Tiger Hillarp Persson annotates Game 7

by ChessBase
11/20/2016 – Game No. 7 Draw! (3.5-3.5) Annotated by Tiger Hillarp Perssson. A Chebanenko Slav that turned into a QGA after move five ended in a draw. Instead of grabbing space with 5.c5 or 5.Nf3 b5 6.c5 Karjakin prefered 5.Bd3 and Carlsen accepted the invitation to play ...5.dxc4. 18...Rc8, awarded with a ?!?!?! by Radjabov, was called a blunder immediately after the game by Carlsen. Karjakin admitted that he 'didn't know the theory too well.' Our coverage and commentary in the newsblog.

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World Chess Championship News - 2016-11-20

Game No. 7 - Notes by Tiger Hillarp Persson:


8.00 Mumbai time/ 3.30 Hamburg/ 21.30 New York: Game seven analysis and key positions explained by Sagar Shah on ChessBase India newspage.

22.17 / 5.17 pm: Draw. Carlsen admitted  in the press-conference that 18...Rc8 was a blunder. Karjakin: 'Not a long game, but quite interesting, I didn't know the theory too well... At the end I could not improve my position.' A bit later the challenger said: 'You have to grab the chances when you get them. My only chance was in game five.' Magnus Carlsen: 'The results of the last games were decent for me.'... 'The last two games were not that interesting, but in most of the games something was happening.'

Cliffhanger with a question asked by a boy: When Sergey played 17.Nf6+, was it like 'Uh oh, ooh, I've got to get the draw?' for you? (Update with the press conference will follow). Check out the newsblog 2016-11-21 for fresh coverage.

Breaking news: Karjakin cancelled the helicopter flight - because of the good weather. But he will go up in the air, probably after the next game.

22.14 / 5.14 pm: Judit Polgar after 33...Rc8 - "Magnus is saying: 'my pieces are placed perfectly.'"

22.09 / 5.09 pm: 

22.04 / 4.04 pm:


21.53 / 3.53 pm: Judit Polgar showed remarkable prediction skills by proposing somewhere around 19...Bf6 that the game might result in a R+B vs. R+B endgame.

21.37 / 3.37 pm: Radjabov is obviously in good spirits today. 

21.32 / 3.32 pm: According to Judit Polgar, after 18...Rc8 ('obviously a miscalculation'), Black can only play for two results. White, however, can play for a win for 80 or more moves, she says.

21.25 / 3.25 pm: Radjabov made a remarkable point before 18...Rc8?!?!?!:


21.18 / 3.18 pm: Is Carlsen too eager to get a draw? His 18...Rc8 is criticized by Polgar and Radjabov and both claim that Carlsen is going for a draw. A draw might indeed be the most likely result. Polgar predicts a R+B vs R+B or a rook endgame. Carlsen looks a little nervous, but this might be misleading. 

21.10 / 3.10 pm: Fabiano Caruana is among the spectators and plays some blitz.

21.00 / 3.00 pm: Tejmur Radjabov is giving insightful comments. Predicted ...Nb4 by Magnus Carlsen. He is joking and suggests the arbiters should reduce the time control. "They do the bad moves fast anyway."

20.55 / 2.55 pm: The first move was executed by Gbenga Akinnakgbe, an actor best known for his role as Chris Partlow in "The Wire". Akinnakgbe is a huge chess fan.

20.46 / 2.46 pm:

20.41 / 2.41 pm: Judit Polgar is surprised about Karjakin's approach. According to the star commentator, Black has no problems at all. The bishop on b7 could become very powerful. She even states that she would prefer Black now. Some engines share this opinion.

No turning point detected yet. 

20.32 / 2.32 pm: 'Smart is the new sexy' - Kaja Snare

20.14 / 2.14 pm: Karjakin doesn't like to commit to early and prefers to lose a tempo with 5.Bd3 instead of going for 5.Nf3 b5 6.c5 preparing later piece sacrifices on the queenside to get the pawns rolling. Maybe we will see some action later. 

20.04 / 2.04 pm: A Chebanenko Slav! Can get interesting, Premium users can follow the game via playchess.com - others can use the widget on the left of our starting page. 

19.49 / 1.49 pm: That's the spirit -  

18.41 Hamburg time / 12.41 am New York time: Game No. 7 is going to start soon, with Sergey Karjakin playing White. If you like to practice a little, try this puzzle and wander with a knight over the board until every square has been covered only once. Grandmaster Gregory Serper practiced this blindfold as a schoolboy during lessons. 

Sometimes you still see the child in his eyes. Reporter: 'What will you do on your day off?' Karjakin: 'Helicopter.'

12.10 Hamburg time / 6.10 am New York City time: Sergey Karjakin in good spirits.

12.08 Hamburg time / 6.08 am New York City time: Here are our snippets from the press conference of game 6 including the helicopter comment by Karjakin.


After the German premiere of the film  'Magnus' I asked two chess playing boys from Berlin (10 and 12) what they had liked most about the film, and they said: 'The day off in Chennai.' (twelve year old Minh Tham) and 'When Carlsen was so nervous during the match against Anand that he dropped the pieces.' (Minh's 10-year old brother Nam Tham, who already played in the European Youth Championship, check out the report on our German site).

A day off is quite something when you're not in Kalmykia but in New York City. We'd like to know what they were doing but of course we're respecting the player's privacy. Speaking of which: The camera in the rest room. What was going on? Did Carlsen know it streams the scenes to the world wide audience? During the press conference Carlsen said he wouldn't care, but the camera is switched off now. 

(Helicopter picture in colour source is here. Black and White picture by F.O. Updates coming up)

So our prediction Karjakin will be roofing or feeding lions didn't proof to be right. But sort of. Now we hope both players refreshed their good spirits. We're expecting a fight with Karyakin playing White in some hours.

+ + + 

21:40 / 3:40 pm: The game ended in a draw. After three fascinating games in rounds three, four and five the players didn't excite the audience today. Tomorrow is a rest day, so Sergey has enough time to prepare something against Carlsen's ...d5!

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Apocalyps Apocalyps 11/21/2016 12:49
Not good match
RaoulBertorello RaoulBertorello 11/21/2016 11:40
@Mawin: I think you're right. If it had been a 24 game match they would more easily take a chance in order to win any game.
Mawin Mawin 11/21/2016 06:11
The 12 game format has the consequence that players cannot afford to lose a game. So they play cowardly. In every game they go for an early queen exchange, because it reduces risks. This is bad for chess.
Blackacre Blackacre 11/21/2016 01:15
@Aighearach: I agree with you that what constitutes "exciting" is a matter of taste. Grinding out equal positions until your opponent cracks isn't my idea of exciting, but others may like it. In any event, Carlsen himself seems to regard this as a boring match so far. This is what he had to say today, after Game 7: "There hasn't been any groundbreaking new concepts or anything unfortunately. I'm hoping for something more fighting."
sicilian_D sicilian_D 11/21/2016 01:06
yet another draw... perhaps they have too many rest days... (fact: these 2 are chess automatons, naturally they will draw)
Aighearach Aighearach 11/21/2016 12:47
@Blackacre: Something else. Namely, Magnus Carlsen spending years playing equal middlegames out to victories has destroyed the idea of the "grandmaster draw," at least when Magnus is at the board. The result is exiting chess, even when "boring" positions are reached; those positions were only ever boring because GMs would shake hands and walk away instead of playing them out.

Imagine the first K vs K match if there were no "GM draws?" And note that either player could have prevented that from happening.
jmcneil95 jmcneil95 11/21/2016 12:34
The last time these two players were rated the same was in the beginning of 2008, and Carslen's been ahead ever since. You can see that on chessgraphs.com, you compare any players' FIDE rating history. But with this super drawish match maybe Karjakin's about to close that gap substantially.
Blackacre Blackacre 11/20/2016 11:59
We never got to see a world championship match between Karpov and Petrosian, but this one is almost as exciting. I don't know whether it's the short twelve-game format; the influence of computers on opening preparation; or something else.
hpaul hpaul 11/20/2016 10:30
Setting a record is always fun. Tying a record is less so, but they've now tied Karpov-Korchnoi 1978 for the most draws to start a W.Ch. match: 7. If we're (un)lucky we may see a record tomorrow.
Katastrov Katastrov 11/20/2016 07:58
He is maybe not fluent in english.

This being said the moment was really funny.
Karjakin is sure a very nice guy. ^^
RaoulBertorello RaoulBertorello 11/20/2016 02:46
@amandas: it's psychological, he is uncomfortable with English so he checks what he is saying over and over again while speaking. It can be common when talking in a language that's not yours, and it fades with you improving the language. It happened to me too, and quite for a while.
amandas amandas 11/20/2016 01:40
Why Karajakin repeats the same words many times? He has speak problem?
AlvaroFrota AlvaroFrota 11/20/2016 01:28
Mister Sergey "Alfred Newman" Karjakin is THE GUY!!!