Friday, April 1, 2016

Pestaño: It’s Karjakin vs. Carlsen

SERGY KARJAKIN and Fabiano Caruana met in the final and 14th round of the Candidates tied for first with 7.5/13. Everyone was looking forward to that one duel, the battle which would decide who the challenger of Magnus Carlsen would be.
If it had been a draw, there would be several scenarios depending on the results of Anand’s game against Svidler. If Anand didn’t win his game, then Karjakin would be the champion based on his greater number of wins (second tiebreak). However, if Vishy won his battle against Svidler and reached 8.0/14, then there would be a three-way tie for first, and in that case Caruana would be the champion based on a superior head-to-head result (first tiebreak) against the other two.
After Anand had drawn his game with Peter Svidler, Karjakin only needed a draw in the final round. But he nicely refuted a huge error by Caruana to decide the game in his favor, in less than four hours of play, in a game that was worth roughly half a million dollars.
Sergey is the youngest player ever to gain the GM title (at 12 years and 7 months) and has fulfilled earlier predictions that someday he will be challenging for the world crown. The sentimental favorite though was Fabiano being based in the USA and had a higher rating.
To recall, the last American to vie for the crown was Gata Kamsky in 1996 against Karpov. Earlier than that was the famous Fischer vs. Spassky match in Iceland in 1972 dubbed the “Match of the century” at the peak of the cold war. However, now in 2016, we will see the match in the USA, but between a Norwegian and a Russian player. The most popular game in America, by the way, and also for most of the world is chess.
Celebrity fans of chess include Madonna, Julia Roberts Jay Z, Kevin Spacey, Jude Law, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Gates among thousands. Tobey Maguire recently produced and starred in a Hollywood film about the famous 1972 Fischer vs. Spassky Championship match title “Pawn Sacrifice.”
The Carlsen – Karjakin 2016 World Chess Championship is going to take place in New York this Nov. 11 to 30. The format is 12 rounds and is expected to attract a global online and TV audience of more than one billion fans. They will compete for a prize fund of at least 1 million euros ($1.1m).
“I and all New Yorkers welcome the world chess championship back to New York City. What better place to be than the city where parks are often populated by chess enthusiasts,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The last world championship match, held in Russia in 2014, enjoyed record-breaking coverage with the total audience topping 1.2 billion people. Carlsen won against ex-world champion Vishy Anand. If Agon, the commercial partner of FIDE, want to keep the popularity momentum of the event, a change of policy is a must after the low visibility of the candidates. Agon prohibited the coverage of the candidates tournament on other websites on a live basis.
Sergey Karjakin went home richer by €95,000. Fabiano Caruana and Vishy Anand took home €81,500. Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian and Peter Svidler won € 36,250 and Veselin Topalov got €17,000. (Note: 10 percent of Hikaru Nakamura’s fees will be deducted for his absence in the press conference after his game against Levon Aronian.)
The closing ceremony of the Candidates 2016 was attended by the president of Russia Igor Levitin, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, head of Russia’s Olympic committee and first deputy head of the state of Duma, Alexander Zhukov, Russian deputy sports minister Pavel Kolopkov and President of Russian Chess Federation Andrey Filatov.

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