Carlsen has always stood out as a player who seeks to win in every position. Even if the positions he reaches often look innocuous, he constantly manages to apply pressure to his opponents who, more often that not, are unable to retain their balance and end up committing a mistake. And with Magnus a mistake is almost always synonymous with defeat. Karjakin, however, demonstrated that he’d come well-prepared to the World Championship and knew perfectly what he had to do: to defend as no-one else in the world can, so that the pressure of failing to win would begin to weigh on Magnus.

Turning points

1.      Games 3 and 4. Magnus was clearly well on top in both games (winning, in fact) but he couldn’t find a way to finish off his opponent and pick up the full point.

2.      Game 8. Magnus provoked Sergey on various occasions, attempting to get the game onto “his” territory, but the Russian kept implacably following his own strategy. Magnus continued to press and failed to sense the coming danger. By the time he tried to pull the emergency brake it was too late and Karjakin had already scored the first point of the match.

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