Carlsen v Karjakin At 5½-5½

Carlsen v Karjakin At 5½-5½
By Arvind Aaron

Match has gone down to the wire with the scores level at 5½-5½ after eleven games. Carlsen will play white in the twelfth and final game. The last time the match was decisive when in 5½ each was at Sofia when Anand won the final game with the black pieces against Topalov in May 2010.

One would expect champion Carlsen to go all out in the final game. Expect a nervous game with 90% chance of draw, 8% for Carlsen and 2% for Karjakin.  If the game is drawn, then it will head to the four game tie-breaker.

Karjakin did not press much with white in this match. Limited options with white may be a sign of being less versatile. On the flip side, Carlsen’s defence with black was good.

A close result is good for promotion of chess and the sport in New York. A new champion will be good for sport itself. Chess had just two champions from 1975 – 1999. If this had happened in any other sport it would have shrunk and be hard to market. Irrespective of Monday’s result Carlsen would lose rating