It was déjà vu all over in game four of the World chess championship between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin in New York on Tuesday.
The game lasted more than six hours. The opening was Ruy Lopez. The queens didn’t stay on the board for long.
Carlsen managed to grind his way into a superior – and even – winning position. Karjakin erred first. Then Carslen returned the favour.
At the end of it all, it was a draw. And it was pretty much what happened in game three some 24 hours earlier.
The fourth game though lasted 94 moves, 16 more than the game three. It was Karjakin’s knight and three pawns against Carlsen’s bishop and three pawns in the final, drawn position.
If Karjakin, who played with white pieces, had reasons to look relieved, his Norwegian rival would have felt frustrated.
It had seemed the defending champion would eventually draw the first blood on this night, with his bishop pair in the minor-piece ending before he messed things up. Carlsen is known for converting even a smaller edge into victory.
But, then, Karjakin is superb at defending. He doesn’t crack easily. He persevered and came back from the dead, for the second day in a row. He admitted he felt ‘fantastic’ after staging a comeback like that.
Carlsen obviously was disappointed, but said he was not tired even after the marathon game. “Chess isn’t easy,” he said. “It is hard work. I would gladly sit down and play six more hours tomorrow.”
But, he cannot. The match will resume only on Thursday, after a day’s rest.
The score remains tied at 2-2. Eight games are still left in the classical time control.
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