"It's just absurd, I'm completely shocked"
It seemed an exaggerated scenario first, but as the game progressed, it became more and more likely; especially those who think that classic chess needs to be modified or adjusted in some way to the new age of the computer were very interested in talking about it; All eyes were placed on the two players who are clearly at the top of the chess elite … and finally it happened: the classic part of the match ended with all ties. It is the first time in history that this happens in a World Championship game.
We can not say it was without emotion, however. Carlsen responded to Fabiano's 1.e4 exclusively with the Sicilian – and Caruana did not stop using the "best by test" of Fischer still. In fact, the World Champion was very close to starting the match with a win, which undoubtedly would have changed all the dynamics of the duel. And there were more chances wasted for both sides …
With the score tied, a game ahead, Carlsen clearly favorite to win the tiebreaks and Caruana with the white in the last game, the stage was ready for a great show. Then everything seemed to follow the path of the spectators: another Sicilian appeared on the painting; For the first time in the match, Magnus surpassed Fabiano with the black pieces; Challenger had the chance to do a replay, but declined to do so; a complex fight ensued, with Caruana having little time … do not miss the scans below for the star scorers Wesley So and Erwin L & Ami. But the main story of the day was the & # 39; latest move & # 39 ;: Carlsen offering a draw from a position of strength!
The "Today in Chess" program, produced by the Saint Louis Chess Club, brought connoisseurs as guests: former world champion Garry Kasparov and the person who took the crown out of hands, Vladimir Kramnik. When the game ended abruptly with a combined draw, he was asked what his immediate reaction was. Kramnik:
Let me tell you the first word that comes to my mind: It's a shame … It's simply better with no risk. How can you offer a draw? This is out of the question for me. It can offer a draw anytime – in 10-15 minutes. It's just absurd – something is wrong with Magnus. I have the feeling that he can not withstand the pressure. He is a great chess player, but that's not how you play in a world championship. You have to fight, especially in such positions. It is showing frankly that weakness.
I can understand if it would be a point forwardand maybe offer a draw in this position, but maybe not. It's just nonsense I'm completely shocked.
After the tense fight, players still had to face the press
These are strong words, but there is something to be said about Carlsen's decision: now it is evident that he was happy to draw and go for the tiebreaks, of course. Having black pieces against one of the world's best-prepared players, who incidentally also showed great nervousness throughout the game, Magnus probably came to the game with the idea that a draw was a desirable outcome. Apparently, he could not adjust this mindset during the game when he really got the upper hand.
Nerves, of course, played a big role – both Kasparov and Kramnik talked about their previous experiences in this regard. Kasparov:
I've never been in the same situation. All the decisive games I played, that was the last game of the game. Either I had to win or draw to keep the title, so whatever your plan was, that was it.
Garry then correctly pointed out that you could not think of a tiebreak – there were none. He concluded:
Every game was all or nothing. This is not all or nothing.
A crowded house on Monday
Kramnik, on the other hand, talked about how it might be different for some players to deal with pressure and find ways to get motivated:
My approach has always been just to forget it. Think of the game – as if I were playing a normal game … at such times, especially in a World Championship match. Maybe I have a weird and old-fashioned way of seeing this, but it's not so much about you what's going to happen … the only thing you control is your player, your stamina, do not get nervous, play as well as you can this particular moment. […] As simple as it seems.
He speculated that he could take a different approach from Magnus:
Perhaps [other players] needs another approach – just the opposite – to get [their] best. It is very individual, it depends a lot on your temperament [and] in your character … so I would not recommend it to anyone.
There is plenty of room for discussion, but the outcome of the game now means players will probably have a few long nights ahead before deciding who will be considered the "World Champion" for the next two years. The score tied after the classic part changed the pay structure from 60/40 to 55/45, but it seems like this is the last thing the players are thinking about. When asked Carlsen said he was not aware of the regulation and Caruana replied: "I do not care about money".
Either way, it will all be decided on Wednesday when Carlsen will have the whites in the first quick game at the same start time.
Will Caruana be able to defeat Magnus in the tiebreaks?
Repeat the first moves of Game 12 with comments
Judit Polgar: "I think it's the most stressful game of your life, no doubt about it"
Game Summary 12
GM Daniel King presents a brief summary of the game
Game 12 press conference
Caruana: "I was a little surprised with the draw offer …"
Game 12 reviewed by Wesley So
The current world number 12 and someone who will be on the run to qualify for the next match, Wesley So, took a closer look at the game. He wrote about the Challenger:
"All his tournaments, all the work of his life has been destined to reach this point." After completing all the necessary to achieve the goal of playing for the World Championship, Fabiano survived 11 difficult rounds to reach this last game. I can not think of any game where there's a lot to play. "
GM Erwin l Ami reviews the game
All Game Games
Macauley Peterson contributed reporting from London