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Grandmaster Karpov thinks Carlsen is stressed and afraid of losing World Chess Crown

November 29, 2016, 18:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The overall score after 12 games played is tied at 6-6 and both grandmasters will be playing a series of tie-break games on Wednesday to determine the new world champion

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© EPA/PETER FOLEY

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway is not afraid of his Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin, however he is afraid of losing the World Chess Crown, Russian Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, the 12th World Champion, told TASS on Tuesday.

Carlsen and Karjakin finished their 12th game of the World Chess Championship Match in New York on Monday with a draw. Their overall score after 12 games played is tied at 6-6 and both Grandmasters will be playing a series of tie-break games on Wednesday to determine the new world champion.

"We can see that Sergey Karjakin is calmer at the moment, while Carlsen is obviously stressed," Karpov said in an interview with TASS. "I have not seen him (Carlsen) like that for a long time."

"He is afraid, but not of Sergey. He is afraid of losing the title of the world champion. Obviously he imagines how unpleasant it could be," Karpov added. 

Karpov also said that the existing system of tie-break games in chess is suitable to determine only a neighborhood champion, but not the title for the World Chess Crown.

"Upcoming developments during the tie-breaker have nothing to do with the game of chess," Karpov said. "It is wrong to determine the new world champion this way."

"Rapid games are more or less suitable, but blitz and the possibly ensuing Armageddon (game) are stupid," Karpov stated. "Such a system can only choose a neighborhood champ, but never the world champion. This is a monstrous invention, which totally goes against all common sense."

"At the very least, the tie-breaker should have been either made up of six rapid games or played until the very first victory. In this case, it would look more like the game of chess," the 65-year-old World Chess Champion added.

The tie-breaker between Carlsen and Karjakin will be only the third in the history of chess championships. The first one was in 2006, when Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik beat Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov and the second one was in 2012, when Israel’s Boris Gelfand was defeated by India’s Viswanathan Anand.

Both previously played tie-breakers were decided by a series of rapid games. In any case, the 2016 World Champion will be decided on November 30, when reigning Champion Carlsen will also be celebrating his 26th birthday.

About the tie-break system 

In line with the official FIDE (World Chess Federation) regulations, the tie-break stage begins with four rapid games, which are played with 25 minutes granted for each player per game and 10 seconds added after each move.

Should the score still be tied after the series of rapid games, Karjakin and Carlsen will play two blitz games and if the winner is still undecided they will have another set of two blitz games and may continue to the maximum of five such sets of blitz games.

The last and deciding stage of the tie-breakers is the Armageddon game, in which a player with White has five minutes and must win the game to become the World Champion, while the one playing Black has four minutes, but needs only to draw to win the champion’s title.

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