Norwegian and Russian tied in battle for world chess crown

After seven games that ended in draws, 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.

Norwegian and Russian tied in battle for world chess crown
Norway's Magnus Carlsen plots his next move against Russian Sergei Karyakin. Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB Scanpix
Experts say Carlsen, who is favored to win, was put in difficult positions during the two matches held Friday and Sunday, but Karyakin was unable to capitalize and convert his advantage into a checkmate.
“The last two games have not been so interesting,” Carlsen said on Sunday, but, he added: “anything can still happen.”
The tournament is being followed in-person by hundreds of fans, many of whom have traveled to New York specially 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 ($636,000). The loser will walk away with a consolation prize of €400,000.
If there is still a tie after the 12th game on November 30th, 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.”

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Norway chess champ defeated for first time in two years

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has suffered his first defeat in more than two years and a record 125 games, while playing a tournament in his native Norway.

Norway chess champ defeated for first time in two years
Magnus Carlsen at the Energy Denmark Champions in Copenhagen in May 2019. Photo: Claus Bech / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP
The world number one resigned after when he was a bishop down in the endgame against Polish grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who is ranked a relatively humble number 15 in the world.
But on Saturday evening, 22-year-old Duda managed to do what no one — including the world's top 10 players — had managed to do since July 2018.   
It was Duda's only win of the tournament in Stavanger so far and, as he told Chess 24 afterwards, “I didn't expect to win this game.”
But he was, he said “extremely happy, obviously”.
Carlsen, who is often tough on himself in post-game analysis, offered no excuses. “Extremely disappointing”, he said: “Completely unforgivable”.
Carlsen's undefeated run stretches all the way back to July 31, 2018, when Azerbaijani grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated him. During that time, Carlsen scored 44 wins and 81 draws against his opponents.