Carlsen vs Karjakin, Games 1 & 2 – Analysis by IM Valeri Lilov!

Carlsen vs Karjakin, Games 1 & 2 – Analysis by IM Valeri Lilov!

The 2016 World Chess Championship is finally here and we get to see (at least) 12 games featuring Carlsen vs Karjakin. Now you can coveniently catch-up on the games without having to watch for 7 hours each time thanks to IM Valeri Lilov’s game analysis.

In this video, IM Valeri Lilov analyzes the first two games from the match. Magnus Carlsen had White in the first game and opened 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 – the Trompowsky attack, allegedly a nod to Donald Trump’s election win.

A few moves in and Carlsen has given up the Bishop pair to double Karjakin’s pawns. Sergey can potentially set up a very strong pawn center later on but must first deal with any pressure on his weaknesses.

As it turns out, Carlsen wasn’t able to bring any real pressure. Karjakin casually castled on the ripped open Kingside, confident that Magnus wouldn’t be able to launch an attack there. Black might be able to use the open g-file to attack along himself.

Soon most of the pieces are exchanged and we get a level but unbalanced position. Black has Bishop vs Knight but also has doubled pawns. While the game should be a draw, Carlsen loves playing these types of positions and tries hard to breakthrough. Sergey defends accurately, however, and the game is a draw.

In game 2, Sergey opened 1.e4 and we got a Ruy Lopez. IM Lilov is slightly critical of Karjakin’s 8.a3 choice as there were more active alternatives. Sure enough, Magnus is able to use this to gain a tempo later with 10…Be6 11.Ba2 Bxa2 12.Rxa2 Re8 13.Ra1, the Rook taking a move to return to its original square.

When Sergey exchanged Queens on move 20, another draw looked likely. The pawn structures were near symmetrical, central control the same,even the Bishops were on the same color. Magnus found a nice move to force exchanges (27…c5!) and the game ended in a draw on move 33.

So a cautious start to the World Championship, every draw making the first win increasingly important. Enjoy IM Valeri Lilov’s insights in this video and look out for more analysis of the rest of the match!

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