Carlsen-Karjakin Game-6: Halfway done

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After one and half hours, game six ended in a draw. So a match of 24 games would be much more appropriate for Carlsen and Karjakin! 🙂 In Game-6, Karjakin had White and opened with 1.e4. Ken Rogoff, the Havard economist, and best-selling author made the ceremonial first move.
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-6

Sergey Karjakin (2772) – Magnus Carlsen (2853)
World Chess Championship New York NY USA (6), 18.11.2016


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.h3 Bb7 9.d3 d5
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-6

White to play


Karjakin played the Anti-Marshall move 8 h3, which avoided the usual weakness on d3. Usually, White plays c3 and Black d5 in order to take control over the d3 square. But Carlsen, nevertheless, chose to sacrifice a pawn with 9…d5 in any case. This Marshall Attack-inspired gambit can hardly have come as a surprise for Karjakin, because he has an awesome opening preparation.


10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxe5 Nd4 12.Nc3 Nb4 13.Bf4

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-6

Black to play


Black has positional compensation for the pawn. He was able to trade off the light-squared bishop on b3 and grab space on the queenside. The bishop on b7 is very strong.


Black need not worry about a2-a4, since Nxb3 would completely ruin White’s pawn structure. Here it seems like Black had equalized the game.


13…Nxb3 14.axb3 c5 15.Ne4 f6 16.Nf3 f5 17.Neg5 Bxg5 18.Nxg5 h6
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-6

White to play


Here we can see some active developments in the game. Black is attacking the knight. The Knight can jump to e6 and give a double attack to Queen to d8 and the Rook to f8. Carlsen had prepared the counterattack Qd5. The Queen is threatening checkmate on g2, so White doesn’t have time to capture the Rook on f8.


The game is approximately equal because neither side has weaknesses. Black has some compensation for the sacrificed pawn but nothing special.


19.Ne6 Qd5 20.f3 Rfe8 21.Re5 Qd6 22.c3

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-6

Black to play


The challenger goes for the draw in the most solid manner, with the move 22 c3. He started a forced series of exchanges. He manages to exchange all the Rooks and the pair of Knights.


22…Rxe6 23.Rxe6 Qxe6 24.cxb4 cxb4 25.Rc1 Rc8 26.Rxc8+ Qxc8 27.Qe1
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-6

Black to play


Here White has his own threats. He would like to play the Qe7 and after that the Be5 in order to create an attack to g7. Carlsen protects himself with the move Qd5. Black’s pawn on a6 is dangerous, because Black has the potential to create an outside passed pawn by pushing the pawn. The d3-pawn is White’s strong pawn because it is a passed pawn.


We can see the opposite-colored bishops, so both sides can stop the passed pawns easily. After some moves, the players exchanged even more pawns and they agreed to a draw.


27…Qd7 28.Kh2 a5 29.Qe3 Bd5 30.Qb6 Bxb3 31.Qxa5 Qxd3 32.Qxb4 Be6 ½-½


You can download the PGN of the game here.


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Many experts have predicted that Carlsen will win the match and he remains the favorite. But by this point (after 6 games) in his two previous matches, both against Viswanathan Anand, Carlsen had already won two games. Karjakin is super solid and a very strong player.
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-6

Both Sergey & Magnus were in high spirits after Game 6 (photo: Vladimir Barsky, Russian Chess Federation)


In the press conference afterwards, both players were in a good mood. Perhaps, they feel very confident of themselves. Perhaps, Karjakin has the full support from Russians and they are waiting for the appropriate moment to reveal their top secrets. Perhaps, he will start attacking the World Champion in the very last games of the Match.


Probably, no one, including Carlsen most of all, expected him to win less at this point. It seems that Karjakin has enforced his pace in the match. 🙂




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Don’t forget to watch Game-7 today LIVE in our site! What’s your prediction – feel free to comment below. 🙂


Live: World Chess Championship 2016

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