Magnus Carlsen has stuck back. And the scores are level in his World chess championship match against Sergey Karjakin.
The reigning champion from Norway won the tenth game to make it 5-5 in New York, with just two games remaining in the classical time control. If the score remains level, the tie will be broken by blitz and rapid games.
It was the Berlin Defence variation of Ruy Lopez once again. Playing with white pieces, Carlsen was determined to win. His renowned patience, stamina and the ability to convert a slight advantage to victory in endgame were all on display.
But, Karjakin overlooked an excellent chance to force a draw early on in the game, in the 20th move itself. He missed a chance to force perpetual checks.
Then, in the double-rook-and-knight ending, he made a bigger mistake, on the 56th move. The unwise rook move and Carlsen’s pawn breakthrough on the queen-side more or less decided the game.
Carlsen won in 72 moves. “I was relieved,” he said later. “It’s a huge relief obviously. “I hadn’t won in nine games and that is something that really hasn’t happened to me before. The first loss left me in a pretty desperate situation.”
Karjakin said that it was an ugly position that he tried to defend. “After my blunder on the 56th move, I was probably lost,” he said.
He would have another day to recover, as the match would resume only on Saturday, after a day’s rest.
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