Magnus Carlsen beats Caruana in tie-breakers to retain World Chess crown
- Deadlock finally broken after nearly three weeks
- Norwegian seals third successful defence of title
For 20 days the world’s two best grandmasters sat in a soundproof studio in central London, with only a chessboard, their thoughts, and each other for company. But finally, after 15 games, 773 moves and 51 hours of simmering tension, the Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen held his nerve, and his crown, with a emphatic rapid-play victory over the US challenger Fabiano Caruana.
Some had wondered whether Carlsen, the world’s No1 ranked player for the past eight years and the world champion since 2013, had lost his mojo because of his diffident during the classical matches, which were all drawn. Yet over the shorter four-game rapid-play format – where players have just 25 minutes for all their moves, along with a 10-second increment – he was a different animal, crushing his opponent 3-0.