Bat­tle for world chess crown heads to tiebreaker

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Nei­ther reign­ing champ Mag­nus Carlsen of Nor­way nor Rus­sian grandmaster Sergei Karyakin has claimed the world chess crown af­ter 12 matches, throw­ing the tour­na­ment to four tiebreak games sched­uled for to­day.

Al­most three weeks af­ter the chess World Cham­pi­onship be­gan, the last sched­uled game ended Mon­day in a draw-just like nine of the pre­vi­ous 11 games-with spec­ta­tors left hun­gry for de­ci­sive ac­tion in the forth­com­ing tiebreaker.

“I’m not proud of the game to­day, but I think there’s a trade­off” for the spec­ta­tors, said Carlsen, al­lud­ing to the ex­tra chess to be played. Reg­u­la­tions stip­u­late that the two play­ers will now par­tic­i­pate in four rapid games, which the World Chess Fed­er­a­tion says will be played “at the rate of 25 minutes per player per game, with 10 sec­onds added af­ter each move.” All pre­vi­ous games al­lowed for more than three hours of play. In the event of a draw at the end of those four games, the play­ers will par­tic­i­pate in two blitz games, a fast for­mat played at the rate of five minutes per player at the start, with three sec­onds added af­ter each move. Should there still be a tie at this point, they will play up to four more sets of blitz games.

“If there is still no win­ner, Carlsen and Karyakin will play an Ar­maged­don game in which white has five minutes and black has four, but black only has to draw to win the match,” the World Chess Fed­er­a­tion said. The even­tual ac­cel­er­ated games leave plenty of op­por­tu­nity for har­ried mis­takes.

But in the mean­time, Carlsen said “25 minutes and 10 sec­onds per move is a lot of time so we’re still play­ing nor­mal chess.”

“We’re not at the penalty stage yet. We’re at ex­tra time,” he said, mak­ing a soc­cer anal­ogy. “I un­der­stand if some­times both teams are not try­ing to score in the last minute of reg­u­la­tion that can be frus­trat­ing but also hav­ing ex­tra time is ex­cit­ing.”

The win­ner will be de­clared world cham­pion and will take home 600,000 eu­ros ($637,000). The loser will walk away with a con­so­la­tion prize of 400,000 eu­ros. At the end of the eighth game, which ended in a vic­tory for Karyakin, Carlsen left the premises in a state of fury be­fore par­tic­i­pat­ing in a press con­fer­ence, which earned him a penalty equal to five per­cent of his earn­ings, whether he wins or loses.

More than six mil­lion peo­ple have checked in on the World Chess Cham­pi­onships via its of­fi­cial web­site since the start of the com­pe­ti­tion, a spokesman said Mon­day, with­out spec­i­fy­ing how many had paid to watch the live video. — AFP

ST LOUIS: St Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko (91), of Rus­sia, cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing a goal past Dal­las Stars goalie Antti Niemi, left, of Fin­land, dur­ing over­time of an NHL hockey game Mon­day, in St. Louis. The Blues won 4-3 in over­time. — AP

NEW YORK: Sergey Kar­jakin (R), Rus­sian chess grandmaster, plays against Mag­nus Carlsen, Nor­we­gian chess grandmaster and cur­rent World Chess Cham­pion, dur­ing round 12 of the World Chess Cham­pi­onship on Mon­day. — AFP

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