World Ch., Game 11 : A Tense Draw Leaves Title Up in the Air
ByDYLAN LOEB McCLAINNov 26 — 11:46 PM
Image by Max Avdeev for World Chess by Agon Limited
The score in the match remains tied with one regulation game to play on Monday.
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.
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.
Max Avdeev for World Chess by Agon Limited
Sergey Karjakin arriving for Game 11 with his wife, Galiya.
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 two blitz games. If that does not produce a winner, the players will continue playing two blitz games up to a total of 10. If the players are still tied, 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.
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.
Max Avdeev for World Chess by Agon Limited
Magnus Carlsen before Game 11.
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.
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.”
Xavier Enderica, the minister of sports of Ecuador, making the ceremonial first move for Game 11.
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.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the procedure for a tie-breaker if the players are tied at the end of regulation. The article has been corrected to reflect how many blitz games the players may have to play if they are tied at the end of regulation and after playing a series of four rapid games.
Dylan Loeb McClain is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He was a staff editor for The New York Times for 18 years and wrote the paper’s chess column from 2006 to 2014. He is now editor-in-chief of WorldChess.com. He is a FIDE master as well.
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