Chess stars Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Sergey Karjakin of Russia defied all the expert commentators’ expectations once again on Monday, by not engaging in another marathon game. Instead of the long night predicted, they quickly reached remis (a draw) in the 12th game, and that means they’ll have to undertake a series of tie-breakers on Wednesday.
Carlsen will spend his 26th birthday on November 30 defending his World Champion title under intense pressure during rounds of rapid chess. If they don’t produce a winner, they will be followed by blitz rounds and, possibly, a final “Armageddon” round.
After 12 games in champion action that began in New York on November 9, Carlsen and Karjakin are even with just one win each and 10 draws. They were supposed to be finished by now, with Wednesday reserved for the championship’s closing ceremony in New York. Now the two rivals have a lot of work ahead of them, trying to determine who the world champion will be.
They’ll have a day off on Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday’s rounds. Carlsen said at Monday’s press conference that he feels he has at least one advantage: “I’ve had good experiences playing on my own birthday.”