Carlsen-Karjakin Game-12: Fastest game of the Match

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After eleven hard-fought games, the twelfth and final game of the World Chess Championship was a brief, dull draw. Only 30 moves and 35 minutes needed for the players to blitz out their game. The twelve classical games of the Match are tied, with the score 6-6 each, and they will go to a series of tie-break games on Wednesday, 30 November. One way or another, the World Champion will be determined on Wednesday.
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-12

Magnus Carlsen (2853) – Sergey Karjakin (2772) World Chess Championship New York NY USA (12), 28.11.2016


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-12

Black to play


Carlsen chose not to take up a fight today and settled for a quick draw by playing one of the most solid variations against the Berlin Defense. Karjakin seemed to be happy with a draw as well.



5…Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0-0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8 11.Bf4 Rxe1 12.Qxe1

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-12

Black to play

This is the first interesting moment of the game. White sacrificed a pawn on d4 in order to double Black’s d-pawn. Karjakin, who immediately rejected the offer, played cautiously and easily neutralized Carlsen’s minute advantage. If Black had accepted the poisoned d4-pawn, then White will put huge pressure in Black’s position.


The following variation is characteristic: 12…Bxd4?! 13.Bxd6 Bxb2? 14.Bxc7 Qf8 (14…Qxc7?? 15.Qe8#) 15.Nc3 Bxa1 16.Qxa1±




White has a big advantage here. He has two minor pieces for the Rook. Carlsen, who is able to generate more threats plays more actively with his White pieces.


13.c3 d5 14.Bd3 g6!?

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-12

White to play


Black’s plan is to place the Knight on g7 and after that the Bishop on f5. This will keep the symmetry and Black will manage to exchange more pieces. The practice has proven that the symmetry in the position is hard to crack.


15.Na3 c6 16.Nc2 Ng7 17.Qd2 Bf5 18.Bxf5 Nxf5 19.Ne3 Nxe3 20.Qxe3 Qe7

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-12

White to play


Karjakin is continuing to use his well-known strategy, exchanging pieces. This is the safest way for a draw. The board is almost empty. In the press conference afterward, Carlsen apologized to the fans and said that he felt no need to risk being too aggressive.


21.Qxe7 Bxe7 22.Re1 Bf8!

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-12

White to play


This is the final, good decision that secures the draw. Black will play f6, Kf7 and then they will exchange the Rooks. White has no chance to continue fighting, so the game ended up in a draw after a few moves.


23.Kf1 f6 24.g4 Kf7 25.h3 Re8 26.Rxe8 Kxe8 27.Ke2 Kd7 28.Kd3 Ke6 29.a4 a6 30.f3 Be7 ½-½


You can download the PGN of this game here.


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The tie-breaks will go in the following manner:


  • Rapid: First things first, players will play four rapid games, at the rate of 25 minutes per player per game, with 10 seconds added after each move. Karjakin will start with the White pieces and Carlsen with Black.
  • Blitz: If the players are still tied after the rapid games, they will then play two blitz games, at the rate of 5 minutes per player per game, with 3 seconds added after each move. Ιf those blitz games do not produce a winner, they will play another set of two and continue that way up to a total of five sets of blitz games (a maximum of ten blitz games in total).
  • Armageddon: If there is still no winner, they will play an Armageddon game in which White has five minutes and Black has four, but Black only has to draw to win the match.


Did you know?


This will be the third time the tie-break games have been used to decide a World Championship Match. The first time was in 2006, when Kramnik beat Topalov. The second was in 2012, when Anand beat Gelfand. Hence, much more interesting and fast games are ahead. And by the way, it’s Carlsen’s birthday on the 30th – can he make it his best birthday ever? 🙂 

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Comments: 3

Comments 2

  1. thanks for this article good news to hear and sad one also about taimanov dear igor i recently read the article on god bless his soul great person.

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