- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 1, 2016

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen retained his crown by the narrowest of margins, defeating dogged challenger Sergey Karjakin of Russia in a four-game rapid playoff Wednesday in New York City by a score of 3-1.

The one-day playoff was needed after the two grandmasters finished their 12-game title match tied at 6-6, and Karjakin made a miracle save in the second game of the rapid playoff Monday to keep the score level.

But Carlsen, who has held the title since 2013, finally broke through with a powerful attacking performance with the Black pieces in the third game, in which both players had essentially 25 minutes to complete all of their moves. A desperate Karjakin then risked all in the fourth and final playoff game, only to be mated by a brilliant queen sacrifice by the 26-year-old Norwegian, the first player from his country ever to hold the world chess crown.

The two players were playing for a total prize fund of about $1.1 million. The games were played at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport complex.

The moves of the two decisive games that gave Carlsen the championship were:

Karjakin-Carlsen, Playoff Game 3, FIDE World Championship Match, New York City, November 2016

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a3 O-O 9.Nc3 Na5 10.Ba2 Be6 11.b4 Nc6 12.Nd5 Nd4 13.Ng5 Bxd5 14.exd5 Nd7 15.Ne4 f5 16.Nd2 f4 17.c3 Nf5 18.Ne4 Qe8 19.Bb3 Qg6 20.f3 Bh4 21.a4 Nf6 22.Qe2 a5 23.axb5 axb4 24.Bd2 bxc3 25.Bxc3 Ne3 26.Rfc1 Rxa1 27.Rxa1 Qe8 28.Bc4 Kh8 29.Nxf6 xf6 30.Ra3 e4 31.dxe4 Bxc3 32.Rxc3 Qe5 33.Rc1 Ra8 34.h3 h6 35.Kh2 Qd4 36.Qe1 Qb2 37.Bf1 Ra2 38.Rxc7 Ra1 White resigns

Carlsen-Karjakin, Playoff Game 4, FIDE World Championship Match, New York City, November 2016

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 e5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.c4 a5 8.Be3 a4 9.Nc1 O-O 10.Nc3 Qa5 11.Qd2 Na6 12.Be2 Nc5 13.O-O Bd7 14.Rb1 Rfc8 15.b4 axb3 16.axb3 Qd8 17.Nd3 Ne6 18.Nb4 Bc6 19.Rfd1 h5 20.Bf1 h4 21.Qf2 Nd7 22.g3 Ra3 23.Bh3 Rca8 24.Nc2 R3a6 25.Nb4 Ra5 26.Nc2 b6 27.Rd2 Qc7 28.Rbd1 Bf8 29.gxh4 Nf4 30.Bxf4 exf4 31.Bxd7 Qxd7 32.Nb4 Ra3 33.Nxc6 Qxc6 34.Nb5 Rxb3 35.Nd4 Qxc4 36.Nxb3 Qxb3 37.Qe2 Be7 38.Kg2 Qe6 39.h5 Ra3 40.Rd3 Ra2 41.R3d2 Ra3 42.Rd3 Ra7 43.Rd5 Rc7 44.Qd2 Qf6 45.Rf5 Qh4 46.Rc1 Ra7 47.Qxf4 Ra2+ 48.Kh1 Qf2 49.Rc8+ Kh7 50.Qh6+ Black resigns

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