Five-time title-holder Viswanathan Anand's reign as the world champion came to a heart-breaking end today with Norway's Magnus Carlsen taking the crown after a hard-fought draw in the 10th game of the World Chess Championship match, which ended here today.
Carlsen, who will be 23 years on 30th November, closed the championship with two games to spare by taking his tally to required 6.5 points out of a possible ten, winning three and drawing seven games.
In what could be marked as the dawn of a new era in the chess world, Carlsen showed stellar effort yet again by not going for a tame draw when one was enough for him to take the title home.
Instead, the Norwegian made Anand suffer for a long and gruelling four hours and forty five minutes before the Indian could heave a sigh of relief in what was the most one-sided world championship match in modern history.
Anand had won the world championship title five times – 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 -- but ironically was dethroned in his home town of Chennai.
In a dubious first, this was the only time that Anand failed to win a single game in a world championship match.
Starting with his journey in 1991, Anand had always scored at least one victory in each of the match that he played in the last 22 years.
Carlsen, was in his elements right through the tenth game getting what he wanted out of the opening and then pursuing on his favourite mission on grinding out opponent. Anand this time did not collapse and came up with some fantastic defense he is known for to steer the game to a draw.
Anand, on expected lines, employed the Sicilian defense and faced the Moscow variation that Carlsen had employed before.
There were no surprises earlier as both players opted for routine theory and it was a Maroczy bind structure on board after Carlsen came up with a check on move three, parting with his light squared Bishop for a knight.
On move 14, Carlsen took back Anand's light Bishop to even things up and it was again a slow grind thereafter that has been hallmark of Carlsen's play in this match.
With two minor pieces off the board, the position had only a minuscule advantage for white but Carlsen did not go for the draw. It was on the 21st move that many pundits believed both players will be happy to