Newsblog WCC Carlsen-Karjakin, 2016-11-15

11/15/2016 – Game four ended in a draw! As in game three Carlsen reached a good, almost winning position but failed to win. After more than six hours of play the game was drawn. Another disappointment for Carlsen and another example of Karjakin's defensive skills. After four games the score is 2-2 and Karjakin still has to find a way to put Carlsen under pressure while Carlsen has to find a way to win his good positions. More...

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World Chess Championship News - 2016-11-15

02.24 / 20.24: Draw! Karjakin again managed to save an inferior position.

Game 4 - Notes by Dorian Rogozenco


2.10 / 20.10: Carlsen tries hard to keep winning chances but he might even try too hard.

01.56 / 19.56: Carlsen seems to have no clear winning plan but keeps pushing - but without putting White under real pressure.

01.52 / 19.52: Carlsen has ten minutes left for the rest of the game, Karjakin has 40.

01.30 / 19.30: Judit Polgar: "I have the feeling that if there is a win in the position, Magnus will find it. But I myself don't see it."

01.21 / 19.21: Is the position really won for Black? Or did Carlsen spoil his chances again?


01.15 / 19.15: Although the engines claim a black advantage there is no sense of progress in the lines they display. Just a lot of piece shuffling. Likewise, the masters and grandmasters in the press room are unable to find any promising lines. Though Carlsen can win of course, right now it seems like Karjakin has a fortress of sorts.

01.00 / 19.00: After spending a lot of time to find the right response to 43.g4 Carlsen now plays quickly and seems to know how he wants to win the game.

00.19 / 18.19: Karjakin tries to force things in the endgame with 43.g4, a move the engines do not particularly like but which makes Carlsen think - he is probably trying to figure out which pawn structure offers the best chances to win.

00.03 / 18.03: Kajakin is once more holding on to dear life. Will he pull a Houdini once more?

23.48 / 17.38: The first time-control is reached. Carlsen has a clear endgame advantage and good chances to win. As he had yesterday.

23.36 / 17.36: In the VIP area are the doors of the private rooms for Team Carlsen and Team Karjakin.

23.24 / 17.24: Fabiano Caruana speculates about Karjakin's match strategy:

23.16 / 17.16: Judit Polgar: "When Karjakin gets a really horrible position he seems to pull himself together and say to himself: 'I will not lose.'"

23.00 / 17.00: After several exchanges an endgame is reached in which Carlsen hopes to make use of his bishops - which indeed look powerful.

22.36 / 16.36: Body language also seems to indicate that Carlsen is better.

22.23 / 16.07: Karjakin exchanges queens which leads to a better queenless middlegame for Black. In the first four games of the match Karjakin failed to get any advantage from the opening and in his second game with White he even ended up in a worse position right after the opening.

22.07 / 16.07: Thoughts by Fabiano Caruana:

21.51 / 15.51: Things seem to go well for Carlsen. According to the engines Karjakin did not find the best line after 18...Qc6 and after the game continuation 19.Bxc4 bxc4 the computers see a clear advantage for Black.

21.48 / 15.48: After 18...Qc6 Judit Polgar stated she would prefer to play with Black in this position "because I think I would have more chances to win with Black".

21.39 / 15.39: Carlsen quickly countered 18.Bxh6 with 18...Qc6 which set Karjakin thinking again.

Screenshot from the official transmission

21.35 / 15.35: Nigel Short on Twitter:

21.30 / 15.30: After thinking for some time Karjakin forces things by playing 18.Bxh6!? leading to a positon Judit Polgar considered to be "extremely critical position" and "extremely sharp".

21.26 / 15.26: While Karjakin calculates variations, Carlsen decided to lay down on the sofa to relax.

21.18 / 15.18: Things got suddenly tactical. Carlsen opened the position with 14...d5 which soon led to complications. The engines keep calm however and evaluate the position as equal.

21.06 / 15.06: After playing the first moves quickly Karjakin and Carlsen slow down and start to think.

Screenshot from the official transmission

20.25 / 14.25: Do Carlsen and Karjakin share the feelings Nigel Short voiced via Twitter?

20.21 / 14.21: The fourth game has started and already two different presentations are being announced for the Café area. One is a new mobile app that combines visual recognition of chess pieces for broadcasts (more an this later) and a 12-round blitz tournament for school children.

20.15 / 14.15: Both players blitzed out their first moves and seemed to be happy and prepared to bring an Anti-Marshall on the board.

20.04 / 14.04: The game started. As in game two Karjakin played 1.e4 and Carlsen countered with 1...e5 which quickly led to a Ruy Lopez.

19.30 /13.30: Game four of the World Championship match will begin in half an hour. Karjakin has White. Should he win it would be his first win with White against Carlsen in a game with classical time-control. From the previous 13 classical games in which Karjakin had White he drew 11 and lost 2.




16.37 / 10.37: You can never watch enough video analysis. Here's Daniel King's video. 

15.28 / 9.55: A draw is a draw is draw - but some are more exciting than others. Some games are like poetry, some are to fall in love with: This a was an interesting one, and Teimur Radjabov agrees: 

13.55 / 7.55: Karsten Müller was right in his prediction about Sergey Karjakins skills to perform wonders when defending. New in our opinion polls: the proud president of the Norwegian Chess Federation and Dorian Rogozenco.

12:48 / 6:48: Have a look at snippets from the press conference of game 3

11.57 / 5.57: Yannick Pelletier has redorded a round up show on which you can watch here.

11.48 / 5.48: Have a look at impressions from game 3

10.51 a.m. Mumbai/ 6.21 a.m. Hamburg/ 00.21 a.m. New York: It was a mammoth fight between the world's leading expert on chess technique and the master of chess defence. Game three annotations and key points on the ChessBase India website by IM Sagar Shah.

2.40 / 8.40: Draw! Karjakin defended stubbornly and saved the game. Tomorrow he will play with White.

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Nostalgiac1972 Nostalgiac1972 11/16/2016 08:52
Putting together Karjakin physical and chess qualities and the last game results, I see not good times ahead for Carlsen:1) his endgame magic has been simply disenchanted by Karjakin- Much more so in the last two games where the WC had almost winning chances but failed to find one due to the powerful and skillful defense demonestrated by the Russian. So Carlsen cannot be as cocksure as he always is with his endgame magic weapon; 2) on the flip side, this must definitely have as much impact positively on Karjakin who may have overcome his slight sense of inferiority seeing that he is very well able to neutralize the World Champion in the endgames despite having inferior positions.
all in all I think the real show is starting from the game 5 on. It is Carlsen who needs to be careful not to slip under pressure by Karjakin who is steadily growing in confidence and practical experience in this match as the past 4 draws- especially the last two- have been indeed wins for the Russian (and losses for Carlsen).
Aighearach Aighearach 11/16/2016 05:28
The only thing to disagree with is this idea that it is somehow bad for Carlsen to be getting small advantages. It is certainly better than suffering repeated disadvantages! Such a simple idea, but people can get so caught up in the moment they forget it.

If Carlsen keeps getting advantages every game, obviously the most likely outcome would be to eventually win one of those.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 11/16/2016 04:56
It was Siegbert Tarrasch who said, "Before the endgame the gods have placed the middle game."
It was not Edward Lasker or Mikhail Tal. According to the always accurate Edward Winter, "It is indeed one of the German master’s best-known phrases, and we note in his writings two occurrences of the original German (‘Aber vor das Endspiel haben die Götter das Mittelspiel gesetzt’)" See "Chess Notes" #6218 for further details. The game of chess demands accuracy and precision. Writing anything about the game's history and lore should exhibit the same virtues.
htd2013 htd2013 11/16/2016 03:58
Excellent defense from Karjakin.
fons fons 11/16/2016 03:00
It only takes one move to get a losing position. But it takes a lot of moves not to lose the game. So you might say Karjakin has been playing the better chess. Logic! ;)
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/16/2016 02:48
After the exhausting games 3 and 4, I am wondering if Magnus still finds that the rest days are too frequent.
johnmk johnmk 11/16/2016 02:36
"Though Carlsen can win of course, right now it seems like Karjakin has a fortress of sorts"?

Wow sort of biased statement. If Black has a fortress, one wonders how Carlsen can win "of course". And in fact Karjakin drew.
SuperMoverBros SuperMoverBros 11/15/2016 09:38
Magnus takes pawn!
Karjakin can not take pawn!
His king is in danger!
Mate is coming, be careful Karjakin!
Karjakin is crumbling!
Magnus is attaking king!
Oh no! its all over!! No more hope for Karjakiiin!!
Something like that lol
SuperMoverBros SuperMoverBros 11/15/2016 09:36
Yasser is good. But we also need an animated commentator like that one guy, i forget his name, that has a russian? accent. Makes it seem like you're watching the NBA finals or FIFA world cup. Now THAT GUY is exciting and knows what hes talking about.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/15/2016 04:49
Also really worthy and illuminating comments: Daniel King's.
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 11/15/2016 04:01
Interesting commentary, though I'm not sold on the reason for 10.Re2
Igor Freiberger Igor Freiberger 11/15/2016 03:41
"Before the endgame, the Gods have placed the middlegame." is from Edward Lasker, not Tal.
BelowZero BelowZero 11/15/2016 02:40
Yasser Seirawan = prince among chess commentators. Thank you CB for bringing us his annotations.
Danstacey Danstacey 11/15/2016 02:04
Oh Yasser, why are you not commentating live on this event, rather than Judit Polgar and a gentleman who appears not to play chess at all, and asks foolish questions of the female GM? Please return and have someone play Jeremy James to your Bill Hartston...
peterfrost peterfrost 11/15/2016 01:15
A fantastic game, matched only by the quality of Yasser's fantastically illuminating notes! He was like a guide with a torch to a sub2000er like me. Many thanks Yasser.
Glopslart Glopslart 11/15/2016 12:51
The abundance of endgame errors stems from the modern time limits. The reality is that you just have to close your eyes, point your pieces in the general direction of the enemy and shoot. Not what chess is meant to be about, alas.
libyantiger libyantiger 11/15/2016 12:08
wow ...again anand has much better knowledge of chess than carlsen and karjakin

but he lacks the energy that will enable him to turn his knowledge into actions on the board

but karjakin do have the needed energy to turn all his knowledge into action and play a tit for tat sort

of games with carlsen whose energy patience and consistency are unprecedented
weerogue weerogue 11/15/2016 11:22
Wow! Thanks so much to Yasser for the incredible notes , which help to add so much drama and narrative to what was a fairly impenetrable endgame to follow, for me at least.
swaroo swaroo 11/15/2016 10:17
Yasser is always known for his excellent annotations.
(Can we ever forget his ‘inside chess’ articles?).His analysis of game 3 must
be among his best !
Camembert Camembert 11/15/2016 09:50
Incredible !
Karjakin has steel nerves !