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Carlsen-Karjakin Game-7: New opening, another draw

 

It was Carlsen’s time to put his head into the lion’s mouth and everybody expected the beast to snap. But it didn’t happen, because the World Champion easily kept the draw, being a pawn down, in an opposite-colored bishop endgame. :) Both players have missed their own chances to score a full point. The seventh game ended in a draw, and the match stands in the balance.

The first move, 1.d4, was executed by Gbenga Akinnakgbe. He is a huge chess fan and an actor best known for his role in The Wire.

 

Sergey Karjakin – Magnus Carlsen [D10]
World Chess Championship New York NY USA (7), 20.11.2016

 

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 a6 5.Bd3 dxc4

 

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-7

White to play

 

The Slav defense is characterized by the move 2…c6. A few moves later, the game turned into the Queen’s gambit accepted, with the move dxc4.

 

Suggestion: Learn how to play gambits and how to counter-attack gambits from my lesson “Gambit Rules“.

 

6.Bxc4 e6 7.Nf3 c5 8.0-0 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.dxc5 Nc6 11.Nd2
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-7

Black to play

 

Karjakin admitted that he didn’t know the theory too well. Perhaps, this is the reason why he exchanged as much pieces as he can, in the next moves.

 

11…Bxc5 12.Nde4 Nxe4 13.Nxe4 Be7 14.b3 Nb4 15.Bf3 0-0
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-7

White to play

 

Here Carlsen castled and he missed a critical move, f5. For example:

 

15…f5 16.Ng5 Bxf3 17.Nxf3 Qxd1 18.Rxd1 Bf6 19.Nd4 Bxd4 20.exd4 Kf7

 

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-7

White to play

 

The knight is a better minor piece in this position and Black’s pieces are more coordinated.

 

16.Ba3 Rc8
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-7

White to play

 

A draw might be the most likely result with almost any move in this position, but the best move was Rb8. Carlsen admitted 18…Rc8 was a blunder.

 

17.Nf6+ Bxf6 18.Bxb7 Bxa1 19.Bxb4 Bf6 20.Bxf8 Qxd1 21.Rxd1 Rxf8 22.Bxa6 b4
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-7

White to play

 

White is a pawn up, but he has no winning changes because of the opposite-colored Bishops. White cannot create a passed pawn and he cannot attack any other weakness. After some moves, the game ended in a draw.

 

23.Rc1 g6 24.Rc2 Ra8 25.Bd3 Rd8 26.Be2 Kf8 27.Kf1 Ra8 28.Bc4 Rc8 29.Ke2 Ke7 30.f4 h6 31.Kf3 Rc7 32.g4 g5 33.Ke4 Rc8 ½-½

 

You can download the PGN of this game here.

 

Here is a quite funny tweet by Teimour Radjabov:
Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-7

Karjakin states that at the end, he could not improve his position and that he has to grab the chances when he gets them. His only real chance was in game five. Carlsen states that the results of the last games were decent for him. The last two games were not that interesting, but in most of the games something was happening. :)

The Grandmaster’s Secrets

March 27, 2017
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