World Championship, Game 11: Draw

World Championship, Game 11: A Tense Draw Leaves Title Up in the Air

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The FWCM 2016 shall be played over a maximum of twelve (12) games and the winner of the match shall be the first player to score 6.5 points or more. If the scores are level after the regular twelve (12) games, after a new drawing of colors, four (4) tie-break games shall be played.

The eleventh game of World Championship Match finished with a draw.

Game 11 of the World Championship match ended in a draw, leaving Magnus Carlsen, the World Champion from Norway, and Sergey Karjakin, the Russian challenger, tied in the best-of-12 match at 5.5 points apiece.

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The last regulation game of the match, which is being played in the South Street Seaport in New York City, will be Monday at 2 PM EST. The game can be viewed live on WorldChess.com, the official site of the match. At stake, in addition to the title of World Champion, is 60 percent of the prize fund of about $1.1 million.

If either player wins, he will win the title. If the game is drawn, the match will go to a series of tie-breaker games on Wednesday, starting with four rapid games played at a time control of 25 minutes per player per game, with 10 seconds added after each move. If that does not produce a winner, the players will play four blitz games. And if the players are tied after that, they will play an “Armageddon” game, in which White will have five minutes and Black only four, but Black will only have to draw to win the title.

Two matches, the one between Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Veselin Topalov in 2006, and the one between Viswanathan Anand and Boris Glefand in 2012, have gone to tie-breaker games to decide the title. Both were decided during the rapid games.

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Karjakin had White in Game 11 and, as he had for all but one game in the match, he opened with 1 e4. Carlsen, as he had done throughout the match, avoided the drawish lines of the Berlin Defense (which he used in his 2013 and 2014 title matches with Anand) and chose the classical Ruy Lopez, or Spanish, Defense. Carlsen chose a quiet but solid continuation this time and after 13 moves, the players had exchanged both knights and a pair of bishops.

Carlsen tried to mix things up with 18… c3 and 19… d5, and even seemed to have generated some genuine threats with his passed e-pawn after 24… e3, but with some precise defensive moves, Karjakin was able to force a draw by perpetual check after 34 moves and three-and-a-half hours of play.

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In the press conference afterward, Karjakin was not happy. “I am not impresssed with how I played today,” he said. But he added, “At least I held.”

For his part, Carlsen was not too displeased, particularly after squaring the match in Game 10 by beating Karjakin. Carlsen said, “The match is trending in a positive direction for me and today, I have to say, I was a lot calmer than I was in the last few days.”

Carlsen will have White on Monday in Game 12.

by Dylan Loeb McClain

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12    Score   
Carlsen  ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 5.5
Karjakin         ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 5.5

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