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  • Barry Eacker

Barry Weighs In On WCC

First, let me say that I am not qualified to be analyzing world championship games, so my perspective will be that of a very interested observer.

Game one was drawn after 42 moves. Since Carlsen has a dry sense of humor and game one was three days after the US election, he felt the Trompowsky opening would be appropriate. After a Carlsen inaccuracy, Karjakin built a defense which held easily and will become the story so far in the match.

Game two was drawn in 33 moves and game three produced the first winning chances for the world champion. Karjakin defended extremely well and Carlsen could

not convert the advantages he had, so the game was drawn by three fold repetition after 78 moves and six plus hours. In game four, Carlsen again had winning chances

and some analysts feel he missed a win, although nobody could find a concrete plan even though the engine showed Carlsen ahead by as much as -1.78 at times.

Karjakin was jovial after the game but Carlsen was absolutely grim, no doubt feeling he had let wins slip through his fingers in the last two games.

As a side note, Karjakin has a reputation throughout the chess world as a "fortress builder". Carlsen says he doesn't believe in fortresses. So far the fortress is holding.

Interestingly, during the Candidates match, Karjakin was the seventh rated participant and no one chose him to win the event except one major name......Magnus Carlsen.

This match is a changing of the guard, if you will from the previous generation of GM's, to a match between the two youngest players to compete for the world championship

in chess history. Both players are 26 years old and it is the prodigy and highest rated player in history against the player who became the youngest GM in history.

Game five produced winning chances for Karjakin after Carlsen made a positional error on move 40 at the first time control. Karjakin obtained a huge advantage, able to penetrate

on the white kingside via the h file, but he missed his chance and Carlsen was able to defend and the game ended in a draw on move 51. The press conference saw

Karjakin in good spirits, although he was disappointed he missed the critical line. Carlsen almost couldn't speak and showed many face contortions emphasizing his disgust

with his play. Carlsen now faced two games in a row with black. Both games six and seven ended in fairly quick draws with Carlsen choosing openings which led to liquidation

and even end games. Carlsen has three whites over the remaining five the match should become extremely entertaining and I predict we will see

some very sharp lines in the upcoming games. Follow the match at or

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