Game 12 draw / Showdown on Wednesday / Notes by Yasser Seirawan

by ChessBase
11/28/2016 – Game 12 ended in a short draw - we will witness tiebreaks on Wednesday. Carlsen's 26th birthday. Carlsen chose to avoid a fight and settled for a quick draw by playing one of the most solid variations against the Berlin Defence. Karjakin also seemed to be happy with the draw. Maybe the press conference after the game was harder than the game itself. Yasser Seirawan shows mixed emotions. Newsblog 2016-11-29...

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World Chess Championship Carlsen Karjakin, New York - Newsblog 2016-11-28

Game No 12 - Notes by Yasser Seirawan


16.15 / 10.15: Okay, game 12 was short and maybe disappointing. But it raised questions:

Routine questions...

What can you say about game 12?

Questions of self-confidence...

Do you think you are stronger on tie-break?

Questions one should perhaps not answer truthfully...

Which color would you choose for the Armageddon game?

Questions about the opponent...

What do you think about Karjakin's nervous system?

Questions about the match in general...

Is that your toughest match so far?

And questions about some particular moves...

In the game you played h3, were you also thinking of f3?

16.00 / 10.00: A lot of people were disappointed by game 12. On his website chessintweets Eric van Reem gathers tweets about the match. Here's a sample of three tweets about game 12: @reachvsara: “Frankly, it was one of the worst games ever in a worldchess championship”; @benjamin_bok: “What an anti-climax”, @willtomford: “Is anyone else enjoying Carlsen-Karjakin as a soothing, meditative thing to fall asleep to? “

14.05 / 8.05 am: Tie-breaks are played on Wednesday - we can expect up to 15 games, the last one being the famous Armageddon or Sudden-Death blitz game.


First, the players start with a match consisting of four rapid games (25 min + 10 sec/move) - Karjakin will have the white pieces in the 1st game. If the score is level after these four games, we enter the 2nd stage.


This consists of a two-game-blitz-match (5 min + 3 sec/move), which will in case of a level score be repeated for four time. So in total this could sum up to ten blitz games.


If the score is level after the 2nd stage, an Armageddon game will be played. 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 secsonds is given from move 61.

13.29 / 7.29: Jonathan Tisdall reports there is an article in Norwegian media that covers Sergey Karjakin helping people who stammer to identify theirselves with a new role model: 

+ + + 13.10 Hamburg / 7.10 am New York: What the players had to say about the game (analysis) + + +

+ + + The players on the perspective to play a tiebreak Carlsen: "Having a tiebreak is an achievement in itself" + + + 

6.30 Hamburg time: Tweet by World Chess is surprisingly harsh.

20.50 / 2.50 pm: "I didn't feel today was the day to take major chances." (Magnus Carlsen)

20.45 / 2.45 pm: Tiebreaks will start on Wednesday at 2 pm and last until they are over. Magnus will have black in the first game.

20.35 / 2.35 pm: Draw agreed after 30 moves.

20.34 / 2.34 pm: 

Caruana shows himself surprised that Carlsen does not even try to capitalize his white game and goes directly for the tiebreaks.

20.28 / 2.28 pm:

Magnus Carlsen seemingly goes for a draw and the tie-breaks. (Foto: Max Avdeev)

20.28 / 2.28 pm: Simon Williams takes it with humour:

20.20 / 2.20 pm: "This game might be a very short one" - Judit Polgar

20.12 / 2.12 pm: Magnus coach Peter Heine Nielsen explains their quite careful opening choice for today's game.

"Magnus is extremely good at getting a lot from very small things"


20.08 / 2.08 pm: Magnus tries a quiet opening this time - but as we saw in game three, the possiblities to outplay Sergey in such positions are still given.


20.02 / 2.02 pm: Magnus repeats the variation from game three: 5.Re1 in the Berlin Defense.

20.00 / 2.00 pm:

1.e4 was the kickoff of the shortest game in the match (Foto: Max Avdeev)

19.14 / 1.14 pm: We eagerly look forward to game twelve, which starts in less than an hour from now. The last two World Championship matches were already decided sooner. 2013 in Chennai Carlsen won after ten games (+3), while in Sotchi 2014 the match was over after eleven games (+2). The last time we saw a 12th game was in the 2012 match between Anand and Gelfand. Its last game was drawn then and we saw a tiebreak, where Gelfand missed a lot of chances and Anand retained his title.

19.03 / 1.04 pm: Chess fever rolls over Norway: according to Norway's TV station NRK a quarter of a million people in Norway stayed up late to watch game ten on Thursday night till they saw Carlsen winning. A quarter of million, that's 7 percent of Norway's population.

18.40 / 12.40 pm: Should today's game end in draw, rapid and, if necessary, blitz tie-breaks will follow on Wednesday. If you trust the live ratings Carlsen is a slight favorite in both disciplines - but far from being a clear favorite. Not to mention that nerves might play a role - to put it mildly.

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

16.30 / 10.30: Game 12 is thrilling and might decide the World Championship. Another interesting question is what Carlsen wants to play with White. 1.e4 or 1.d4 are the most likely first moves but a search in the ChessBase database reveals that Carlsen in the past has also opened with moves such as 1.a4, 1.a3, 1.b3 or 1.g3. Admittedly, he mainly tried these moves in blitz games. But maybe Carlsen also opts for 1.c4 or 1.Nf3. In a few hours we will know!

11.39 Hamburg / 5.39 am New York: The last bullet today. If the game has a winner we will have a World Champion. White smoke above Pier 16. If not: the tiebreak shall decide.

Last year, in Berlin, Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin playing in the Rapid- and Blitz-World Championships in Berlin , a fascinating show. Carlsen was always playing at the top but Karjakin also showed his class. And we know that he is calm under pressure. One day, Sergey Karjakin was playing bullet on when his opponent blundered in a tense situation. With with 12 seconds or less on the clock  Karjakin found the time to type "lol".

Poll: Who will win the match? And will there be a tie-break?


Game No 11 - Notes by Wesley So


16.10 Hamburg / 10.10 New York: What we all would like to know: "Who is the favorite to win this thing?"

16.02 Hamburg / 10.02 New York: "What's your main reply after 1.e4 besides e5?" And, ahem..., any novelties prepared?

12.58 Hamburg / 6.58 am New York: Press conference snippets part 1 - analysis

12.58 Hamburg / 6.58 am New York: Press conference snippets part 2 - questions

11.29 Hamburg / 5.29 am New York: Yannick Pelletier did a round up show on game 11 on Watch it here.

+ + +

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