Norway's Carlsen wins World Chess Championship for 4th time

Carlsen and Caruana battle it out

Carlsen and Caruana battle it out

This showdown followed a record-breaking streak of 12 drawn games of regular chess.

Norwegian Magnus Carlsen has retained his World Chess Championship title, having beaten challenger Fabiano Caruana 3-0 in a best of four tiebreaker.

Carlsen, a 27-year-old Norwegian, has held the title since 2013.

The series starts with four games where each player will have 25 minutes to complete his moves.

"We all play worse as we play faster and faster, but his ratio may be the smallest ever, perhaps only a 15 percent drop off".

Yet those tense tugs of war were a testament to the prodigious skills of the American Italian.

Bidding to become the first United States world chess king since Bobby Fischer in 1972, Caruana, 26, eventually fell short against defending champion Carlsen, who romped to a 3-0 win in the best-of-four tiebreak series.

Caruana has spent most of his career in Carlsen's shadow but is rated only three points below the Norwegian's leading 2,835 points.

Games were played behind soundproof glass in London
Games were played behind soundproof glass in London

It appears that Carlsen kept a grip on his nerves for Wednesday's games.

Carlsen was only too happy to agree to draws in the final two matches - the last one from a winning position that saw Kasparov shake his head in disbelief.

He defended his title through tiebreakers against the Russian Sergey Karjakin in 2016.

"I think I have very good chances", Carlsen told reporters after Monday's game.

"Obviously I'm disappointed. The idea is to win world championships, not just play in them", Caruana said during a press conference after the match.

"In light of this shocking draw offer from Magnus in a superior position with more time, I reconsider my evaluation of him being the favourite in rapids", he tweeted.

"I'm mainly relieved. When you feel like you're sort of on the brink of defeat, or at least you have a very risky position, then of course it's quite good".

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