(1) Magnus Carlsen (2853) - Sergey Karjakin (2772) [C65]
Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship 0:34:33-0:04:33 (10), 24.11.2016
[Stan Yee]



1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
The sixth Ruy Lopez, plus one Giuoco Piano, a 'cousin' opening.

3...Nf6
Berlin Defence.

4.d3
Not wanting to castle and go into the drawish lines of the Open Berlin Defence after 4. 0-0 Nxe4.

4...Bc5 5.c3 0-0 6.Bg5
6. Bxc6 does not 'win' a pawn. After 6 ... dxc6 7. Nxe5 Re8 8. Nf3 Ng4 9. 0-0 Nxf2 10. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 11. Kxf2 Rxe4 and White has two Knights for a Rook and pawn but is behind in development.

6...h6 7.Bh4 Be7 8.0-0
8. Bxc6 again does not 'win' a pawn. After 8 ... bxc6 9. Nxe5 Nxe4 10. dxe4 Bxh4 and White is exposed on the e file. Likewise after 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. dxe4 Qxe5 and White probably does best to let the pawn go with 12. 0-0 Qxe4.

8...d6 9.Nbd2 Nh5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Nc4 Nf4
11 ... a6 12. Bxc6 bxc6 is interesting. Would Black get chances after 13. h3 Nf4?

12.Ne3 Qf6 13.g3 Nh3+ 14.Kh1 Ne7 15.Bc4 c6 16.Bb3 Ng6
The relocation of this Knight to g6 is typical in the Ruy Lopez and the Giuoco Piano.

17.Qe2 a5
A cunning tactic to force the Bishop off the a2-g8 diagonal, and maybe half open the f file.

18.a4 Be6 19.Bxe6 fxe6 20.Nd2 d5 21.Qh5 Ng5
?! Missing a chance to draw with 21 ... Nxf2+! 22. Kg2 Qf7! 23. Qe2 Nh4+! 24. Kg1 Nh3+ 25. Kh1 Nf2+ 26. Kg1 perpetual check. I didn't see this either, but the engine certainly did. Will this be the reason for not winning the world championship?

22.h4 Nf3 23.Nxf3 Qxf3+ 24.Qxf3 Rxf3 25.Kg2 Rf7
White is slightly better, as he has the better pawn structure. Carlsen now sets about exploiting this.

26.Rfe1
?! 26. h5 is more accurate, to push the Knight away from guarding the e5 pawn.

26...h5
Shuts the door, but creates a hole for the White Knight on g5.

27.Nf1 Kf8
Walking the King to d6. Karjakin seems to make good use of his King to change the strategy of the game.

28.Nd2 Ke7 29.Re2 Kd6 30.Nf3 Raf8 31.Ng5 Re7 32.Rae1 Rfe8 33.Nf3 Nh8 34.d4 exd4 35.Nxd4
! Stronger than 35. e5+ or 35. cxd4. The Knight threatens to go to f5 or b5 if it is attacked.

35...g6
Covers the danger on f5.

36.Re3 Nf7 37.e5+
! Closing the position and gaining space. White has a clear advantage.

37...Kd7 38.Rf3 Nh6 39.Rf6 Rg7 40.b4
! Trying to close any counter play on the Queenside.

40...axb4 41.cxb4 Ng8 42.Rf3 Nh6 43.a5
! No more counter play.

43...Nf5 44.Nb3
The White Knight is worth far more than Black's, and goes to c5 to tie down a Rook in the defense of the e6 pawn. Meantime the Black Knight is going nowhere.

44...Kc7 45.Nc5 Kb8 46.Rb1 Ka7 47.Rd3 Rc7 48.Ra3 Nd4 49.Rd1 Nf5
If 49 ... Nb5 50. Rf3 and heads to f6.

50.Kh3 Nh6 51.f3 Rf7 52.Rd4 Nf5 53.Rd2 Rh7 54.Rb3 Ree7 55.Rdd3 Rh8 56.Rb1 Rhh7
? This Rook must stay active on the back rank, as the e7 Rook is stuck on e7 to prevent any Knight mischief. Now the breakthrough.

57.b5
!

57...cxb5 58.Rxb5 d4
? 58 ... Rh8 was essential to activate the Rook.

59.Rb6 Rc7
Deserts his post. The pawn is lost anyway.

60.Nxe6 Rc3 61.Nf4 Rhc7 62.Nd5 Rxd3 63.Nxc7 Kb8 64.Nb5 Kc8 65.Rxg6 Rxf3 66.Kg2 Rb3 67.Nd6+ Nxd6 68.Rxd6 Re3 69.e6 Kc7 70.Rxd4 Rxe6 71.Rd5 Rh6 72.Kf3 Kb8 73.Kf4 Ka7 74.Kg5 Rh8 75.Kf6
Black cannot prevent Kg7 and the h pawn falls. So the scores are tied once again. Will we go to tie breaks? Very likely now. Only two more standard games to go. I think kids around the world will take up the Ruy Lopez. 1-0