Sergey Karjakin is four games away from becoming World Chess Champion after winning Game 8 with the black pieces. An extraordinary encounter saw Magnus Carlsen again and again tempt fate by playing for a win until he blundered in a time scramble.
When Karjakin returned the favour it seemed the story would be another Carlsen escape, but the position computers were claiming was a draw proved treacherous for a human to play. Karjakin found a brilliant path to victory and Magnus later stormed from the press conference in a rage. Match on!
After seven draws you could sense the World Champion’s frustration was growing by the day, and in Game 8 he seemed determined to win with the white pieces at all costs – to the degree that our commentators wondered at one point if he wouldn’t prefer to lose than to draw.
Since this is chess, and Magnus, that aggression wasn’t immediately obvious to the untrained eye. Carlsen followed Karjakin in switching to 1.d4, and went for the unassuming Colle-Zukertort system where White puts bishops on b2 and d3.
The end was incredibly abrupt – 52.h4 a2! resigns