Two games, two draws as world chess champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway easily held the half-point as Black against challenger Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the second of the scheduled 12-game title match in New York City.
Against Carlsen’s Ruy Lopez Defense, Karjakin tried a closed system with 6. d3 but never generated significant pressure despite having the advantage of the first move. Black first traded off White’s menacing light-squared bishop and on Move 20 got the queens off the board as well. After a simplification on the queenside, both players were left with a rook, two knights and four kingside pawns, offering little hope of dynamic play in the endgame.
In the final position, Black checks with his rook on c1 and then threatens the e-pawn with 32…Rc2. White can only shuttle his king between h2 and g1 (33. Kg3!? also leads to a draw after the trickier 33…Nh5+ 34. Kh4 Rxf2! 35. Kxh5 Nf6+ 36. Kh4 Rxg2 37. Rb8+ Kh7 38. Nf7! g5+ 39. N7xg5+ hxg5+ 40. Nxg5+ Kg6 41. Nf3), and the players agreed to a draw.
Saturday is a rest day and Game 3 will be played Monday, with Carlsen again having the White pieces. The players are splitting a prize fund estimated at about $1.1 million.
The moves of the second game were:
Karjakin - Carlsen, World Championship Match, Game 2, 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. d4 Bxa2 12. Rxa2 Re8 13. Ra1 Nc4 14. Re1 Rc8 15. h3 h6 16. b3 Nb6 17. Bb2 Bf8 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. a4 c6 20. Qxd8 Rcxd8 21. axb5 axb5 22. Ne2 Bb4 23. Bc3 Bxc3 24. Nxc3 Nbd7 25. Ra6 Rc8 26. b4 Re6 27. Rb1 c5 28 Rxe6 fxe6 29. Nxb5 cxb4 30. Rxb4 Rxc2 31. Nd6 Rc1+ 32. Kh2 Rc2 33. Kg1 Draw agreed