2016 World Chess Championship: Game #11

Game 11: Another fighting draw! Carlsen-Karjakin will go the distance.

Another Ruy Lopez.... the theoretical theme of the match!

Another Ruy Lopez…. the theoretical theme of the match!

This match has had its share of twists and turns and the penultimate round was no different. A Ruy Lopez repeated from Game #2, the game took on a type of classical feel with all the pawns on the board. The first pawn was exchanged on move 19, but notice the huddled mess of pawns engaging in hand-to-hand combat after 18…c3!? and 23…Qxe6. Magnus Carlsen almost ushered in a black pawn to the end zone, but Sergey Karjakin had defensive resources to stave off the impending queen.

GM Wesley So called the action for ChessBase.

Press Conference (Game #11)

Video by ChessBase

Video by Daniel King.


  1. When you have a slow grinder and a skilled defender fighting, how much aggression do you really expect in the ring? The out of book scuffle will start on Wednesday when botch players will be forced to take risk. But, irrespective of what happens in the Rapid or Blitz’s, I will consider Sergey or Magnus as Co-champions.

    1. Well… most expected this match to be in Carlsen’s favor by either +2 or +3. It was not expected to be close. However, the tension of matches is far different. I don’t believe it’s good for Carlsen to go to tiebreaks. As I said in my pre-match comments, he becomes unraveled when he loses, but I must say that after that match with Nakamura, he got some needed practice in rapid.

      Co-champions? Hmmm. Neither have been impressive in this match. Both have missed opportunities that I doubt Fischer or Kasparov would have missed. It appears that both have been losing strength due to the tension of the moment.

  2. Let’s not overlook that Carlsen’s fans have used unmatched descriptions to define the prowess of Magnus. Granted that he is one of the best players currently, but the idea that he’s right up there with the great players, like Fisher, Capablanca, Kasparov, et al. is arguably premature. IMO, a player should defend his WC title for at least 5 years before he or she can be considered as one the greatest or the greatest. And to win the championship by playing rapids (glorified blitz) or blitz just takes away the esteem out of the competition. That’s why I consider the classical contest as the best to truly produce a world champion. Since the classical play ended in a 2- way tie, after 12 rounds, then they should be denoted as co-champions.

    1. I agree Guy.

      There is simply too much hype and the comparisons are premature, although they are not without some merit. He can claim the highest rating ever, but this CAPS metric that says he plays the most accurate chess in history is a bit dubious. There is no way that Carlsen will hold his title for ten years and he may not hold it for five. He looks very vulnerable when you punch him in the mouth. You cannot become unraveled to the point you lose control of your emotions. The rapids will be intense tomorrow and Karjakin has nothing to lose. I believe Carlsen had some good training in his “Death Match” with Hikaru, but there is a lot more at stake here.

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