Who will it be – Carlsen or Karjakin?


The hottest news in these past few weeks is undoubtedly Sergey Karjakin winning the Candidates Tournament 2016, earning the right to face the champion, Magnus Carlsen, for the World Chess Championship in New York in November.
Sergey KarjakinIt is quite impressive to note the stability of Karjakin in the Candidates Tournament. He lost only one game – the reverse to Vishy Anand in the eleventh round. In spite of that, he bounced back strongly enough to score two victories in the last three rounds.


When just a draw against Caruana in the final round would have been enough to become the winner, he made a stunning rook sacrifice to win the game.


Although the predictions regarding who’s favourite to win the World Championship have already begun, let’s take a look at some interesting facts. 🙂


  • In 2002, at age 12, Karjakin became the youngest Grandmaster in history.
  • He won the 2012 World Rapid Chess Championship.
  • He will be the first Russian to compete in a World Championship match since Vladimir Kramnik in 2007.

Sergey Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen

Karjakin and Carlsen in 2006


Now let’s see some interesting games played by Karjakin in the past.


1. Inarkiev – Karjakin


Black to play


White has just played Rxd6. How should Black proceed?


2. Sjugirov – Karjakin


Black to play


Black’s rooks are skewered. What should Black do?


Nevertheless, let’s not underestimate Magnus Carlsen. 🙂 The young chess prodigy from Norway has some amazing strengths, too!


3. Carlsen – Anand


White to play


Anand’s last move was e5. His aim was to set up a Maroczy bind-like structure in which Black would have more space advantage and well-placed pieces. However, Carlsen sensed that the move e5 was inaccurate, primarily because it allowed him to create a pawn break which activated two of his pieces.


Can you find the best continuation for White?


After calculating all possible variations, you can check the complete games here.


P.S. What are your predictions? Who is your favourite to win the World Chess Championship 2016 – Karjakin or Carlsen? Feel free to comment below and discuss. 🙂

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