz games.


The blitz phase consists of  two-game-blitz-matches (5 min + 3 sec/move). If the first blitz match also ends in a 1-1 draw, another two-game-match follows - up to five in total. If these five matches all end 1-1, Armageddon will decide the match.


This format guarantess a winner, as in case of a draw the player with the black pieces will be declared as the winner. In this format, White has five minutes, Black only four. An increment of three seconds is given from move 61.

07.45 / 01.45: According to the live ratings Carlsen is a slight favorite in rapid and in blitz.

Live Ratings: Top Ten Rapid

1 Carlsen 2894.0
2 Nakamura 2839.0
3 Karjakin 2818 i
4 Nepomniachtchi 2812.0
5 Mamedyarov 2805.0
6 Dominguez Perez 2803.0
7 Anand 2802.0
8 Vachier-Lagrave 2795.0
9 Radjabov 2788 i
10 Kramnik 2778.0

Live Ratings: Top Ten Blitz

1 Ding Liren 2875.0
2 Carlsen 2873.0
3 Nakamura 2842.0
4 Nepomniachtchi 2830.0
5 Aronian 2830.0
6 Vachier-Lagrave 2823.0
7 Mamedyarov 2813.0
8 Radjabov 2800 i
9 Karjakin 2800.0
10 Caruana 2800.0

+ + +

World Chess Championship 2016 Newsblogs:

Feedback and mail to our news service Please use this account if you want to contribute to or comment on our news page service


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

hserusk hserusk 11/30/2016 10:01
"In a tie-break match which promises some of the most exciting chess moments of the year." -Not really, at least not for most of the chess fans. At best the World chess championship is at a tie between the two if one thinks in line with the tradition of these matches. (which I suspect most chess fans do)
vladivaclav vladivaclav 11/30/2016 10:11
if carlsen plays at his usual level he cracks karjakin without problem in rapid or blitz. faster the time control - more advantage for carlsen.
siamesedream siamesedream 11/30/2016 11:20
Happy birthday, Magnus!

Good luck in tie-break games.
fixpont fixpont 11/30/2016 12:08
hserusk: tradition says Carlsen remains champion because traditionally champions have draw advantage. Now what?
Chessspawnvt Chessspawnvt 11/30/2016 12:23
Note to FIDE and Agon. Tie breaks for a classical chess championship are stupid and uninteresting. There are separate Rapid and Blitz world championships already. If there's a tie in one of those, do they have a playoff with games played at classical time controls? This boring championship match is thankfully over for this classical time control fan. It matters not who wins these BS Rapid/Blitz playoffs.

BTW, it will be interesting to see how much money FIDE receives from Agon from the proceeds of this match. High time for the major chess powers, excluding Russia, to form a new international chess governing body.
hserusk hserusk 11/30/2016 12:31
@Fixpont, You mean after that epic last game with White wherein the battle shook the heavens?
Reckon he doesn't.
romualdo romualdo 11/30/2016 01:03
I fully disagree. It´s is a shame decide a WCC in rapid games and after that in blitz games. After the classical games if a draw in the match exists so the current champion keeps the title and in this case the challenger must play for a win and the champion must play to avoid it, so there is fight in all games. If 12 games is not satisfactory, so make it in 15 games. There is already a world championship for blitz games and probably there is one for rapid ( I am not sure in this last case ). If Chessbase and FIDE supports this kind of tie-break it is a shame for chess. We as fans and players of chess want to see fight in classical games. We don´t want to waste our time ( and money now ) to see boring games in the internet to see two guys in front of each other using what they have recorded from the books in their memories to just reproduce them in the board and agree a draw without fight.

What is your position ????
kingchaser83 kingchaser83 11/30/2016 01:19
I dont like this format with the rapid and blitz games. I propose a 14 game match. If the score is tied after 14 games both players must play until one of them scores 1 win. It wont drag the match as much as an older rule that said that you must win 6 games. I think this is the fairest and more exciting way to go. It pushes players to go for the win....they cant draw forever!!!
gambitg1 gambitg1 11/30/2016 01:44
Nothing speaks more than money. I would say keep the rules as is but for each draw white loses 3% of prize money and black loses 1% of it.
Chessspawnvt Chessspawnvt 11/30/2016 01:52
@kinchaser83--I like that solution. but with the match being for 16 or 18 games to start---not 12.
Truffaut Truffaut 11/30/2016 02:32
What does the "i" mean at the end of some ratings?
algorithmy algorithmy 11/30/2016 02:34
I think the best tie break system should be as follow:
a number of classical games 12, 18 or 24 whatever they agree on, and if the result was drawn then they play one more classical game where the champion play with black pieces and if it's draw then the champion retain his title, fair enough I think and much better than a rapid tiebreak which makes no sense in a CLASSICAL WCC.
kabayo2015 kabayo2015 11/30/2016 03:38
@gambit1g - I like the "follow the money" idea. :-). Seriously though. 14 or 18 games, all classical times. If you can't beat the "King of the Hill", then you go back to the line and try again later. So, after 18 games, if tied, Champ retains it. Today's games are just for the "show" part. :-)
Roggenossi Roggenossi 11/30/2016 03:46
Who has expected fighting spirit from a fashion model?
Roggenossi Roggenossi 11/30/2016 03:49
@Truffaut, the i means these players are inactive.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 11/30/2016 04:01
@ Truffaut : "i" is for "inactive". It means that the player hasn't played a rated game in the given time control for at least one year (I'm not completely sure that it is one year, but nearly). For example, Karjakin is "inactive" in Rapid, but not in Blitz.
Rational Rational 11/30/2016 04:19
The games apart from game 12 were very hard fought even if 9 of them were draws.
Both players calculated a draw in 12 as being in their interests , one of them will prove to have been incorrect. Draw odds in a classical match even over 24 games is a very big advantage nowadays much more so than even in Botvinnik's day so it is fairer to have some sort of tie break. Today's tie break is going to be very exciting
GDiVanGuard GDiVanGuard 11/30/2016 04:43
Congratulations World Chess Champion Sergey Karjakin!!!
farzin zaeri farzin zaeri 11/30/2016 05:55
To get round the tie break I suggest
2 points for white win, 3 points for black win and in case of a draw, 2 point for black and 1 point for white.
farzin zaeri farzin zaeri 11/30/2016 05:55
To get round the tie break I suggest
2 points for white win, 3 points for black win and in case of a draw, 2 point for black and 1 point for white.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/30/2016 06:26
Radical solution: if tie after 12 classical games, then mini matches of 2 games with the same time control as in the classical games - one game a day (let us think later of whether rest days and, if so, when) BUT, the extra games would be Fischer random chess. No opening preparation relevant! This could diminish the draw probabilities.

That being said, the 4 rapid games mini match is a reasonable tie-break. This is not a blitz. 25 minutes and 10 seconds, you get some real chess. And a 4 games rapid match is not a bad indicator of who is the best chess player. I do not understand why some people are more scandalised by this than they would be by having the champion keep the title in case of equality, or by having the title determined by a single game (Yasser).

A way to avoid the championship determined by blitz or Armageddon is to just repeat 4-games rapid matches until we have a winner. One match a day (let us think later of if an when rest days).
raki-baki2 raki-baki2 11/30/2016 09:25
In the Blitz video, at 8:05..Karjakin could win immediately with Ra1!!
Denix Denix 11/30/2016 10:26
in Rapid Game 2 Carlsen missed 73. Be6! mate in 22 moves
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 11/30/2016 10:30
Carlsen is just getting into his he found out his opponent is calm. Good luck to both but as I is C
fixpont fixpont 11/30/2016 10:33
It turns out rapid games are much more interesting than classical. This game #2 was fantastic i enjoyed more than previous games. Especially the endgame.
fons fons 12/1/2016 12:51
So in the end the best player won. Carlsen finding his top gear in the last lap when Karjaking's engine simply lacked horsepower. Bonus points for finishing in style. ;)
bin bin 12/1/2016 01:14
Let's face it Carlsen = Karjakin in classical whether you ilk it or not. So all of the outlandish exaggerations about 'Mozart of chess' hold no water. The guy made one finish move at the end that Tal used to do every day and all of a sudden we forgot 15 games played before. I just imagine what would have happen if Asparov would have tied after 12 classical games he would've been bashed and scroned all over for being weaker than anything resembles an all time best.But Magnus can fail as much as he want and then sac a queen in a 2000's or below level tactic and he became a genius LMAO. 7 ppl are rated higher than his equal rival. ..
koko48 koko48 12/1/2016 01:28
Once again (just like the 2012 Anand - Gelfand match) the games didn't get really good and interesting, until the rapid tiebreaks

The traditionalists bemoaning the 'sacrilege' of rapid tiebreaks have to wake up to the modern age and realize that this is just where chess is heading. You can propose 13 game matches with draw odds for black, you can propose 18 game matches, in order to maintain the 'sanctity' of classical chess....The problem is that regardless of the length, in a match of this importance the players have too much impetus, too much time - and too much comp theory - to play it safe and not take risks. Classical chess in the modern computer age is dying a slow but noticeable death. The future of chess is in faster games and I'm all in favor of rapid tiebreaks....And I'm in favor of faster time controls for the 'classical' games

However I'm glad it ended in the rapid phase, because I don't believe the WC should be decided by blitz or Armageddon games.....I think it's better to keep playing rapid mini matches (maybe 20 min +, then perhaps 'quick chess' 15 min + ) until there is a winner
excalibur2 excalibur2 12/1/2016 01:34
@bin I agree with your take
caliche2016 caliche2016 12/1/2016 01:40
And Carlsen keeps the tile....

Hopefully this is will be a lesson for players like Karjakin and future contenders to the crown: coward play directed to drawing as many games as possible, only delays the inevitable!!

Karjakin did not show any courage, did not risk anything. His opening preparation was terrible from the point of view of generating winning chances and finally got what he deserved.

KOTLD KOTLD 12/1/2016 01:46
Great quotation from Vlastimil Hort: you cannot start as tragedy and finish as comedy !
libyantiger libyantiger 12/1/2016 01:55
carlsen must be beaten twice in the classical ....only then he will be frustrated to fight ...segry missed second win in the "pishop sacrifice " game .....sergy fought very well but the problem is he kept fighting and defending bad positions ....if just he get good opening advantage he will be 4 sure have squeezed a second win in the classical ....congratulations to sergy who shows the way carlsen will lose his championship title will be long fighting grinding battle between him and his younger rival ...carlsen will lose to younger opponents same way he did to sergy ...long grinding strategic battle
Kazimirovich Kazimirovich 12/1/2016 01:57
50.Qh6+! Now THAT'S why we play chess.
Aighearach Aighearach 12/1/2016 01:59
So finally in the end the pundits are all proven wrong: drawing is not the new winning, and drawing isn't the same as being ahead. Well done Magnus Carlsen, World Chess Champion!
Silverbullet Silverbullet 12/1/2016 02:04
If this is what it takes to liven up the play, why not jump into rapid games sooner? Say eight classical followed by eight rapid at two games per day and eight blitz in a one day playoff if the issue is still undecided. Either that, or restore the match to a reasonable length (16 or 18 games) where the players actually have leeway to take risks.
Blackacre Blackacre 12/1/2016 02:34
Carlsen deserved to win. Karjakin played safe, defensive chess with both colors and hoped for Carlsen to overpress. Karjakin never tried to create anything himself. Unlike, for example, Kramnik, who in his match with Kasparov played to draw as Black, but played to win as White. It would have been a shame to see those tactics rewarded. Carlsen is just the better player.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 12/1/2016 02:45

You comment is stupid!

Carlsen was not the better player in classical chess.

He is the better player in rapid chess.

But this here was called classical world championship and not "Classical & Rapid world championship".

While I agree that Carlsen is generally the better player, it does not matter if you play for a title which is clear described with the word classical.

And in classical they players was at the same level! END OF THE STORY!

sranj2016 sranj2016 12/1/2016 03:10
RADICAL Solution:

Play 12 games of Classical, 12 games of Rapid and 12 games of Blitz to determine the Integrated World Champion, with scoring distribution ratio of 3:2:1.
ChiliBean ChiliBean 12/1/2016 03:20
Magnus delivers the goods! :)
koko48 koko48 12/1/2016 03:25
I agree, it seemed Karjakin played a little too solid and tentatively....But at this point they're probably all a little scared of Carlsen

Carlsen was doing most of the pressing throughout the match, and the only game Karjakin won was because of some dubious decisions and overpressing on Carlsen's part

Still, if Karjakin finds the forced perpetual in game 10 with ...Nxf2+ maybe he is World Champion today....And it wasn't too difficult to see, Judit Polgar saw it almost instantly

That reminded me of when Carlsen played that Kd2 blunder against Anand in their last WC match and Anand didn't see the simple three move winning combination....Against any other player I'm sure Anand would have seen that almost automatically...IMO that blind spot was caused by "Too much respect"...He just didn't think Carlsen could blunder

I do think Caruana as challenger (while still of course an underdog) would have provided more imbalanced classical games ....He seems to mix it up against Carlsen a little more....He might not have lasted as long as Karjakin did, but there may have been more 'meaty' games