Carlsen-Karjakin, Tiebreaks: Magnus still the champ
Magnus Carlsen has won the World Chess Championship for a third time after unleashing a glorious queen sacrifice on the final move of the match. That meant the birthday boy had won the tiebreaks 3:1, after also winning Game 3. Sergey Karjakin reminded us what he was made of with a stunning escape in the second game, but he was always on the back foot and admitted he was “completely not ready to play rapid games”. Relive the action and watch a final recap from the one and only Peter Svidler.
Some of the drama that was to unfold on Wednesday in New York would become clearer after it was over. Magnus revealed the thinking behind the quick draw in Game 12, explaining that knowing there would be tiebreaks and there was going to be no real game gave him extra days to prepare:I felt that it was an advantage for me that I didn’t really have to think so much about Game 12 and he did. Also I felt my head was working better than it was a few days ago and also he was perhaps playing a bit worse, so in that sense I thought playing four games instead of one seemed like a very good idea. Besides, it was very refreshing to play a bit faster after all these weeks!
The pattern of play in the rapid games was initially much as in the match, with Sergey again getting little to nothing from the openings, leading to puzzled reflections on the 1 million euro his team said it had cost them to prepare:
Karjakin confessed afterwards:I spent a lot of time to prepare to Magnus but it didn’t really work and he was jumping to different openings and I didn’t really use my preparation. I can admit a few times I completely forgot my preparation and I mixed up my preparation - in the classical games, but also in the rapid. There were so many things to prepare that I didn’t manage to remember everything. Maybe it was better to have a fresh head and not to repeat so much.
Now let’s get to the action, which consisted of four rapid games where both players had 25 minutes for the game plus a 10-second increment on each move: