Norway’s Magnus Carlsen has retained the World Chess Championship after 12 draws in a row forced the final into an unprecedented tie break today in London.
For the first time in the competition’s 132-year history neither Carlsen nor his United States opponent Fabiano Caruana had managed a single win in the conventional 12 game format, meaning a succession of tie break break contests were scheduled for today, at The College in Holborn.
The day started with a best of four "rapid" game format allowing each player 25 minutes per move.
If necessary that would have been followed by up to five mini-matches of best-of-two blitz games - taking five minutes each. but as it turned out the first tie break session was all that was needed, as Carlsen won the first three games to seal the world title once again.
With two wins on the board for Carlsen, Caruana knew even a draw in the third would not be enough to keep his hopes alive, and with another loss becoming increasingly inevitable, the American player resigned.
The Norwegian had been the favourite for the title anyway, but that eventuality became increasingly likely once the match went to a tiebreak, as Carlsen is ranked number one in the world for fast-paced matches, while Caruana is only ranked 18th.