- The Washington Times - Friday, November 18, 2016

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen faced the first serious pressure of his title match with Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin Thursday, but managed to salvage a draw to keep the score even five games into their scheduled 12-game match.

The game featured the relatively rare Giuoco Piano (3. Bc4), last played in a world title match in 1981. Playing White, Carlsen appeared to have the better play for much of the middlegame, but drifting into trouble shortly after the first time control on Move 40.

The champion, a heavy favorite in the match, admitted after the game that he was “lucky not to lose” in the game’s critical position after 41. Kg2 hxg4 42. hxg4 d4!? 43. Qxd4, when 43…Rh8, instead of the game’s 43…Bd5, could have put White’s king under considerable strain. Carlsen was able for give back the sacrificed pawn and organize a defense. In the end, with the queens off the board and the opposite-colored bishops, there was no chance for either player to break through.

The match now has started with five consecutive draws, but Karjakin appears to be gaining strength as he had been on the defensive in both Games 3 and 4.

The Russian challenger will have the advantage of the White pieces in the next two games, being played at the South Street Seaport at Manhattan’s Fulton Market. The match continues through Nov. 28, with a rapid play-off, if necessary, on Nov. 30.

The moves of Game 5 were:

Carlsen — Karjakin, FIDE World Championship Match, Game 5, November 2016

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. a4 d6 7. c3 a6 8. b4 Ba7 9. Re1 Ne7 10. Nbd2 Ng6 11. d4 c6 12. h3 exd4 13. cxd4 Nxe4 14. Bxf7+ Rxf7 15. Nxe4 d5 16. Nc5 h6 17. Ra3 Bf5 18. Ne5 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Qh4 20. Rf3 Bxc5 21. bxc5 Re8 22. Rf4 Qe7 23. Qd4 Ref8 24. Rf3 Be4 25. Rxf7 Qxf7 26. f3 Bf5 27. Kh2 Be6 28. Re2 Qg6 29. Be3 Rf7 30. Rf2 Qb1 31. Rb2 Qf5 32. a5 Kf8 33. Qc3 Ke8 34. Rb4 g5 35. Rb2 Kd8 36. Rf2 Kc8 37. Qd4 Qg6 38. g4 h5 39. Qd2 Rg7 40. Kg3 Rg8 41. Kg2 hxg4 42. hxg4 d4 43. Qxd4 Bd5 44. e6 Qxe6 45. Kg3 Qe7 46. Rh2 Qf7 47. f4 gxf4+ 48. Qxf4 Qe7 49. Rh5 Rf8 50. Rh7 Rxf4 51. Rxe7 Re4 Draw agreed.

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