Carlsen-Karjakin Game-11: A fighting draw!

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The eleventh game was a fighting one, but ended up in a draw after 34 moves. Sergey started with the move 1.e4 which gave him the best results in his previous games.
Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin Game-11

Sergey Karjakin (2772) – Magnus Carlsen (2853)
World Chess Championship New York NY USA (11), 26.11.2016


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a3
Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin Game-11

Black to play


White would like to keep the light-squared Bishop in the game and control the b4-square at the same time. White hopes for a long game and a closed setup, with plenty of maneuvering.


Suggestion: you may like to watch the video lesson “Piece coordination and maneuvering in chess” by GM Levan Aroshidze.


8…0-0 9.Nc3 Be6

Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin Game-11

White to play


Magnus, who played the move Na5 in Game-2, played Be6 in Game-11. Sergey was ready to face 9…Na5 again, so Black chooses a different move.
10.Nd5 Nd4


This move, which is well-known as Black’s best here, was first played by Peter Svidler of Russia back in 2013.


11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Nxf6+

Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin Game-11

Black to play


This move is harmless for Black. Magnus can develop his pieces and normally equalizes the game. It is more critical to capture on e7 and then to pin the Knight on f6. 12.Nxe7+ Qxe7 13.Bg5


12…Bxf6 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.f4
Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin Game-11

Black to play


Sergey who made a natural move kept all of his options open. He had a lot of alternatives like the Qg4 or Rf3 and h3. White should focus on the kingside, while Black, on the queenside. Thus, the next move, c5-c4, is a very natural reply for Black.


14…c5 15.Qg4 Qd7 16.f5 Rae8 17.Bd2 c4 18.h3 c3!?

Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin Game-11

White to play


Karjakin released the tension with the move f5 and allowing trades. Perhaps he no longer believes that he has any advantage. Carlsen has more than equality, so he tries for positional unbalance.


19.bxc3 d5 20.Bg5!
Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin Game-11

Black to play


White should exchange the Bishops in order to keep the position as solid as he can. After this move, Black’s winning chances are not good.


20…Bxg5 21.Qxg5 dxe4 22.fxe6 Rxf1+ 23.Rxf1 Qxe6 24.cxd4 e3!?
Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin Game-11

White to play


Magnus tried to push for the win with the passed-pawn, but Sergey finds a forcing way, perpetual check, to get the draw. Thus, the game ended in a draw.


25.Re1 h6 26.Qh5 e2 27.Qf3 a5 28.c3 Qa2 29.Qc6 Re6 30.Qc8+ Kh7 31.c4 Qd2 32.Qxe6 Qxe1+ 33.Kh2 Qf2 34.Qe4+ ½-½


You can download the PGN of this game here.


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Maurice Ashley chessGrandmaster Maurice Ashley was dreaming to sit in the Championship chair. We wish you to be the next challenger! 🙂


Don’t miss the twelfth and the final game of the World Chess Championship match. You can watch it LIVE here. Magnus’s sister stated that Magnus will win. We will have to wait and see if she is right or not. 🙂


What if the score is 6-6 after 12 games?


The player who wins the final game, wins the title! If the game is drawn, the match will go to a series of tie-break games on Wednesday, starting with four rapid games played at a time control of 25 minutes per player per game, with 10 seconds added after each move.


If that does not produce a winner, the players will play four blitz games. And if the players are tied after that, they will play an “Armageddon” game, in which White will have five minutes and Black only four, but Black will only have to draw to win the title.


What do you think? Can Carlsen retain his title and continue his reign, or can we see a new World Champion being crowned? 🙂 Feel free to comment your predictions below.




We’re providing a huge 40% discount on the RCA comprehensive and middlegame courses, in honour of the World Championship Match. Use coupon “40off” now and enjoy the offer! 🙂 Find more details here.

Comments: 5

Comments 5

    1. Thanks for your nice comments, Ayush!

      Waiting for the decisive game of WC match… The higher is tension, the more errors they will play, and it’ll be more exciting for us to watch 🙂

  1. Hi Igor! Great article as always! I have some excellent feedback regarding your courses! At first, it’s not so easy to win games using your material if you don’t practice, but if you practice for couple of weeks to get the skills from your courses, the results are absolutely fantastic! Using your methods, I managed to beat my first titled player, a FIDE Master in a blitz game! Thank you so much! I am looking forward to your next course 🙂

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