With a final round victory over Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin won the Candidates Tournament 2016, thus securing the right to play the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a World Championship match later this year.
Going into the fourteenth and final round, Karjakin and Caruana were tied at the top of the table with 7.5 points each. Add to it the fact that the duo were to clash against each other in the final round, the tournament was all set for an exciting finish. The game, as it turned out, lived up to the hype.
The Karjakin-Caruana clash took off with the Rauzer Sicilian. A complex battle ensued, whereby both the players tried to generate as much activity as possible. However, Caruana’s inaccurate 36th move allowed Karjakin to wheel out a beautiful Rook sacrifice. From that point on, matters quickly fell apart for Caruana, with the American Grandmaster resigning on move 42.
All the other games viz. Svidler-Anand, Giri-Topalov and Nakamura-Aronian resulted in draws.
The Carlsen-Karjakin World Championship match will be held in New York City this November. As it turns out, this match will be the ‘youngest’ ever undisputed World Championship match in the history of chess.