Carlsen vs Karjakin: After the match

12/3/2016 – The most beautiful move of the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin was the last. In the regular games the World Champion was often better but was unable to convert his advantages to a win. But at the tie-break he clearly played better. Again and again he put Karjakin under pressure - on the board and on the clock. After three games he was 2-1 ahead and then he won the last game and the match with a nice queen sacrifice. Newsblog 2016-12-04...

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World Chess Championship Carlsen Karjakin, New York - Newsblog 2016-12-04

Sunday - Magnus Carlsen is asked about the choice of socks after the match

How would you rank this victory?

Sergey, what are your plans and will you come back?

Boy's question: were you nervous during the fourth game?

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16.11: Yasser Seirawan renews his criticism on the format of the World Chess Championship: "A Radical Solution - Redux"

10.41: The World Champion on the cliché of focussing on the process instead of the results:

Saturday, 10.15 - Sometimes you have to call it quits: 

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18.03: So Laurent Fressinet was also in Team Carlsen, as Jon Ludvig Hammer reveals. Fressinet also celebrated his birthday on November 30, whereas Carlsen turned 26, Fressinet now is 35 years. Happy birthday to both.

There is more than chess sometimes:

15.11 / 9.11 am  Closing ceremony part 2:

Magnus Carlsen talks at the closing ceremony:

14.47 / 8.47 am  Closing ceremony part 1:

Sergey Karjakin talks at the closing ceremony:

14.21 / 08.21: Vishy Anand knows how it feels to play for the World Championship and he knows how it feels to play a tie-break for the title. After the match he congratulated both players, Magnus Carlsen...

...and Sergey Karjakin.

14.10 / 8.10 am  Press conference questions

Magnus Carlsen gets asked about his choice of socks:

13.38 / 07.38: On his website "Chess in Tweets" Eric van Reem, who supported Vishy Anand in some World Championship matches, draws attention to a factor that might have helped to decide the match but so far has been often overlooked: the white NBA socks Carlsen sported during the event.

12.40 / 06.40: In the Guardian Stephen Moss, author of the recently published "The Rookie: An Odyssey Through Chess (and Life)", admits that he "was astonished and delighted to see that the liveblog on the world championship was the third-most read item on [the Guardian's] website. For a moment chess – ignored, marginalised, even derided by some – finally had its place in the sun." Moss then muses about the changes the match brought about or might bring about.

11.35 / 5.35: Press conference part 1

Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin's at the press conference after game 4:


Newsblog - 2016-12-01

22.08 / 16.08: This one we can't avoid -


21.37 / 15.37: The Norwegian news portal "News in" reports how Magnus Carlsen, after winning the match, thanked his father Henrik: “Last, but not least, I want to thank my father. He is really the best support I have. He is the best person I know. He always sacrifices his time for me, he’s done that since I began to play. I am eternally grateful. In difficult times you have been there. You mean the world to me. Takk! (Thank you!)”

19.50 / 13.50: Wins and losses

Magnus Carlsen defended his title but the 6-6 result in the classical games of the match cost him 13 rating points. With a rating of 2840 Carlsen is still the world's number one in the Fide rating list of December 1, but he now is "only" 17 points ahead of Fabiano Caruana, the current number two in the world.

Karjakin, of course, won 13 points and with a rating of 2785 he now is number six in the world.

However, the Carlsen's 3-1 victory in the tie-break helped the World Champion to a rapid rating of 2906 and makes him the first human to reach a rapid rating of 2900.

18.55 Hamburg time / 12.55 New York: According to the Norwegian Chess Federation, on average almost 800.000, that’s 1/5 out of every Norwegian, followed the entire four hours  of the tie-break on TV. During the longest game of the match that ended when it was 3 a.m. in the morning in Norway, 150.000 people in Norway followed the NRK broadcast. Most Norwegians will definitely be happy that Carlsen won the match and they will probably be happy to get more sleep now.


13.11 / 7.11 am: Daniel King examines the tie-break games on


11.00 / 5.00 am: The Queen of New York is amused:

10.25 Hamburg / 04.25 New York: Daniel King takes a look at the tie-break and analyzes highlights.

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#

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World Chess Championship 2016 Newsblogs:

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Philip Feeley Philip Feeley 12/8/2016 05:17
White socks with black shoes? Not much of a style icon, there.
vinniethepooh vinniethepooh 12/5/2016 01:50
michaelriber 12/1/2016 12:01
Magnus was the right winner. The loser here is chess. The format, deciding the title in a rapid playoff, is unworthy of the classical WC. And FIDE selling the exclusive broadcasting rights to Agon means it has been impossible to follow the event live without paying for it. The corrupt leaders of this sport have done themselves and the rest of us a disservice...

The loser here isn't chess, it is all those groups of chess, like FIDE and Agon.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/4/2016 10:34
@ clkauto : If your own "talk" is not "cheap", I don't know what "cheap" means... I discuss of many things with many persons on ChessBase, but I would certainly not do it with someone as biased and opinionated as you ; it really isn't at all interesting.
clkauto clkauto 12/4/2016 08:37
Thanks. So as I said you have no arguments, just cheap talk.
Good then, this discussion is over.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/4/2016 04:00
@ clkauto : I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in discussing of Carlsen with you ; your posts speaks for themselves about your extreme anti-Carlsen bias... to the point of complete absurdity... So, to have a good laugh from time to time when readings your rather absurd posts, yes, but more, no... I prefer to discuss more interesting things with persons who aren't as biased as you.
clkauto clkauto 12/4/2016 02:47

I will spell the argument out to you, since this is too far-fetched for you to grasp:

1. Carlsen lost the game (this is a fact, verifiable)
2. He was very nervous and agitated in front of cameras after that (recorded, fact, verifiable)
3. Angry and on the verge of tears, he stormed his way our of the conference hissing. (recorded, fact, verifiable)

So again, lousy person and even worse sportsman.

Now do you have any arguments to contrary?

DaTribe DaTribe 12/3/2016 05:50
I believe the format is just fine. It creates excitement and attracts lots of fans. It shows that the best player in all formats wins. Magnus was the best player in the classical and the best in the rapids. I like Sergey, but who wants a world champion who only defends and sole aim is to frustrate his opponent into overpressing and losing by himself. The games Sergey tried to go on the offensive, Classical game 9 and Rapids 3 & 4, he drew and lost 2 1/2 - 1/2 in favour of Magnus.

For those who play chess, they would know it is very difficult to beat someone whose sole intent is to defend and at that, that someone is in the top 10 in the world. The more you try to attack the greater the chance of you losing yourself. That shows just how much better Magnus is that Sergey.

The correct winner and the correct format.
DaTribe DaTribe 12/3/2016 05:50
I believe the format is just fine. It creates excitement and attracts lots of fans. It shows that the best player in all formats wins. Magnus was the best player in the classical and the best in the rapids. I like Sergey, but who wants a world champion who only defends and sole aim is to frustrate his opponent into overpressing and losing by himself. The games Sergey tried to go on the offensive, Classical game 9 and Rapids 3 & 4, he drew and lost 2 1/2 - 1/2 in favour of Magnus.

For those who play chess, they would know it is very difficult to beat someone whose sole intent is to defend and at that, that someone is in the top 10 in the world. The more you try to attack the greater the chance of you losing yourself. That shows just how much better Magnus is that Sergey.

The correct winner and the correct format.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/3/2016 05:32
@ clkauto : Your permanent and perpetual anti-Carlsen bias is really quite hilarious !... You must have writed something like a dozen of anti-Carlsen posts on ChessBase, always whithout any sort of real argumentation... I must admit, though, that to read them one after another is quite funny... you don't encounter such extreme bias every day !
Joseph Toh Joseph Toh 12/3/2016 05:09
First Wholesome Chess Champion & First Wholesome Chess Challenger!
clkauto clkauto 12/3/2016 11:59
Good Carlsen won, otherwise we wouldn't see any of him at the closing conference. What a lousy sportsman.
dysanfel dysanfel 12/3/2016 05:45
If Rapid and Blitz draw a bigger audience than classical than promote it more. Make the sport more mainstream and palatable for the masses. That does not take anything away from Classical time controls and the historic tournaments that will continue.

This is about exciting potential audiences through excellent promotion, marketing, prestigious sponsorship, and maybe in the beginning involvement of household names/stars that play like Jay Z, Cher, Bono, Madonna, Matt Damon (could do an excellent Carlsen impersonation), Nicholas Cage, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, or even Heidi Klum, Kobe Bryant, Jimmy Carter (US President) all of which are chess lovers. Tell people what is cool, and it becomes cool.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 12/3/2016 05:44
@ koko48 : "(...) rapid games are more spectator and fan friendly" : For the "fan friendly" part, obviously (for whichever reason...), it is quite the contrary : for example, there is a crushing majority of posts, under Yasser Seirawan's last article, that are clearly in favor of classical games, and not of rapid or blitz games. And under this article, there are heaps and heaps of posts, so this is necessarily very significant. You can think that it isn't at all logical, but, nonetheless, facts are facts...

But for the "spectator friendly" part, I quite agree. I think the difference between rapid and blitz games, on the one side, and classical games, on the other side, is that rapid or blitz chess is perfect for Internet broadcast, in the same way as sports such as tennis, for exemple, while classical chess is particularly interesting for the depths of the ideas displayed. But, one thing which, for me, really sets aside classical chess, is that, because of this, you can study a game twenty (or fifty...) years after it was played, and still find it fascinating. While in rapid or blitz, after one or two weeks, generally, the games are completely forgotten...

A further consequence : what is the essential legacy of a legendary chess player ? His games... And if classical games would disappear in favor of rapid or blitz games, it would mean that the greatest chess players wouldn't really leave anything behind them anymore, in terms of legacy. And I think it would be a great pity...
dysanfel dysanfel 12/3/2016 05:31
What is wild is that it took Judith Polgar less than 5 seconds to see the line with starting with Rc8+ and ending with Qh6+. I think she saw it faster than Carlsen.
koko48 koko48 12/3/2016 02:31
@tyger574 Nice point, very true!

I would also like to add that this finish Qh6+ may have done more to popularize chess among the general public, than anything in a very long time....Possibly the most since Kasparov's matches against IBM, which attracted wide interest among non-chess players in the '90s (man vs machine implications, etc)

This move will probably be replayed throughout history, and unlike most beautiful chess finishes it doesn't require a certain degree of chess competency to appreciate it. A rank beginner who barely knows how the pieces move, can appreciate the simple beauty of Qh6+

And that finish nowadays could have only happened in a rapid game....I can understand the arguments to keep the 'classical' world championship 'classical' (even though it was never designated the 'Classical World Chess Championship'...It was always called the "World Chess Championship")

But regardless of your stance on the issue, I think it's difficult to deny that rapid games are more spectator and fan friendly...And they create games (and finishes) that the casual fan can also appreciate
tyger574 tyger574 12/3/2016 01:56
The best part of this article is knowing these top caliber players have normal lives outside chess. Perhaps this will encourage more sponsorships for chess tournaments in most parts of the globe.
Congrats to Magnus for retaining his title and to both for a well played match.
Even more so for Karjakin for his son's first steps. Being a good dad is an accomplishment in itself. Just look at who Magnus thanked the most after his victory.
piotrb2 piotrb2 12/2/2016 05:02
It's a shame Mr. Kirsan couldn't have congratulated Magnus in person. The official congratulatory letter on FIDE's website is so impersonal and unprofessional. Could have used Skype but then he will look like Mr Snowden selling Kreml's fairy tales.

(I like logging to chessbase via HTTP.)
karavamudan karavamudan 12/2/2016 02:43
Hey Guys out there . Stop cribbing. This time it went to a full 12 games, earlier the result was decided early.
Do you want Karpov-Kasparov like match dragging for months? Even Capa-Alekhy match dragged long enough. These days chess championship is almost every year and the pressure on the players is high. So 12 matches are compact and players can optimize their strengths.
Sergei played a wonderful match but all said and done, we cannot conclude that Carlsen would have lost. His loss was in a drawn game, Sergei's loss was in a drawn game, and finally Magnus prevailed in rapid (not Blitz).
Anand defeated Segei in candidates but played only 2 games with him. In a long match, Anand might not have lasted the full distance. So in future, it is likely young guys will come and test Magnus for most of the match. So chess finally wins.

riccardo riccardo 12/2/2016 02:00
That was a good rapid game finish.
Pity it has to be hailed as the peak of this truly disappointing WCC.
Let me make it clear: the message emerging from this event is that NO WC CHAMPION WILL EVER BE DETERMINED IN CLASSICAL TIME LIMIT WITH SUCH A FORMAT.
If are 1 of the 2 contestant and you are feeling not as strong - or confident - as your opponent, for whichever reason, YOU WILL BE DRAGGING the 12 classical limit games to draw, then hope in a stroke of luck in rapids/blitz.
The only way to bring this event back to classical chess is to set an odd number of games, say 15 - 17, where the Challenger will play 1 White more than the Champion while the Champion will retain draw odds.
In this way the challenger will have to push for a win, and he will be given more chances to do that.

malambot malambot 12/2/2016 12:56
Just a suggestion. Since the players are fighting for classical world chess champion title, why not make the tie break a classical Fischer Random Chess for two games with draw odds for the reigning champion. In that way the tie break game is still chess with classical time control and the purpose of Fischer Random is to throw away the opening theory and let the talent of both players slug it out right from the very opening moves of the tie break games.
Former Prodigy Former Prodigy 12/2/2016 07:04
I indeed do not want to enter long discussions, but there is one thing which I would like to add.
When I wrote that the match was tense, I mostly meant that it was really unclear who would win it. I agree with many of you that some games were rather uneventful. I am not going to blame the players, as there was simply too much at stake to play for the audience. (Some players could do that, but the result is what matters most in the World Championship match.)
If you are looking for thrilling chess, you had better watch really strong open tournaments like Qatar Open, Gibraltar Open, Isle of Man or Aeroflot Open, perhaps also the Candidates Tournament or some round-robin tournaments like Wijk aan Zee. There the winner needs to score well and multiple draws mostly do not help him (or her). Watching the elite rapid and blitz events or elite women's tournaments with classical time rate is also quite interesting, as there are few quick draws, not so many draws, many interesting ideas and often also unexpected turns and unpredictable results.
I would also love to see more Chess 960 (Fischer random) tournaments, but the organizers and sponsors mostly do not share my enthusiasm for that game.
About a month ago, I remarked that many interesting games are being played practically every day and there is no need to follow the top events only. The club players can sometimes create a real masterpiece, but such games often remain relatively unknown.
Isledoc Isledoc 12/2/2016 06:12
karjakin with his 'park the bus' plan did not deserve to win.He does appear however to be a very pleasant gracious sportsman.
snits snits 12/2/2016 05:24
> dumkof 9 hours ago
> The result of the games with classical time control is 6 - 6.

> So who is the classical world champion now? This has yet to be proven.

Ask David Bronstein (unfortunately not possible) or Peter Leko about that. In the past the champion had draw odds.
Bronstein, Karpov and Leko able to held the champion to a tied matches, and even leading up to the penultimate rounds, wherein Bronstein succumbed to a tragic blunders in 23rd game, and both Karpov and Leko couldnt contained the pressure and lost their final games. Is that mean that the eventual winners of these matches didn't deserve the crowns? If the match calls for classical match, then it should end that way and nothing else. Champion deserves respect to retain the title if the challenger could not up-end the the latter. Since chess is a battle of nerve, if the time element is a factor (the duration of days), then why not make it 2-games per day for a 24 game match using classical time control with a rest day after 2 games. Still the match will end in 18 days .
ChiliBean ChiliBean 12/2/2016 05:05
That pawn on h5 was so perfectly placed.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 12/2/2016 04:58

For this exist the world championships in rapid chess.

- - -

But this here was the classical games.

koko48 koko48 12/2/2016 04:01
The rapids were not only the more 'real' chess games and the more interesting chess games, they were also the truest test (and reflection) of chess skill....The better player won decisively...Carlsen outplayed him three of the four games
Snidery Mark Snidery Mark 12/2/2016 02:25
Thanks Chesstalk mate on the opposite of the board in the end. Thanks
Aighearach Aighearach 12/2/2016 02:05
I'd prefer the traditional format, but I find it hilarious the people who first complain about the current format, because it is not traditional enough, and then also complain that after a 6-6 Classical match we don't know who the Champion is. Hogwash! Under the traditional system, we know without a doubt that the challenger did not defeat the Champion, and the Champion should retain his title. If you dislike the overtime playoff, still, the winner leaves us with no controversy. Carlsen would retain his title undisputed under the old system.
People hate, and forget to continue thinking. Sad.
Liong43 Liong43 12/2/2016 01:23
I agree to copy soccer rule - Golden Goal - when the score even.
ChessTalk ChessTalk 12/2/2016 01:08

Hi Snidery Mark 1 hour ago
Why didn't Sergei drop his Bishop back on move 49?

Evaluation Line
Evaluation Line
1000 49... Bf8 50. Rxf8+ Kxf8 51. Rxf7+ Ke8 52. Rf8+ Kd7 53. Qf5+ Kc6 54. Rc8 find it.
jsaldea12 jsaldea12 12/1/2016 11:57
Congrats to both. It was a totaling engrossing, spine-tingling match all the way...until Carlsen proved his experience in blitz. Congrats to Karjakin for giving super fight, and naturally congrats to Carlsen who is all as smile now and makes everybody happy as he is predicted to win 95%. Maybe next championship, the opponent of Carlsen will be Caruana, Nakamura, SO.
Snidery Mark Snidery Mark 12/1/2016 11:55
Why didn't Sergei drop his Bishop back on move 49? Karjakin picks up the tempo and still threatens mate on the move himself? Carlsen can't cover f1, g2 and h2 all at the same time and he would run out of checks after 49. Rc8+ Bf8, even if 50. Rxf8+ Kxf8 51. Qxd6+ Kg8 and then Kh7. I don't understand why he moved his King to h7 when he had the Bishop to help defend at f8? Perhaps he just wanted the game over - I know he was short on time? Taking nothing away from the Birthday boy, though. Cool conclusion, bro.
wengardz wengardz 12/1/2016 10:17
Congrats Magnus Carlsen! The challenger made you sweat but not enough to take away the title. Nice one Super-GM Karjakin, till next time.
hariharansivaji9 hariharansivaji9 12/1/2016 10:14

Nowadays every one have access to the chess engines and chess resources, but not all of them coming with good ideas. Example take Anand vs Topalov match in this Topalov had access to the Bulgarian super computer with unreleased Rybka software version, though he lost the match with Anand (Anand used Hiracs with normal computers). Here it shows his talent how to use the available resources (Kasparov and Kramnik aided there knowledge to him). That match shows great example for humans are the best.
Not playing a draw lines and say that i can only make draw only from this line.
excalibur2 excalibur2 12/1/2016 08:44

Agreed! This World Chess Championship was a disgrace from start to finish.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/1/2016 07:37
TB: classical time control - mini-match 2 games (solves the colour problem) - Fischer random (diminishes draw probabilities - eliminates opening preparation). If mini-match draw - repeat matches until a winner.
kyi kyi 12/1/2016 07:21
Chess is at the mercy of the sponsors. There were millions of chess fans watching this world championship games but who would like to pay and watch these games. Most of them like to watch free. It will be impossible to generate enough revenue from the chess spectators. Former woman world chess champion Hou Yifan demanded that unless the format of woman world chess championship is similar to that of man's, she will not play. I believe there is no sponsor who would like to do that way. Bobby Fischer is one of a kind chess player. His odd paranoid behavior and the cold war between former Soviet Union and US attracted a generous sponsor. At first, he did not show up to Iceland for the world title match with Spaasky until the prize fund was raised. Unfortunately, Fischer never played competitive chess again after he became world champion although there were many sponsors. How can we know that Bobby Fischer was a greatest chess player in the world if he did not show up OTB chess matches with new comers. Although I prefer to have 24 classical chess games in world championship matches, I am not disappointed by Carlsen's performance. He has FIDE's highest chess ratings by beating top world class GMs in most of the chess tournaments. What else does he need to prove ? In my opinion, he will still win, even if the number of classical games are increased or changed the format but we need a good sponsor who can spend money to promote chess. I wonder why billionaires Bill Gates and Zuckerberg would not like to sponsor chess. By spending few million dollars on chess, they will have good exposures to chess fans and public.
Balthus Balthus 12/1/2016 07:18
CORRECTION: _Karjakin_ did not have to press for a win.
Balthus Balthus 12/1/2016 07:17
dumkof, point taken, please read my offensive comment with a pinch of salt. My point is that this is becoming sooo boring. Carlsen would be World Champion according to ALL PREVIOUS standards now. Curiously, nobody protested so vocally against the TB system when Carlsen challenged Anand, nor in their rematch, nor in the first half of this match. With most people, it only emerged as a problem once there was a realistic chance that this should be the outcome and, what is more, both players thought this would be ideal, on the basis of how they played in game 12. I repeat, both of them, not just Carlsen. Furthermore, this system favoured Karjakin rather than Carlsen, because this way Carlsen did not have to press for a win with black in game 12 and did not immediately lose the match like Leko did back in 2004. What I find painful is that this has been repeated so many times by me and many others, but no, one has to go on and on and on and visualize the death of chess on the basis of this. Thanks, but no.

Incidentally, I also like Yasser's proposal, with a proviso, as I pointed out in the other thread. But the match that just has finished should have nothing to do with that proposal, and the other way round.