World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway is in danger of losing his title to his Russian challenger, after he suffered his first lost in their match being held in New York City.
After seven consecutive draws to open the match, Carlsen lost in the eighth round on Monday to Sergey Karjakin, after pressing too hard for a win and it backfired.
The lone win in the match so far gives Karjakin, 26, good chances to win the title from the 25-year-old Carlsen. With one point for a win and a half-point each for a draw, Karjakin now leads the match 4.5 to 3.5. There are only four games left, so Carlsen needs to win at least one of those games to have a chance of holding onto his title, which he won in 2013 and successfully defended in 2014.
Of the 29 games Carlsen and Karjakin have played against each other in their careers, 23 games have ended in draws, so decisive games are rare. Of the six games where there has been a winner, Carlsen has won four and Karjakin has won two.
Carlsen now will have to take chances to press for a win. But Karjakin is a stubborn defender and is noted for his ability to hold onto draws even when he is at a slight disadvantage, which will make Carlsen’s task that much more difficult.