World Chess C'ship: Karjakin stuns Carlsen, takes lead

After seven straight draws at the World chess championship title match, game eight produced a decisive result after Russia’s Sergey Karjakin stunned reigning champion Magnus Carlsen.

It was only the second ever win for Karjakin against Carlsen in a game of classical time control.   -  FIDE

There finally is a breakthrough in New York. After seven straight draws at the World chess championship title match, game eight produced a decisive result on Tuesday. And that didn’t go in favour of the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who was stunned by Russia’s Sergey Karjakin.

The challenger thus has taken a 4.5-3.5 lead. Just four games remain.

The title will be Karjakin’s if he ensures that he does not lose any of those games. Carlsen, who finds himself behind for the first time in a World title match, needs to strike back. And he needs to do that soon.

The Norwegian had to pay the penalty for being too ambitious in the eighth game. Playing from the white side of a Colle System, it looked as though he was determined to take the lead, after playing out seven draws. The situation of the game had often demanded him to play it safe and for equality, but he threw caution to the wind and tried to create winning chances. To make things worse, he was also under time trouble.

He blundered. Karjakin was not able to take advantage immediately. However, when Carlsen took his queen to the wrong square on the 51s move and blundered, he found the only winning move.

Another move later, Carlsen resigned, with Black’s pawn on the queen-side threatening to turn itself into a queen. It was only the second ever win for Karjakin against Carlsen in a game of classical time control. He surely could not have timed it better.

Carlsen was so upset that he did not even attend the mandatory press conference and could be fined for that. Karjakin, of course, could barely conceal his smile. “It was a very tense game,” he said. “I used Carlsen’s ambitions (against him).”

The battle will resume on Wednesday after a day’s rest.