Game 12 of the World Chess Championship encounter between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin ended in a draw. It was the final game with classical time control and took the players only 40 minutes and 30 moves to end the game and settle for the tiebreak on Wednesday.

Surprising finish to classical games

Chess fans around the world were baffled by Magnus’ decision to basically not try at all. Particularly considering his great attitude in the penultimate game, which was highlighted by Markus two days ago. Today, he played a line in the Berlin Defence which didn’t offer anything, especially against a player of Sergey’s caliber. Magnus must have known that his challenger would be excellently prepared.

via GIPHY

Most of the chess community expected the World Champion to press moderately with the White pieces. Instead Magnus apologized to the fans and stated in the press conference

“I didn’t feel today was the day to take any major chances.”

As a consequence, the organizers felt obliged to offer the live spectators in the Fulton Market Building a free entry for the suspense-packed final day.
When asked about his reasons and whether he thinks that he has the upper hand in rapid/blitz play, Magnus avoided the questions with a cheeky smile. It is true that the Russian challenger hasn’t played as much faster time controls as Magnus Carlsen has. But their personal history is not that bad at all, as I mentioned before in the preliminary article.
I’m very excited about the tiebreak. After all, it will be a decisive day!

Summing up, I’d like to conclude this post with a tweet by GM Nigel Short


Below, you can replay game 12.