Carlsen-Karjakin 2016 – Game 12

So he didn’t make them count. The white pieces I mean.

A very uneventful draw in the last game, but one that nevertheless provides some information about Carlsen’s psychology and how he sees things.

The very fact that a player like Carlsen, who values the white pieces and always tries to play for win, didn’t try to take advantage of these last white pieces in the classical part of the match, coupled with his statement at the press conference that he wanted to play a tie-break, shows that he deeply feels the trend of how things were developing in this match.

It was a difficult match for Carlsen – he didn’t win games he was expected to win, then his level dropped, then he forced matters unnecessarily and lost. He was lucky (please read here to understand what I mean by “lucky”) not to lose another one and then finally broke even. The last two games were tame affairs when neither player wanted to risk.

The flow of the match was uneven for Carlsen (less so for Karjakin, who firmly followed his pre-match strategy of playing as safely as possible at all times) and it didn’t allow for a last-game heroic win. It was against the natural flow of how things were developing in the match and we saw in Game 8 what happened when he tried to violently impose his will at all costs.

Carlsen is very good at feeling his inner state and followed his own counsel, not paying attention to the wishes of the public or the expectations of the world. He said he feels good about the rapid, soon enough we’ll see what he means and whether he’s right.

As for what to expect in the rapid, I have the impression that now perhaps Karjakin will show more venomous ideas with white. It seems that all his strategy was to draw with both white and black and he was completely toothless with white – if not now, when is he going to show his great preparation (which he undoubtedly had, but saw no reason to use the way the match was going). As for Carlsen, he will also show more daring ideas, especially with white (with black I expect both to stay solid) and if these predictions come true, we will witness a great fighting 4-game rapid match on Wednesday.

Until then, Game 12 for a good night sleep (in Europe at least):

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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6 Comments
  • Dec 1,2016 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you. Working on it right now!

  • Dec 1,2016 at 3:57 pm

    Yeah, I would also prefer longer matches, but it's not very probably it will happen. As usual, it's all about the money (the cost to organise such a match).

    And I also dislike the idea of mixing disciplines, classical, rapid and blitz are all completely different disciplines, it's not the ideal situation indeed.

  • Nov 29,2016 at 8:30 pm

    Right on. 25 + 10 is pretty long these days, prob favors Karjakin's defensive ability to draw as black in that portion. Tx for the write-up, can't wait.

  • Nov 29,2016 at 8:11 pm

    Also enjoyed reading your take on events.
    Keep the the excellent work.
    PS: I just wish the match were being played over 18 or even 24 games. Then in the event of a tie, the holder retains the title.
    The notion of the World Champion in classical chess being determined through the lottery of an Armageddon game is depressing.

  • Nov 29,2016 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you!

  • F.B
    Nov 29,2016 at 4:05 pm

    Good Review, Like it 😀 – enjoying it very much.

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