This is a test of wills of just how prepared these two players are to emerge the World Champion of Chess. Click here to learn more of past World Chess Champions. Look to see the top 100 players in the world. The players, Fabiano Caruana (2nd), Wesley So (6th), and Hikaru Nakamura (7th), are among the top Americans in this elite field of the world’s current best chess players. Not bad that the USA has 3 of the top 10 players in the world.
Match Standings – Tie Breaks go to Carlsen – Magnus retains Crown!
Carlsen (9.0 pts) v Karjakin (7.0 pts)
Prize Money = $1,000,000 (60% winner) vs (40% loser)
Game 3: 1/2 – 1/2
Game 4: 1/2 – 1/2 (94 moves -exhausting)
Game 6: 1/2 – 1/2
Game 7: 1/2 – 1/2
Humm! White using this opening (the Colle System) has a notable edge in victories over the many games played at the Grandmaster level. But, these plausible variations are why Black wins and White resigns!
- Var 1: 53. Qxa2 Ng4+; 53. Kh3 Qg1; 54. Qb2+ Kg6; 55. Bf3 (no choice) Kf2+ (you have go Qxf2 because their is no blocking a Knight, followed by Black’s Qxf2 leaving White with a badly located Bishop on f3 with no defense of the e4 pawn); 56. Bg2 is the only safe bet followed by a series of King moves beginning with Kf6; 57. (Note: g4 would be disaster for White) Kh2 Ke5 (now it is a slow death for white; 58. h3 d4; 59. h2 e3; 60. h2 Qg1; 61. e5 Kf2; 62. e6 QxBg2 ++ (game over) Black never worried about the past pawn on the e file.
- Var 2: 53. Qd7+ Nf7; 54. Qd1 (protects a1 and attacks h5) Kg6; 55. Kh3 (invites) Qc8+; 55. g4 (ill advised) Qc3+; 56. Bf3 then a1 – Q, followed by Qe2, Qc8 (pins g4); forces 57. Qg2 then Ne5 (gets more pressure on g4); White feeling the pressure; 58. Qg3 is only relatively safe move for White followed by NxBf3; then 59. QxNf3 Qxg4+; 60. QxQ; h3xQ+; 61. Kxg4 and now comes the Calvary with Qe5; 62. making every other move for White now deadly and White’s King unable to save or safely advance either of the remaining pawns.
- Var 3: 53. Qa6 Qc2; 54. Qa7+ Nf7; 55. Qd4+ (covers blacks potential pawn promotion with a1) Kh7 (helps to avoid check again, at least for a moment); 56. Pe5 (now it gets a little interesting, but Black still has the advantage!)
The Mozart of Chess will have to create a masterful piece of work in the next four games to retain his crown. Carlsen now needs two decisive wins and two draws (6.5 – 5.5) to retain the title.
Game 9: 1/2 – 1/2
Game 12: 1/2 – 1/2
The 12 game series ended with each player receiving 5 points in Draw + 1 point for a Win = 6.0 pts.
Game 13: 1/2 – 1/2
Game 14: 1/2 – 1/2
Game 15: Karjakin – 0 / Carlsen – 1
Game 16: Carlsen – 1 / Karjakin – 0 Game 4 finishes with a brilliant Queen sacrifice by Carlsen leading to checkmate as follows two-ways:
- Variation 1 – 50: Qh6+!!! Kh6; 51: Rh8++ (game over)
- Variation 2 – 50: Qh6+!!! g7xh6; 51: Rf7++ (game over)
Side bar: One of the masters of the Queen sacrifice was 19th Century American Paul Morphy. Here are some beautiful examples. I think it would be fun, if it were ever possible to see how Carlsen v Morphy might have turned out. But, for now that is not a reality, only realized by studying the play of these two great practitioners of the game!
Recap of build up to the 2016 World Championship (click here).