Magnus Carlsen celebrated his 26th birthday by winning his third straight world title in chess. He smashed Sergey Karjakin in a replay.
The chess genius from Lommedalen completed the World Championship hat-trick with a clear overall win after four rapid chess games in Wednesday’s replay.
After two draws, he won the third game. Karjakin had to win the final game with black pieces, and he took major-league chances, but he lost that too. Carlsen had taken yet another world title, his third in a row.
‘I want to congratulate Sergej for having played a fantastic match. I felt good after a few days of rest and preparation. The other match was a bit frustrating’, said Carlsen during the press conference, pointing to a rapid chess game, during which he’d missed a clear victory.
‘My head worked better than it had a few days ago. The plan was to go for the world title by four games in the replay, since we drew in the eleventh match.I felt it was a better strategy than to bet everything on victory in the last regular game’, he added.
The triumph is the most dramatic in Carlsen’s career. Last week, he was firmly on the defensive, but an important draw and a redemptive victory in the tenth game put the Norwegian on the right course. On Wednesday, he crushed Karjakin’s world title dream.
After the 15th game, he was for the first time in the lead, and after the 16th he was champion. Since it was 6-6 after twelve mainstream games, the championship in
New York had to be settled by a replay.
Birthday boy Carlsen clearly handled the time pressures better than Karjakin.
The Russian often ended his times in trouble.
‘I did my best, but did not succeed completely. After twelve games of classical chess, I tackled the transition to rapid chess badly and Magnus exploited my mistakes’, said Karjakin.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today