From Donald Duff in New York
It seems that defending champion Magnus Carlsen knew all along what would be his modus operandi for yet another successful title defence.
Wait for the tie breakers.
He had said as much after the first seven games of the FIDE, Agon-sponsored World Champion-ship title match against Russian Serjey Karjakin at the Fulton Market Building, South Street, Seaport had all been drawn
Asked if the players were ready to play the tiebreaks at the Game Seven press conference Carlsen had replied:” If the match is 6-6 then I will be ready to play tiebreaks.”
He proved yesterday that he was indeed ready.
After the first two rapid play games were drawn Carlsen won the next two to defend his title, fittingly on his 26th birthday, winning the tiebreak by a scores of three points to one for Karjakin.
“I knew pretty much this was going to happen when we made the draw in the 11th game,” he said adding…” I felt good coming into today having had a few days of rest and days to prepare.”
Karjakin took the opportunity to express his disappointment at the outcome but praised the champion as he has done throughout the series nonetheless.
“The classical part, I’m quite satisfied but somehow after we played 12 classical games, I was completely not ready to play rapid games. In the three games out of four I was lost”, he said.
He added that Carlsen was able to capitalise on his mistakes.
“Of course Magnus took advantage of my mistakes and he deserved to win. My congratulations to him.”
Carlsen, as he has done throughout the classical series looked to draw with the black pieces and take his advantage with white and the first game followed this trend as Carlsen, with the black pieces was able to draw the first game after some 37 moves.
Following a 10-minute break it was on to game two where Carlsen had the white pieces but he too was unable to score the win in the Italian opening game which saw him as he did in the first game having more time on his clock than the challenger whose dogged defence has been his hallmark of the championships.
But despite having the advantage in position and time Carlsen was unable to force the win until the third game when he had the black pieces once again.
Once again the Ruy Lopez which has been the most used opening of the tournament was played. Again Karjakin found himself under time pressure and with Carlsen threatening mate in another few moves, he resigned.
Needing to win with the black pieces to stay alive Karjakin again found himself in time trouble and lost the fourth game after Carlsen played Qh6+.
Speaking afterwards Carlsen said of the match: ”The second game was a bit frustrating, but I’m very happy to have gotten there in the end.”
The series has been one of missed opportunities for both players with Carlsen playing the more aggressive chess (he probably should have won games three and four) which was actually the cause for his downfall in game eight while Karjakin (who had the better of Carlsen in games five and nine) could be accused of playing too passively but like a good counter puncher found the most accurate lines when the heat was turned on by his opponent.
It was the second successful title defence for Carlsen who won the title from Vishy Anand and then successfully defended the title against the same player before besting Karjakin.