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Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship Match

Magnus Carlsen9/16(+3 -1 =12)[games]
Sergey Karjakin7/16(+1 -3 =12)[games] Chess Event Description
Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship Match (2016)

Having earned and subsequently defended the World Championship title in his 2013 and 2014 matches against Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen was now confronted with defending his title against his childhood rival, Sergey Karjakin. Karjakin earned the right to challenge the title by winning the World Championship Candidates (2016) by a full point. This was the second title match to feature a champion and challenger who were under age thirty, after Kramnik - Leko Classical World Championship Match (2004). Although the match was predicted by many to be a blowout victory for the Norwegian wunderkind, the tremendous defensive prowess of Karjakin transformed the contest into a grueling war of attrition that would test the mental fitness of both great modern masters.

While the best of 12 match started off rather slowly, with seven consecutive draws, Karjakin surprised many by winning the eighth game with the Black pieces, against Carlsen's rather uninspired approach to the Colle System. The reigning world champion refused to participate in the mandatory postgame news conference and caused a major controversy with his absence. However, in the tenth game, the "Mozart of Chess" returned with a vengeance, mercilessly pressing an advantage from the White side of the Ruy Lopez and levelling the score at one win apiece. When the last two Classical games resulted in draws, the match entered the tiebreak phase.

The tiebreaks were conducted in the Rapid 25+10 time format, with draws in games 13 and 14 and an unexpectedly easy set of back-to-back victories for Carlsen in the fifteenth and sixteenth games. As a result the far higher rated world champion retained his crown, but the tiebreak methodology stirred up significant controversy in the world of chess. Former world champion Anatoly Karpov, as well as American grandmaster Yasser Seirawan, objected to the Rapid tiebreak, pointing out that the World Rapid Championship was the venue where that time control was rightly to be contested. However, while the world champion agreed that the tiebreak format was less than ideal, Karjakin insisted that he was pleased with the tiebreak format and, playing the part of a genuine gentleman and sportsman, insisted that he failed to utilize his preparation and performed well below his own ability during the tiebreaking phase of the match.

Elo Classical Rapid Carlsen 2853 0 1 1 1 9 Karjakin 2772 1 0 0 0 7

Official site:
Wikipedia article: World Chess Championship 2016

Previous: Carlsen - Anand World Championship Match (2014). Next: Carlsen - Caruana World Championship Match (2018)

 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Carlsen vs Karjakin ½-½422016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchA45 Queen's Pawn Game
2. Karjakin vs Carlsen ½-½332016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC78 Ruy Lopez
3. Carlsen vs Karjakin ½-½782016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC67 Ruy Lopez
4. Karjakin vs Carlsen ½-½942016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
5. Carlsen vs Karjakin ½-½512016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC50 Giuoco Piano
6. Karjakin vs Carlsen ½-½322016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
7. Karjakin vs Carlsen ½-½332016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. Carlsen vs Karjakin 0-1522016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchD05 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Karjakin vs Carlsen ½-½742016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC78 Ruy Lopez
10. Carlsen vs Karjakin 1-0752016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
11. Karjakin vs Carlsen ½-½342016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC78 Ruy Lopez
12. Carlsen vs Karjakin ½-½302016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC67 Ruy Lopez
13. Karjakin vs Carlsen ½-½372016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC78 Ruy Lopez
14. Carlsen vs Karjakin ½-½842016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC50 Giuoco Piano
15. Karjakin vs Carlsen 0-1382016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchC78 Ruy Lopez
16. Carlsen vs Karjakin 1-0502016Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship MatchB54 Sicilian
 page 1 of 1; 16 games  PGN Download 
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: <Chesstorian72>: <Kasparovs team and computers won him the world championship>

Computers? Seriously? In 1984/85?

Sep-14-16  Lambda: World championship history doesn't actually have many "weak" challengers. Gelfand and Leko almost won, Short beat Karpov fair and square and played some excellent chess; I think probably the most recent "weak" challenger would be 1934-Bogo. (And not in 1929.) Karjakin plays his best in these big events, he probably won't win, but he'll give Carlsen a good match.
Sep-14-16  nok: I think Kasparov was using databases in the mid 80s.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Carlsen vs Karjakin = Annihilation.
Sep-14-16  beenthere240: I think the margin will be 1 game at most. If Carlsen can win 1 he will sit on it. "Annihilation" is not (imo) a prospect.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: We'll see...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Lambda: World championship history doesn't actually have many "weak" challengers....:I think probably the most recent "weak" challenger would be 1934-Bogo. (And not in 1929.)....>

P W Sergeant's contemporaneous view in his work <Championship Chess> was rather different:

<....Nevertheless, it was Bogoljuboff who was the accepted challenger. Now, while it could not be denied that Bogoljuboff's tournament record, particularly his first prizes at Moscow in 1925 and Kissingen in 1928, gave him a claim to a match against Alekhine, it cannot be said that any but one result was expected. The question was by how much Alekhine would win....>

As to the later model, even Alekhine took a sanguine view of events when annotating Alekhine vs Bogoljubov, 1934, the fourth of the match:

<This game - more than any other - proves how useless from the sporting point of view was the arrangement of this second match, and at the same time explains my indifferent play on a number of occasions.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Carlsen won't be playing his best every game, either. I predict one karjakin win, and 2-3 Carlsen wins. I'd rather see a 16 game match, it would be a better guide to who is best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Wow, 8 weeks before the start and the forum is already open.

Maybe Daniel wants to see how many knucklehead comments he can get before the first move is played. The over is 1189.5

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < Sokrates: With the discussion forum open now already, we shall probably reach page 120 before the match actually begins.

I wonder how many variations we shall se of the following:>

Don't forget my favorite:

<Anand would have done better>

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: If Kasparov coaches either man, that man will win.
Sep-14-16  fisayo123: Karjakin is the best defender in the world. This was in my view the major reason he won the Candidates. There's no player in the world better at defending worse endgames than Karjakin, including Carlsen.

Karjakin tends to drift a bit and play weaker than some of the other top 15 players in the early middle game. So while say, Caruana for example might probably be a slightly stronger player, Karjakin makes up for it comparatively speaking, with his defensive skills.

Carlsen on the other hand is one of the best ever at holding on to small advantages. Carlsen won't be able to outwear Karjakin as he did Anand by playing on forever in equal or marginally better endgames. Karjakin is 26 not twice Carlsen's age, as Anand is. I don't see that strategy working, neither should he employ it. This match will be much tougher for Carlsen than the Anand matches that's for sure. Looking at the ages of both players, it will be the youngest combined age in a World Championship match in quite a while.

The major problem I believe for Karjakin is that I just don't see that many scenarios in which he can beat Carlsen enough times to win the match. Conversely, there are quite a few scenarios where Carlsen can beat him. Karjakin just doesn't have the skill set to beat Carlsen enough times in a 12 match showdown. To do that, you have to have a certain level of tactical gifts and feel for dynamic chess, which Karjakin lacks. Contrary to the opinion of some staunch Carlsen fans, these are the types of positions Carlsen feels least comfortable in (aside from defending worse endgames). In a strategical battle with a clear plan, Carlsen plays like an automaton and there's no one in the current chess elite that can compete with him in this front.

As far as entertainment value goes, I'm not expecting much. I haven't really been entertained by these things since the <Anand vs Topalov 2010> match. Both of these guys are hardly the type to keep you at the edge of your seat with their playing style, especially Karjakin, who is a very "solid" player in every positive and negative sense of the word. It will be interesting to see if Karjakin stays loyal to his Queen's Indian. He got a lot of worse positions from it in the Candidates but managed to defend them well.

Ultimately, Carlsen is the better chess player and capable of playing a wider array of positions and openings to more or less the same level and that will decide the match in his favor.

Sep-14-16  Chesstorian72: <IHateMe> unless one is coached by karpov,Karpov is better than kosporav. Karpov in his prime could beat Magnesium and carjacker.
Sep-14-16  Tadeucouto: Congratulation Mr.fisayo123: Very good words ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: <nok: I think Kasparov was using databases in the mid 80s.>

Oh ok, I thought he meant engines.

Sep-14-16  Whitehat1963: Kramnik or Topalov or Capablanca or Lasker or Morphy or Tal or Botvinnik, etc. would make minced fish bait out of either of them, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Go Euwe!
Sep-14-16  dumbgai: I would have crushed Botvinnik if I was alive in the 1950s and 60s.
Sep-14-16  schweigzwang: <The over is 1189.5>

Fire in the hole, I'd best get started.

Uhhhh ... "Chess tourist!!"

Sep-15-16  Chesstorian72: <whitebum1963> no only Karpov could destroy Korlsson but the rest yeah could probably destroy surgoy karijakin.
Sep-15-16  savagerules: What quip could Carlsen say about this match like Kasparov did when before he played Short he said 'My opponent is Short and the match will be short.' Maybe Carlsen could say 'I'll be buying a new car after this match while Sergey will be out carjackin' one.'
Sep-15-16  chesslearner1991: Did Kramnik offer any training help to Karjakin?
Sep-15-16  stst: Like to see Capa vs Morph - real genius level - only imaginery... different era

Now that we have Karkin vs Mag...

I correctly picked and bet on Karkin in the Candidates, as my dark horse...

Yet this time ... I say is real different

Mag got the stability, and, of course the experience - that's almost top on list.

Karkin got it wild, fluctuation ... hard to foretell.... Often risking without sound reasons... but that's also the style that could win it all !! (c.f. Olympiad 's Jobava - Gold for Board One!!)

55-45 at start, fav. for Mag, but will place the bet nearer the time ... still early? but outsider seldom knows, even after it's already started!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: If I had to set odds, I think I'd go 75-25. If the match was longer, I'd think Maggy's chances would be even better. But you never know. Before the Capa-Alekhine match, I'm sure the consensus was Capa would win. And if the match had never been played, there'd be people arguing on cg.c to this day that Capa would have won easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: nothing will change until Carlsen is at least 35 years old and will have peaked, perhaps be in a slight decline. No one has a chance until then. Celebrate his high quality chess.

He's every bit the positional master that Karpov was, when Karpov ruled 1975-85.

Karjakin is here because he has the mental stamina and consistency that Aronian and a few other don't. His head will be in all of the games. If Carlsen makes a mistake, like in the Anand WC II game where Anand missed a chance to win two pawns in the middlegame--Karjakin will find that and pounce on it.

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