Carlsen-Karjakin Game-5: Carlsen "screwed up"

Comments: 4

The fifth game of the World Chess Championship ended in a draw, but this time things were little different. It was the challenger Karjakin who missed his chance to press the game for the first time. The players agreed to a draw after 51 moves and more than five hours of play. Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

(photo: Anastasia Karlovich)

Magnus Carlsen – Sergey Karjakin [C54]
World Chess Championship New York NY USA (5), 17.11.2016


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d3 0-0 6.a4
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

Black to play


Carlsen is satisfied with the development of Game-3. So one more time, he started with the move 1.e4, but he changed his approach slightly. This time he didn’t choose the Spanish opening, but the old-fashioned Italian. These two opening systems have some differences and some similarities. In Spanish, White gives more space to Black and the opportunity to play a6 and b5, but in the Italian, Black doesn’t have this option.


Suggested: Picking the good chess opening is important if you want to be successful in your chess career. Check out the best chess openings and pick one for you now.



Sometimes White can manage to attack the Queenside pawns on a6 and b5 but in some other cases, Black has the upper hand and the initiative there.


White’s last move is very typical for Carlsen’s style. This guy loves the space advantage and this move, the a4, fits his needs. White is planning to gain more space with the moves c3 and b4, winning a tempo by attacking the well-developed bishop on c5.


6…d6 7.c3 a6 8.b4 Ba7 9.Re1 Ne7 10.Nbd2 Ng6 11.d4 c6 12.h3 exd4 13.cxd4 Nxe4
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

White to play


This is a cool and a very typical combination for Black. White cannot recapture immediately the Knight because Black will reply with d5. Thus, Magnus tries to counter-sacrifice his Bishop in order to destroy Black’s king cover of the pawns.


This was just an exchange combination which is very typical in this pawn structure.


14.Bxf7+ Rxf7 15.Nxe4 d5 16.Nc5 h6 17.Ra3 Bf5 18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.dxe5

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

Black to play


Of course, White can recapture with the Rook and he can try to occupy the e-file with his Rooks. It is amazing to observe Carlsen’s passion to win the game. He is trying very hard to complicate the game in order to have chances to win it.


Now White has a passed pawn which is far more dangerous for the Black’s d5 (connected-passed) pawn.


19…Qh4 20.Rf3


Let’s note that Black cannot capture the pawn on b4, because the Queen will be in danger after the move Ba3. Rf3 is a brilliant move because it keeps an eye on the bishop on f5 and White is ready to push his passed pawn. For example: 20…Qxb4 21.Ba3 Qa5 22.e6


20…Bxc5 21.bxc5 Re8 22.Rf4 Qe7 23.Qd4 Ref8 24.Rf3 Be4
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

White to play


Black is happy to exchange the major pieces because he would like to achieve a draw. The opposite-colored Bishops give more opportunities for the draw, because the pawns can blockade easily.



25.Rxf7 Qxf7 26.f3 Bf5 27.Kh2 Be6 28.Re2 Qg6 29.Be3 Rf7 30.Rf2 Qb1 31.Rb2 Qf5 32.a5
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

Black to play


Here we can see the favorite type of position for Carlsen. The position is quiet and he can play like “the big cat and mouse”. He can play quite moves, not forcing moves, and he can press for the win with different plans and ideas. Computer evaluations are close to 0.00, the engines say that the position is equal, but it is little unpleasant for Black to defend in such a practical game.


Obviously, Black has no active counter-play and should watch out for small tricks all over the chess board all the time. I think that White’s last move, a5, is a slight mistake because it blocks the a5-square. This is a good square which either Bishop or King can use to penetrate into Black’s camp in future.


After White’s last move, Karjakin immediately spotted that queenside is the perfect place to hide his King and maybe later, he can start a minority attack on the Kingside.


32…Kf8 33.Qc3 Ke8 34.Rb4 g5 35.Rb2 Kd8 36.Rf2 Kc8 37.Qd4 Qg6 38.g4 h5 39.Qd2 Rg7 40.Kg3 Rg8 41.Kg2 hxg4 42.hxg4 d4
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

Black to play


This is a very strong pawn sacrifice. Black’s pieces are very active and they can create problems for White’s King.


Suggested: Watch and learn from the great Bobby Fischer’s pawn sacrifice against Borris Spassky in WC 1972 Match!


It was the first time in the Match that Karjakin got Carlsen into real trouble, and Carlsen was clearly not happy with his performance. Afterwards, in the press conference, he was visibly angry, presumably with himself, as the game did not go as he had planned it in advance.


43.Qxd4 Bd5 44.e6

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

Black to play


Carlsen was in a hurry to give the pawn back as soon as possible, in order to activate his pieces.


44…Qxe6 45.Kg3 Qe7 46.Rh2 Qf7 47.f4 gxf4+ 48.Qxf4 Qe7

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-5

White to play


Here, White has some initiative with the g-pawn. It is dangerous because it is a potential new queen. Karjakin is happy to exchange all the major pieces (Rooks and Queens) but not only one pair of them. Thus, after precise calculations, Karjakin manages to perform his strategic plan and he exchanged the queens and the rooks.


49.Rh5 Rf8 50.Rh7 Rxf4 51.Rxe7 Re4 ½-½


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You can download the PGN of this game here.

Magnus Carlsen angry

A dejected Magnus Carlsen (photo: Vladimir Barsky, Russian Chess Federation)


The World Championship (WC) Match is taking place in the New York City. The games are being held in the South Street Seaport in New York City. The match has a prize fund of about $1.1 million.


Five draws to start the WC Match is far from unprecedented. The first six games of the 2012 Title Match between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand were also drawn. And the first eight games of the 1995 Match between Vishy Anand and Garry Kasparov, the last time WC Match held in New York City, were also drawn.


Karjakin will have White in Game-6 today (18th), which starts at 2 PM EST or 22:00 Moscow time. (You can watch it LIVE here) Will it be another draw or one of the two players will win? What do you think? Feel free to write your thoughts in the comments below.




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Comments: 4

Comments 4

  1. vidoe lessons please my marko makaj on these games would be awesome thanks for the article they are great .

    he is awesome explanator.

    1. hi ayush what age are you I ask u because i think you are great active chatterer on this awesom chess teacher dear ayush

      1. my age is 22 years and i am master class player i am very interested in igor smirnov chess academy he is a great and honest teacher that’s why i try to talk to him everytime whenever i got the opportunity.i am very serious about my chess education.why are you asking that??

    2. Hi Ayush,

      Thanks for your feedback about Marco! I’ll take it into account and will keep engaging Marco for future video lessons. Same with you, I like the clarity of his commentaries.

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