Newsblog WCC Carlsen-Karjakin, 2016-11-17

11/17/2016 – Game five ended in a draw bringing the match-score to 2.5-2.5. In an Italian game Sergey Karjakin equalized easily with Black and seized the initiative. But his activity soon came to a halt and Carlsen was in control again. Which he lost once more after the first time-control. But then it was Karjakin who missed good chances. More...

ChessBase 15 - Mega package ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2019 with 7.6 million games and more than 70,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!


World Chess Championship News - 2016-11-17

Game No. 5 - Notes by John Nunn



08.00 Mumbai/ 03.30 Hamburg/ 21.30 New York: IM Sagar Shah analyzes the key positions and the fifth round encounter on the ChessBase India website. According him,Sergey Karjakin played an excellent game and held Magnus with ease.

01.15 / 19.15: Draw agreed. The fifth draw in a row but the first, in which Karjakin had serious chances.

01.00 / 19.00: The opinion among spectators also is that Carlsen was doing fine until he missed Karjakin's ...d4! After this, Karjakin might have been winning, but he returned the favor with ...Bd5 allowing Carlsen's e6! Now it is anyone's game and the opinions even among the GMs diverge on whether White is fine or Black still retains an edge thanks to his pressure against White's weak king.

The tables are crowded with players trying to reach a consensus. Here IM Javier Ochoa,
president of the Spanish Federation, partakes in the fun.

Norwegian journalist Kaja Marie Snare tours the Café asking fans their opinions.

00.47 / 18.47: According to the engines Karjakin gave most of his advantage away when he played 43...Bd5?!. Three moves later the engines consider the position as equal but suddenly both sides seem to have chances again.

00.32 / 18.32: For the first time in the match Carlsen is under serious pressure.

00.14 / 18.14: Karjakin seized his chance and played 43...d4!?, an interesting pawn-sacrifice that liberates Black's white-squared bishop and forces Carlsen to play precisely again.

00.10 / 18.10: Carlsen's aimless play before the time-control has brought him into trouble: after 42 moves the engines see an advantage for Black and Carlsen is suddenly on the defensive again.

23.55 / 17.55: In the last moves before the time-control Carlsen has not made any progress - and it is difficult to see how he can make progress.

23.30 / 17.30: After stopping Karjakin's initiative Carlsen is in full control again. In a major piece endgame with opposite-colored bishops he runs no real risk of losing but can try to win - for a long time.

22.59 / 16.59: The main room is quite full today, with fans loving the complicated struggle going on. The organizers are also running a blitz tournament in view of the success of the one two days ago. One can hear the pairings being announced while others debate the game at hand.

Avid chess fan enjoying the blitz tournament.

Tim Hanks from the US Chess Federation analyzes the game with GM Denes Boros

22.51 / 16.51: In this game Karjakin had a promising looking position with active pieces but he found no way to put pressure on White and now has to defend again.

22.33 / 16.33: After 20 moves a strategically and tactically complicated position is on the board. And Karjakin has a bit less than 30 minutes on the clock, Carlsen has  a bit less than 40 minutes to reach the time-control on move 40.

22.19: / 16.19: Chess is demanding:

22.13 / 16.13: Things might heat up soon:

22.05 / 16.05: Karjakin now also takes time and invests more than 20 minutes on his 19th move.

21.54 / 15.54: The position is complicated but Karjakin seems to have good chances.

21.45 / 15.45: After thinking for more than fifteen minutes, Carlsen finally came up with 18.Ne5, a move Fabiano Caruana had predicted minutes before on twitter.

21.37 / 15.37: Carlsen played the opening quickly but then slowed down. After 17...Bf5 Carlsen spent a lot of time on his next move and caught up with Karjakin on the clock.

21.06 / 15.07: Carlsen's 14.Bxf7+ made Simon Williams wonder:


21.00 / 15.00: After a short tactical skirmish (13...Nxe4 14.Bxf7+ Rxf7 15.Nex4) we once again see a fight knight vs bishop. The engines evaluate the position as equal and until now Carlsen has not spent much time on his moves and is 20 minutes ahead on the clock.

20.49 / 14.49: Nigel Short seemed to like Carlsen's opening choice.


20.30 / 14.30: Both sides played the first moves quickly, but after Carlsen's 12.h3 Karjakin took some time to remember his preparation - or think on his own.

20.05 / 14.05: No Ruy Lopez today. Carlsen again started with 1.e4 and after thinking for 30 seconds Karjakin replied 1...e5. But after 2.Nf3 Nc6 Carlsen deviated from game 3 and played 3.Bc4.

20.01 / 14.01: Bennett Miller, chess fan and director of the film "Capote" from 2005, is guest in the AGON studio and played the first move. "Capote" gave the late Philip Seymour Hoffman the Oscar for Best Actor.

19.50 / 13.50: It also works the other way round - as a TNT 2009 NBA playoffs commercial shows. Under the heading "Basketball is like a game of chess" the commercial lists a number of parallels:

"The first move requires no pieces. It is the look into the eyes of your opponent. The iron gaze of a warrior. The frozen stare of a man possessed. The piercing glare of a champion. Feel his years. A lifetime of hunger and hope trifles and triumphs. Search his heart for fear. Show him none in return.

No single piece can win a match. Combine several, move them in constant, and behold a synchronized symphony of force. Push forward. Attack. Retreat. Or is it a trick? A ruse to draw out the opposition. Be watchful as one avenue closes another opens. Employ tactics and advance your aims while perplexing your rival.

Be mindful of time but do not grant a clock authority of your reason. Defend with vigor. A skilled advisory is beatable when his movements are restricted and his patterns are exposed. Tension grinds at the nerves. Emotion can weigh a man down or lift him in the air! ..." and so on.

19.45 / 13.45: Magnus Carlsen's workout on the basketball court might have been a good preparation for game five. To quote Bobby Fischer: "Chess is like basketball. You toss the ball around until you find an opening."

19.30 / 13.30: Game 5 will start in about half an hour. Carlsen plays with White and spectators wonder whether he will open with 1.e4 - as he did in game 3 - or 1.d4 - as he did in game 1. Or maybe he opts for an off-beat line such as 1.b3? Specators also wonder whether the last two games will have a psychological impact on the players - in both games Carlsen outplayed Karjakin and was close to winning but failed to convert.  

11.14 Hamburg Time / 5.14 am New York Time: 

Magnus Carlsen is working out, he is playing Basketball around the corner. Norwegian TV is on his heels again

Fabio Caruana thinks 43...g4 was a clear-cut winning plan for Black in game No 4, and Daniel King had published that before in his commentary for Der Spiegel (in German). Very instructive video!


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

XChess1971 XChess1971 11/18/2016 08:38
On 43...Rh8.......... Instead of 47.Qd3 I wonder if 47.Qf5+ isn´t any better?
hpaul hpaul 11/18/2016 08:06
Roggenossi, you may mean your comment to be funny, but it's actually true. As we know, a game of chess cannot objectively be won. That is, no matter how good you are you cannot win, unless the opponent makes an error. These players are among the best in the world, so they don't make many significant errors. The errors they make are usually so subtle that the opponent is most often unable to take advantage of it.

We're at 5 draws. A couple of earlier W.Ch. matches have started with 6 draws, such as Anand-Gelfand, 2012. But the record for slow start belongs to Karpov-Korchnoi, 1978 in Baguio City, Philippines. In Karpov's first defense of his title, they began with 7 draws in a row. But the match format was "first to 6 wins is Champ", with no limit on the number of games, so the draws had no effect on the match other than to draw it out. (After 31 games the match stood 5-5 with 21 draws. Karpov then won game 32 to retain the championship.)
tom_70 tom_70 11/18/2016 03:44
One thing's for sure. This World Championship match is the most interesting one since Kasparov vs. Kramnik! Karjakin is playing like a man inspired.
JohnTVian JohnTVian 11/18/2016 03:12
I wish to congratulate Sergey Karjakin for putting up a good fight and hanging in there. I think he is doing a fabulous job!!!
Roggenossi Roggenossi 11/18/2016 02:58
Both are too weak to win against each other.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/17/2016 09:58
By "ICCF Grandmaster"

"It should be mentioned, that the plan with 42...Bd5 (a natural move) 43.g3 g4!! -+ was first discovered by deep calculating engines during the game and twittered by users." Good remark.

Maybe Caruana did not find that move with an engine but, more generally, looking up what an engine finds does not require the same skill as finding the move over the board without any help.

That being said, I understand that people share what an engine finds - it truly can be interesting and surprising. But when that is the case, it should be mentioned that a move was found by an engine.
Surfer ll Surfer ll 11/17/2016 07:18
the march, campaign of the black king to a2 ... what a joke
ICCF Grandmaster ICCF Grandmaster 11/17/2016 06:49
It should be mentioned, that the plan with 42...Bd5 (a natural move) 43.g3 g4!! -+ was first discovered by deep calculating engines during the game and twittered by users. Probably the idea looked so strange to some expert GMs that they did not even look to this path. May be they would have done, if Carlsen's hadn't moved such quickly 42...Kg6?. - Anyway, instructively as usually, Daniel King explained the idea behind the plan of changing the pawn structure by 43.g3 g4!!.
Aighearach Aighearach 11/17/2016 06:27
Sorry @chessdrummer, he's in America, he can do that and a lot more! ;)

Also, he is in America. That is a soccer jersey. Soccer is a really great, so much fun for the kids, but not a serious sport like chess or basketball. And basketball isn't offended by strange costumes, trust me.

Even if he was wearing a baseball shirt it would be OK. The only way he could create any problem would be playing baseball in a basketball jersey.

Things that would be more embarrassing would be playing baseball in a basketball shirt, or coming to America and speaking British English.
and a happy new year and a happy new year 11/17/2016 04:56
Apropos nothing, I was reading Patti Smith's book 'M Train' when she started tallking about meeting Bobby Fischer in Iceland at midnight- surely an unlikely friendship? But she says they sang songs together with Fischer having a tin ear. You can read an interview by Patti at
chessdrummer chessdrummer 11/17/2016 04:37
It is blasphemy to play basketball in a football jersey. :-)
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/17/2016 04:20
On my previous comment the f4 move by Magnus was at move 45 and indeed, Be6 would have been winning.

The Bxh6 by Serguey was at move 18.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 11/17/2016 03:56
If you listen to the video of the game itself, Serguey talks to Magnus just after the game - Serguey's comments mention explicitly that if Magnus had played his Bishop (I think Be6) instead of f4, Magnus would have won the game. In the press conference, Serguey seemed to have been aware of this at the moment over the board, also showing some offensive vision. Magnus said that he thought he could bring his K. to the Q, side and attack the white pawns there. Very hard to see (I do not know for GMs over the board) that long in advance the blockade on the Q. side - was Serguey a little bit lucky, while still having a lot of merit? But Magnus, to his honour, did not look for excuses, he qualified f4 as "sloppy".

Also, Serguey ended up in big trouble only after one bad move - Bxh6 at around move 20 (sorry - for various reasons, I do not have access to the game, I have to go by memory and I am not sure of the exact move numbers I am referring to).

But to not play that bad move required less skill than the one shown by Serguey defending afterwards. Serguey made his own life very difficult, while showing that he is able not to make his life that difficult.

But of course, Magnus was still much more dangerous up to now.

This match is far from over. And it is not boring at all - to the contrary.
Keesje Keesje 11/17/2016 02:29
"Fabio Caruana thinks 43...g3 was a clear-cut winning plan for Black..."

That should be 43...g4