In Game 2 of the tiebreakers, Carlsen came close to scoring another victory against his opponent. After sacrificing a pawn, he obtained two bishops against a rook in a tense endgame, slowly driving Karjakin's king into a corner:
|Game 1, Position after 78. Be7|
It looks like Black is on the verge of defeat; White just needs to get his dark-squared bishop to f8 and mate on g7 will ensure. However, Black found a life-saving resource: 78... h5!!
The point is that if White captures, Black can sacrifice his rook for the dark-squared bishop, leaving behind rook pawns and a bishop that cannot control the queening square. With this in mind, Karjakin sacrificed his rook and the rest of his pawns to force a stalemate. Just wow!
However, this defense turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory for Karjakin; the pressure Carlsen had imposed upon him throughout the match was taking its toll, leading to a defeat in Rapid Game 3 (as we had analyze in Part 1). And so both players entered the final game, where Carlsen only needed a draw to retain the title.
With a win required from Karjakin, he went all out, but failed to find any holes in the Norwegian fortress. To avoid a draw the Russian had to sacrifice an exchange, and at one point it looked like he was making real progress against the exposed enemy king:
|Game 2, Position after 48... Qf2|
White faces the danger of mate on g7. But Carlsen stole a march on his opponent, and found a beautiful counter-blow that struck the enemy king first. Can you spot it?
We show the full struggle below:
And just like that, Carlsen's stunning final move was a fitting end to an equally exciting World Championship Match. Congratulations to him on retaining the world title, and kudos to Karjakin for putting up an equally good fight!
|Carlsen raises the championship trophy|
Part 1: http://nushsblackknights.blogspot.com/2016/12/world-chess-championship-2016.html
Part 2: http://nushsblackknights.blogspot.com/2016/12/world-chess-championship-2016_17.html
Part 3: http://nushsblackknights.blogspot.com/2017/01/world-chess-championship-2016.html
Part 4: http://nushsblackknights.blogspot.com/2017/01/world-chess-championship-2016_30.html