We’re exactly one week away from the biggest chess event of the year – the World Chess Championship Match between the champion Magnus Carlsen, and the challenger Sergey Karjakin. Could we miss this great thing? Absolutely, no!
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In case you’re unaware of this event, let me provide you with some basic details.
The World Chess Championship Match 2016, will be held from 11 to 30 November, will be contested by 25-year old reigning champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and his challenger, 26-year old Sergey Karjakin of Russia — and this is the first time that two players who have come of age in the computer era are fighting for the title and represent a generational shift in chess.
The Championship consists of 12 games. To win, a player must reach a score of 6.5 points. After 12 rounds, if the score is even, there will be tie-breaks.
In the Candidates Tournament (to earn the right to challenge Carlsen), Karjakin lost only one game, to Vishy Anand in the eleventh round. He then went on to score two wins in the last three rounds, with a final score of 8.5/14 points!
It was definitely a nail-biting finish as the result was decided in the final round when Karjakin defeated runner-up Fabiano Caruana. Fabi showed great sportsmanship as you can see in the below tweet:
It was on 18th January 2005, in Group-B of the Corus Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, that Carlsen and Karjakin played their first game with classical time-control. After interesting and wild play, particularly from Carlsen who had White, the game was drawn after 40 moves.
Sergey Karjakin (left) and Magnus Carlsen (right) in 2006
The result was draw for their next four games, too, but five years after their first encounter, Carlsen scored a win.
But two years later, in 2012, Karjakin managed to get revenge – again in Wijk aan Zee, but this time in the Tata Steel Tournament.
Karjakin and Carlsen in 2007
I can’t wait to see the quality of the chess games these two young masters are going to bring in the World Championship Match! How about you?
Who is your favourite to win the Championship? Do you think Carlsen can retain his Championship or will Karjakin be the first player to defeat Carlsen for the World Championship to become the new and the 17th World Champion?
Finally, I’d like to show you a very instructive chess game – the game between these two in the third round of the Bilbao Masters 2016 (about four months ago) where Carlsen won, what can rather be called a one-sided game, a very smooth and crushing kingside attack.
You can watch this interesting game here.
What are your thoughts about the World Championship Match 2016, or this very interesting duel between Carlsen and Karjakin? Feel free to comment below and discuss.