Russian, Norwegian tied in battle for world chess crown

The tournament is being followed in-person by hundreds of fans, many of whom have travelled to New York especially for the matches. With every draw, the players earn 0.5 points, meaning after seven draws Carlsen and Karyakin each have 3.5 points. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP New York, United States Nov 21, 2016, 07.33 AM (IST)

After seven games that ended in draws, the suspense is mounting at the World Chess Championship, where Norway's reigning world champ Magnus Carlsen and Russian grandmaster Sergei Karyakin are tied in an epic battle.

Experts say, Carlsen, who is favoured to win, was put in difficult positions during the two matches held Friday and Sunday, but Karyakin was unable to capitalise and convert his advantage into a checkmate.

"The last two games have not been so interesting," Carlsen said Sunday, but, he added: "anything can still happen."

The tournament is being followed in-person by hundreds of fans, many of whom have travelled to New York especially for the matches.

With every draw, the players earn 0.5 points, meaning after seven draws Carlsen and Karyakin each have 3.5 points.

A victory is worth 1.0 point.

The first to reach 6.5 points will be declared world champion and will take home 600,000 euros ($636,000). The loser will walk away with a consolation prize of 400,000 euros.

If there is still a tie after the 12th game on November 30, new matches will be scheduled.

The tournament is remarkable for the youth of the two players: Carlsen is 25 and Karyakin is 26.  

It is also the first between players who came of age in the computer era, representing a generational shift in the game.

The battle has prompted comparisons with the 1972 showdown between American Bobby Fischer and the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky, two rivals in the Cold War-era whose showdown was dubbed the "Match of the Century".

(AFP)