Carlsen – Karjakin Tiebreaks – Part 2

After analyzing first two games of the Carlsen – Karjakin tiebreaks, in this post I will fill the picture and analyze the remaining two games, which both ended in decisive results.

The analysis can be found below. (Hint: Click on any move, and the pop-up board will appear).






Finally, we have arrived at the end of another World Championship match. It has been another fascinating struggle and very close encounter where nerves proved to be at least as important as the things happening on the chessboard.

First of all, I think it is rightfull to say that Magnus deserved the victory. You might say that I am biased as a Magnus fan, and you may well be right, but the truth is that he played the better chess. While Karjakin was awaiting ‘wait and see’ defensive tactics, Magnus was trying to play for the win, and actually most of excitement happened mainly through his efforts to extract more out of the positions where most of us would have agreed a draw.

And although it might seem that I am belittling Karjakin’s efforts here, it is not true. I think that he is a great player, and his behaviour and comments during the course of the match have won him many admirers throughout the chess world, the author of these lines included.

However, I don’t agree completely with Machiavelli’s thoughts, because I think that in sports the style in which the accomplishment was achieved  is as important as the accomplishment itself. And that there is reason why events such as Greece winning the European football championship in 2004 are more of an exception than a regularity.

Smart thinker that Machiavelli was

The match itself was much more difficult and closer than Carlsen’s matches with the Anand. While Anand was never leading the match, Karjakin was only three games away from taking the title out of Magnus’ reach. If he had found a draw in the game ten, maybe chess history would have taken a completely different course.

Therefore, Carlsen continues to be “lucky” in the World Championship match. And for the first time the chess world has witnessed how he copes with serious pressure and how he plays when things are not going according to the plan. As he admitted in the post match interview, he is aware that this is the area where he has to work more seriously to improve further.

Finally, I hope that he will not behave similarly as Kasparov throughout his chess career, especially in his older and declining years. His bad handling of the loss in the game eight hasn’t won him many admirers. And additionally, it has disappointed alot of chess fans. It is perfectly understandable that after such an important loss it is hard to compose yourseslf, but I think a world champion should be a role model to everyone in the world, and especially younger generations. And how will they learn such an important feat if even their hero is behaving in the same way as them.

Anyway, it has been real pleasure to follow and analyze the games, I think that the standard of the play was very high, that the games were fascinating and that every chessplayer could learn alot from the material these two players provided us with.

For the end, you can always take a look at Carlsen’s own thoughts about the match.

If you have any thoughts or comments, please express yourself  freely below 🙂


Carlsen – Karjakin tiebreaks – Part 1


For the third time in the modern history, a World Championship match has been decided in the tiebreak format. After Kramnik – Topalov and Anand – Gelfand matches, Carlsen – Karjakin tiebreak continued to be lucky for the Champion.

First of all, I would like to take an opportunity to express my opinion about the tiebreak system used in this match. In case you don’t remember, this is the tiebreak system that was used:

  • Four rapid games with 25 minutes and 10 seconds increment per move are played
  • If the result after rapid is drawn, then additional ten games with 5 minutes and 3 seconds increment per move are played
  • Finally, if the results is still drawn, a final Armaggedon game. White has 5 minutes and Black has 4 minutes. If the game is drawn, then Black is proclaimed the World Champion.

Naturally, it is easy to criticize, but I don’t like the possibility of the World Championship title being decided in a blitz game without increment. Because in such a short format, the chess is secondary, and it all comes down to pure gamble.

The only instance of Armageddon bringing positive connotations 🙂

However, through the chess history many different match systems have been tried. And it is much easier to pinpoint the drawbacks, instead of positive sides, of every single format.

For instance, from the 1984 Kasparov – Karpov match it is rather well known that the unlimited match has very obvious drawback of having a potential of being trully… unlimited.

On the other hand, 24 games match system without tiebreaks, which allows the Champion to retain his title in the event of the drawn 12-12 results, also doesn’t seem entirely fair.

Therefore, I would like to paraphrase two great men here.

The first one is Churchill quote about democracy. That basically says that democracy is not perfect, but it is the best system SO FAR.

I think that playing the rapid chess as a tiebreak is good enough. Since players still have enough time for the quality of the games to be decent enough.

However, I have to agree with Nakamura’s viewpoint here.


I think that stretching the rapid games over a couple of days would allow more enjoyment for the spectators for a couple of reasons:

  • Firstly, the quality of the games would be highly improved as there would be less fatigue.
  • Secondly, time pressure in the rapid games still happens and suboptimal moves, leading to excitement happens. And yet, it is not THAT radical as in blitz games.
  • Finally, by playing all games in one day, players aren’t entitled to having a bad day. It is probably true that bad days shouldn’t happen on such a high level, but it is precisely what happened to Karjakin. And it meant that all his previous efforts were in vain.

Additionaly, playing more games in a longer period of time would mean that lazy commentators such as myself wouldn’t be this late with their report 🙂

This is how i felt when I started analyzing the games 🙂

Everything said above is onlymy opinion. I would be happy to hear what the readers think and have to say, so feel free to share your thoughts below 🙂

Now let’s look at the analysis of the games.

(Hint: Click on any move, analysis or main, and the pop-up board will also appear)






Carlsen – Karjakin, Game twelve


The above title was prepared specifically for the aftermath of the Carlsen – Karjakin game twelve.

Because  Guy Fawkes references seemed appropriate to praise the champion after grandiose final  struggle which was expected.

Alas, no one really counted on Magnus playing like Mourinho teams in his last White game of the match. Because playing a harmless opening variation and forcing a quick draw isn’t something that is expected from a fighting champion.

Continue reading “Carlsen – Karjakin, Game twelve”

Carlsen – Karjakin, Game eleven


One game remains in the Carlsen – Karjakin World Championship match. After the draw in the Carlsen – Karjakin game eleven, the scores are tied at 5.5-5.5 and the tension is at its peak.

If we imagined Carlsen dancing with the devil in the aftermath of the game ten, than there is no reason not to mention the famous Doors song in the context of the game eleven, wouldn’t you agree?

Because if Karjakin had any ambitions to finish the match before the tiebreaks, before the last game it is probably safe to say that that “CARAVAN” has now definitely left the… CARAVAN STATION?

Since it is probably not very likely that Magnus will again Karjakin serious chances with the Black pieces, as happened in game eight. 

Continue reading “Carlsen – Karjakin, Game eleven”

Carlsen – Karjakin, game ten


I would like to start this post with the good old Latin saying, that goes “Errare humanum est,  perservare diabolicum.”

Because, to the endless joy of all the haters of “Dicta et sententiae“, Carlsen – Karjakin game ten confirmed that everything with the “Roman origin” should be taken “cum grano salis”.

If you are not familiar with the translation because you have life, let me explain. The rough translation of the saying above would be : “It is of the human to make mistakes, it is of the devil to continue making them.

And while Karjakin was the one that kept making mistakes,   Carlsen was the one “devilishly” lucky to avoid the draw in the early stages of the game ten. Therefore,  with the simple deduction it is easy to conclude that “There is something rotten in the kingdom of.. Rome?”

Further evidence can be found in the fact that Carlsen can be considered a true master of the chess game.

And also, it is viable to assume that after the game Carlsen couldn’t resist but to dance a victory dance in the solitude of his apartment.

Continue reading “Carlsen – Karjakin, game ten”