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FWCM 12: All set for the shorter time controls!

by Sagar Shah - 29/11/2016

The spectators were let down in the twelfth game of the World Championship Match when Carlsen and Karjakin agreed to a quick draw in the symmetrical variation of the Berlin. The good news is that the match will now move to shorter time control. Four rapid games followed by blitz chess. Magnus Carlsen seems to be the slight favourite, but Karjakin is no pushover. In this report we have the pictures of the twelfth round and the analysis done by ten-year-old Aditya Mittal.

FWCM 12: It's a 6.0-6.0 tie!

Magnus Carlsen is all smiles at the start of the last classical game
The last game of the World Championship Match 2016 had all the ingredients of becoming a blockbuster. Both the players had exchanged one win and the score stood at five and a half points apiece. Magnus had white and the experts expected him to press really hard for his third consecutive World Championship victory.


But nothing of that sort happened. It was just like the last round of the Qatar Open where Magnus was leading by a half point. He had the white pieces against Vladimir Kramnik and played the same symmetrical variation against the Berlin. The game was drawn. Carlsen went back to his room, took some rest and got ready for the tie-breaker against Yu Yangyi. The World Champion dispatched the Chinese player with ease and romped home with a 2-0 victory.


In the twelfth game of the World Championship Match, Carlsen was in no mood to fight. The final position tells you how boring and symmetrical the game was.
Seven pawns and a bishop for each side. That's a dead draw.
Magnus had come with the clear intention of taking the Match to the tie-breaks 

10-year-old Aditya Mittal was travelling back home in the train from a family wedding. The young boy stayed awake, analyzed the entire game and sent it to us. Aditya is rated 2040 and is one of the most talented youngsters of Indian chess.

Carlsen vs Karjakin, Game 12, Analysis by Aditya Mittal

[Event "World Championship 2016"]
[Site "New York"]
[Date "2016.11.28"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2853"]
[BlackElo "2772"]
[Annotator "Aditya Mittal"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
{Notes by Aditya Mittal.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6
6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5 8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 {This exact position was
featured in game three also. There Magnus had played the spicy 10.Re2!? and
gained a large advantage. Here he goes for the normal move.} 10. Re1 {The most
topical line.} (10. Re2 $5) 10... Re8 11. Bf4 Rxe1 12. Qxe1 {The position is
completely symmetrical and there is only one open file where pieces will keep
getting exchanged.} Ne8 (12... Bxd4 {is not such a great move as after} 13. c3
Bf6 14. Bxd6 cxd6 15. Na3 $14 {White will gang up on the d6 pawn and
eventually win it.}) 13. c3 d5 14. Bd3 g6 {with the idea Ng7-Bf5.} 15. Na3 c6 {
The position gets more and more symmetrical and one gets the feeling that
Magnus was playing for a draw.} (15... b6 {This feels like the last chance to
do something. Black wants to play c5, but apparently then also nothing is
really going on. Well, except draw, which sure is going on!}) 16. Nc2 Ng7 17.
Qd2 (17. Ne3 {preventing Bf5 doesn't do much after} Ne6 18. Bg3 Bg5 {with the
f4 square controlled, only Black has the chance to do something.}) 17... Bf5
18. Bxf5 Nxf5 19. Ne3 (19. Re1 {avoiding exhange for the time being} Qd7 20.
Nb4 Re8 {but when such a opening is played, exchanges are not a suprise!})
19... Nxe3 20. Qxe3 Qe7 21. Qxe7 Bxe7 {One can't get a more dull game than
this, when there were fireworks expected. The players played a few more moves
and shook hands.} 22. Re1 Bf8 23. Kf1 f6 24. g4 Kf7 25. h3 Re8 26. Rxe8 Kxe8
27. Ke2 Kd7 28. Kd3 Ke6 29. a4 a6 30. f3 Be7 {Both the players were completely
fine with the 30 mover 40 minute draw that happened. This means we are headed
for the tiebreak that is on Magnus' birthday! The match gets more and more
intense and tensive as the games progress.} 1/2-1/2


What's next?

The classical part of the Match is now over. It has ended in a 6.0-6.0 deadlock. We now shift towards the rapid section.

Tie-breaks will be played on Wednesday (00.30 a.m. on Thursday IST) - we can expect up to 15 games.

Chief Arbiter Takis Nikolopoulos had a piece of each colour in his pocket. He asked Magnus to choose first and the World Champion got the black pieces in the first rapid game. 


Four rapid games (25 min + 10 sec/move) - Karjakin will have the white pieces in the first game. If the scores are level after these four games, we enter the second stage.


Two blitz games (5 min + 3 sec/move). In case of a level score this will be repeated four more times. So in total this could theoretically lead to ten blitz games.


If the score is level after the 2nd stage, an Armageddon game will be played. This format guarantees a winner, as in case of a draw the player with the black pieces will be declared as the World Champion. White has five minutes, Black has four. An increment of three secsonds is given from move 61.

Watch it live!

The game can be followed live here. The rapid will begin at 00.30 hours on 1st December IST (14.00 hrs on 30th November 2016 New York Time). The moves can be seen for free. In case you are interested live commentary, you must pay $7 in the live games page. You can use the promo code "PAWNE4" to get 10% discount.

Who's the favourite?

Everyone thinks that Magnus Carlsen is the slight favourite. It's true that the World Champion has never really lost a tiebreak. Be it London Chess Classic (MVL), Qatar Masters (Yu Yangyi), Grenke Classic (Naiditsch), Magnus has always come out on top. But Karjakin is an excellent a rapid and blitz player and the video below proves that it will not be easy to write him off.


Karjakin getting the better of Carlsen in World Blitz 2015

Young contributors

ChessBase India newspage is fast filling up with contributions from young stars like Aditya Mittal, Nihal Sarin and Avathanshu Bhat. If you would also like to do the same do contact us at



  1. FWCM 2016 11: A tale of two structures
  2. FWCM 2016 10: Force Magnus is back
  3. FWCM 2016 09: Karjakin cements his lead
  4. FWCM 2016 08: Karjakin strikes the first blow
  5. FWCM 2016 07: Carlsen's carelessness
  6. FWCM 2016 06: A heavy theoretical battle
  7. FWCM 2016 05: A perfect draw!
  8. FWCM 2016 04: Slippery as an Eel
  9. FWCM 2016 03: A lively Berlin Endgame!
  10. FWCM 2016 02: Carlsen's mysterious rook moves
  11. FWCM 2016 01: Carlsen's benign Trumpowsky!
  12. FWCM 2016: Press Conference and Opening Ceremony

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