Carlsen breaks Anand to win chess world title

Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:56pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Norway's Magnus Carlsen, dubbed the "Justin Bieber of chess", won the Chess World Championship on Friday, playing a patient game and driving defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India to make self-destructive mistakes.

Carlsen, 22, whose boyish good looks have earned him lucrative sponsorships, a modeling contract and coverage on tabloid front pages showing him poolside, defeated Anand in ten games in Chennai, India, scoring three victories and seven draws.

"The match was shown on television and I know that a lot of people who don't play have followed it, and that's absolutely wonderful," Carlsen told a press conference after Friday's game. "I really hope that this could have positive effect on chess both in Norway and worldwide."

A grandmaster since he was 13, Carlsen has drawn unusually big crowds and non-stop television coverage in his native Norway.

The championship matches, which started on November 9, have driven the country's top sport of cross-country skiing from the front pages, and a poll by tabloid VG put Carlsen almost on par with Olympic champion skiers Petter Northug and Marit Bjoergen as Norway's top athletes.

"I am impressed," Northug said after Carlsen's victory.

"I watched the game ... and it looked like he totally broke down Anand," he told TV2.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, tweeted on #verdensbestecarlsen, meaning Carlsen, the world's best: "One of Norway's greatest sports performances through all-time is a fact, congratulations Magnus Carlsen!"

Carlsen played four draws early in the tournament, wearing down Anand who never recovered from blunders in the fifth game.   Continued...

 
Norway's Magnus Carlsen smiles as he speaks with the media at a news conference after clinching the FIDE World Chess Championship in the southern Indian city of Chennai November 22, 2013. REUTERS/Babu