Carlsen Retains Title 3-1 In Rapid Tie-break
By Arvind Aaron
Magnus Carlsen of Norway retained his title when he beat the Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin 6-6, 3-1 to win the FIDE World Chess Title for the third time at New York on November 30, 2016.
Carlsen celebrated his 26th birthday in style, winning the four game rapid contest that lasted 209 moves in all on the final day. This was the best the spectators got in lower Manhattan venue of New York.
After game one and the exciting game two were drawn, Carlsen won the last two to wrap up the tie-break at 3-1. Carlsen first became champion in 2013 unseating Viswanathan Anand at Chennai. He then retained his title in Sochi, Russia against Anand yet again.
The New York match was thought to be the closest and indeed it was. Both players born in 1990 contested the 12-match series that ended in a 6-6 tie. Tie-breaks are unfortunate for world title events but matches cant be allowed to go endlessly like it happened in 1984-1985 when FIDE terminated the Karpov v Kasparov match after 48 games due to the health of the players and the financial drain of the organisers!
The second rapid game saw Karjakin sacrifice material to get a sensational draw. Thereafter, in the third game he could not be recognised. Carlsen sliced his way through with a brilliant pawn sacrifice on move 30 to plant a knight and win the game. Karjakin lost the fourth game playing the Sicilian defence.
After winning three world championship games at Leningrad 1986 in a row from 17-18-19, team Karpov adopted a rare professional strategy and took a time out to cool his excitement. After the long 84-move stalemate, Karjakin required that break. FIDE does not allow time-outs now since 1997.
Carlsen had worked previously in Anand’s team. So facing the Indian was a bit easier for him. The eighth game defeat rocked Carlsen in New York. He sprang to life in game ten and then banked his chances in the tie-break and closed the door in classical chess by drawing game 12.