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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LazyDogDK LazyDogDK 12/1/2016 07:13
Really great comments, David! Amazing that you have managed to cover all 4 rapid games in such short time. Thanks a lot!
dumkof dumkof 12/1/2016 07:09
Balthus, your arguments and insulting language are are typical behaviors of immature fan-boys.

I'm not a hater or fan of any chessplayer. May the best player win.

Deciding a classical world champion with non-classical time controls is simply not correct. If this doesn't disturb you, I've got nothing to discuss with you.

Read the article of Yasser Sairawan, and the comments. Maybe you would understand better:
MaxMinus MaxMinus 12/1/2016 07:09
Cograts to the WC. To fide: next time make it a match of 24 games at least. And when it's equal, just 2 games at a time untill there's a winner. 12 games is a joke.
The ArabReaper The ArabReaper 12/1/2016 07:05
Carlsen was not convincing at all, and even if he was faster and luckier in rapid time controls, he was NOT AT ALL convincing with longer classical controls. Actually, it seems to me that Karjakin was even better and more solid and he missed a clear win. The fact that the world championship was decided in a rapid game is nothing short of a farce! Mikhail Tal in his time could have been the best player in the world in Blitz but he was far from being the world champion: imagine Tal drawing the classical games with Botvinnik in order to win just because he is a faster player! Rapid and Blitz games in a world championship match are nothing but farcica
qiqiangzhu qiqiangzhu 12/1/2016 06:48
Two kings in classic chess, one king in fast chess.
Balthus Balthus 12/1/2016 06:05
sulayi lang spot on! Time makes the past look more beautiful than it really was. Kasparov was no demigod either - and I think he would be the first to admit that! Being human makes these people even greater.
Balthus Balthus 12/1/2016 06:03
doctormate I think I will second that! Just logical. Should also satisfy traditionalists.
Balthus Balthus 12/1/2016 06:01
dumkof I think a p is missing from your nick before f. Your rhetorical question is irrelevant. Karjakin could have drawn game 10 and probably it would be end of, or Carlsen might have equalized in game 12 (very unlikely). Your dreamworld is full of what ifs and would have beens. Your argument is a non-argument.
basler88 basler88 12/1/2016 05:55
This wasn't a World Championship performance from both and I really think the WC should be crowned by playing classical chess, rapid or blitz has nothing to do with a World Championship play and yes, it was a very disappointing performance - nothing new. I fully agree with "michaelriber", FIDE sold the WC to Agon was a big mistake (how much did FIDE President get for it?), I know the Russian want the WC so badly back, however that's not the way to promote chess to the world if you must pay for it, chess is not Soccer.
sid11 sid11 12/1/2016 05:38
Camembert Camembert 12/1/2016 05:06
@ hariharansivaji9

When you say "new ideas", you want to mean "new computers ideas" from secondants, right ?
hariharansivaji9 hariharansivaji9 12/1/2016 04:28
My congratulation to Carlsen to retain the World title. There is no doubt he is a strong player but he is unable to break the Karjakin defense chess. Unfortunately this match didn't bring any new ideas to the world. I agree with Carlsen that Karjakin is tough challenger since his intention is not to win he just playing to hold. In that way Karjakin succeeded against Carlsen. Earlier WCH like Kasparov vs Karpov, Kasparov vs Anand, Anand vs Kramnik, Anand vs Topalov and Anand vs Carlsen in all this matches except Carlsen all of them tried new things to win the title or hold the title. Still no one can refute how Anand able to smash Kramnik defense in attacking style and the same Anand able to kill Topalov in defensive ideas. My all time favorite Kasparov always comes with new ideas. Anand played new ideas against Gelfand and Carlsen though he above 40 years old. Unfortunately this match is like a dull match both played the lines which it doesn't have any teeth. As for me this match didn't give anything to attract new chess players.
Chad Phillips Chad Phillips 12/1/2016 04:27
I say we combine Seirawan's and Svidler's proposals: a rapid match precedes the classical, and the winner gets to play black in the 13th game (if that game is necessary).
doctormate doctormate 12/1/2016 04:20
In my mind, Carlsen retained his title by tying the match, and then won the rapid chess exhibition afterwards!
Former Prodigy Former Prodigy 12/1/2016 04:19
I forgot to add my name to my previous comment, but I guess it is apparent from the text. David Navara, Prague
Former Prodigy Former Prodigy 12/1/2016 04:18
Re Chvsanchez: Thank you very much! I spent about 5 hours working on the annotations. My fatigue can be visible in the concluding text, where I mention being number 1 and being the best player as two different characteristics, which is superfluous. In comments to the last game, I also failed to mention the line 6...d5 7.Bg5 d4!? which certainly deserves attention. Perhaps I also should have abridged the comments, but after some 5 hours of work I lacked both time and energy. This is also the reason why I would not like to indulge in the discussion, here.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 12/1/2016 04:07
4-games rapid play appears reasonable to break the tie. Much fairer than having the champion keep the title in the case of equality. Not blitz - forces to show true chess skills.

If some are still shocked by this rule because of the rapid time control, here is one true radical solution: a mini-match of 2 games (players change colours), classical games time control BUT it would be Fischer random chess.

The pros: All computer-assisted and team-assisted opening preparation go out the window because irrelevant, liberates the players from opening preparation after a long match - the players are really on their own, and their skill at the board is the only factor - it would diminish the probability of draws, many times caused by deep knowledge of openings and thus, should not long the match for too long. And would have the credential of a classical chess time control.

If draw after a mini-match of 2 games, then another mini-match until we have a winner. One game a day. Rest day between mini-matches.
Chvsanchez Chvsanchez 12/1/2016 04:00
Great comments by David "On the other hand" Navara.
vladivaclav vladivaclav 12/1/2016 03:32
who is "the queen of new york"?
vincero vincero 12/1/2016 03:32
well...seems everyone likes the action that comes from short forward to the end of classical chess.....
basil fawllty basil fawllty 12/1/2016 03:22
I like Seirawan's proposal: 1 player plays an extra black game and gets drawing odds.
tom_70 tom_70 12/1/2016 03:21
I thought it was a good match. Karjakin outperformed everyone's expectations. Carlsen was clearly not in top form. It was very close and could have gone either way. The rapid tie breaks seems wrong for determining the prestigious title of World Champion. Maybe in the future, they'll figure out a better way.
fixpont fixpont 12/1/2016 03:02
Peter Svidler was mentioning a clever solution during his coverage, the rapid event should take place before the classical games and the winner of rapid games would have the draw advantage in which case the loser (of rapid games) could not play for a draw and would be forced to beat the other player.
Dont be soured. Even Kasparov didnt prove much to beat Karpov in their 1987 match.
libyantiger libyantiger 12/1/2016 01:17
serjy have the energy and the well but he lacks the skill ....anand have the skill but have no well nor energy
waiting for younger oponent who have the well the skill and the energy
megadad1 megadad1 12/1/2016 12:59
We don't have an outright classical chess champion, what an embarrassment, MC was clearly the better quick player and I commend him on his very nice Win and finish, but chess needs to have a look at itself, YS with his radical solution might be the right idea (13 games), but whatever the 12 game match is a damp Squib. Squib >>a situation or event which is much less impressive than expected. Peter Svidler** Please note Squib. :-)
John Stockton John Stockton 12/1/2016 12:33
I can't put too much faith in these blitz type wins/losses. Carlsen's Q sacrifice was not brilliant because almost any good player could have foreseen upcoming danger like that it IF they had the time, ot the draw in 2nd tie-break game. These type of fast games simply do world class players no honor or justice. It is betetr to have a longer stretch of classical chess games for the World Championship--that will result in chess that can be real chess--well thought out thinking and playing, which then is worthy to be called "brilliant" because then it really is so.
fightingchess fightingchess 12/1/2016 12:25
that mating combination was not stunning. it was a beautiful finish. sergey saw it coming but had to allow it in hope of magnus missing it.
dumkof dumkof 12/1/2016 12:10
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.

I'm happy that the match ended in the rapid phase at least, without entering the blitz / armageddon nonsense.

Carlsen, without doubt, has been the strongest chess player for the last 6-7 years. The result of this match wouldn't have changed this. But this doesn't make him the "Classical Chess World Champion of 2016".

Classical, rapid and blitz are different categories, with their own rating lists. Tie-break games of a classical match should have the same long time controls. Implementing some shorter time controls would only decrease the value of the "Classical Chess World Champion" title.
michaelriber 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...
Balthus Balthus 12/1/2016 11:48
Sergey "bravely" avoiding the repetition is also funny - he had simply no other chance, being in a do or die situation.
Balthus Balthus 12/1/2016 11:43
A well-deserved win that only haters will question. Karjakin had the match in his own hands but could not convert the assets in game 10, while his only win came from a game where Carlsen messed up a drawn game chasing a mirage. It is quite telling that Sergey has the demeanour of a gentleman in accepting the outcomes unlike some of the fanbase. I have avoided saying "his" fanbase because I think most of those guys are anti-Carlsen more than pro-Karjakin. So kudos to Sergey as well, having put up more than a willy-nilly fight. Good luck to both warriors in years to come!
algorithmy algorithmy 12/1/2016 11:30
Despite the fact that this match is not by any mean among the best chess world championship matches,still the way Carlsen finished the last game is probably the most brilliant of all history of chess world championships. The last position on the board is definitely the best last position of any chess world championship ever. Can any one here recall a better position?!
Denix Denix 12/1/2016 10:29
Dear Magnus, Congratulations for receiving a perfect gift on your birthday!
horius horius 12/1/2016 10:24
Congrats to Magnus!