Carlsen Holds Karjakin In Game Nine

Carlsen Holds Karjakin In Game Nine
By Arvind Aaron

Magnus Carlsen of Norway played a sharp variation of the Ruy Lopez as black and drew challenger Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the ninth game of the FIDE World Chess Championship match at New York.

Karjakin leads by 5-4 after nine games and three games remain to be played in this best of 12-series. If case of a tie, the rapid play-offs will decide the champion.

Carlsen who missed two drawing chances in game eight, was expected come aggressive with black in game nine. It was not to be. Karjakin had an extra pawn and had the edge in a queen, same colour bishop and pawn ending. Carlsen defended and drew the game.

The game was agreed drawn after 74 moves. Carlsen trails Karjakin 4-5. The Russian needs three draws or a win and a draw to emerge as the new world champion. This game was more sharper than most of the other games and featured tactics hitherto unseen in this world championship match.

On move 39, the text 39.Bxf7 led to a draw but computers showed 39.Qb3 leading to better chances for white. In 1997, the then World Champion Garry Kasparov was beaten by a computer Deep Blue 2.5-3.5 in a six match series in New York. Since then, it is always believed that computers can play chess as good or better chess than humans.

Carlsen has to hitback in game ten to level scores and enhance his chances of retaining his title. Game ten happens on Nov 24 at 2 p.m. New York time which is 12.30 a.m. IST on Nov 25, 2016. The chess world loves new champions and backs the underdog Karjakin.