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Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen retained his World Chess Championship crown after seeing off Vishwanathan Anand of India, 6.5 — 4.5 in a rematch of last year’s World Championship. In 2013, Carlsen had comprehensively beaten Anand, winning three and drawing the rest en route to his first World title. Carlsen, the youngest player to the be highest rated player in the world admitted he was surprised to see that Anand had been victorious at the Candidates tournament thereby earning a right to reclaim his title.

Carlsen got off to a dominant start winning the second game and claiming an early lead. It was the first of three games Anand would employ the Berlin defense against Carlsen’s king pawn opening. Anand equalized immediately, showing off his thorough opening preparation opting the more positional queen’s pawn opening.

The key moment of the match came in Game 6: Carlsen playing white had a decent advantage but was nowhere close to winning when he blundered. Remarkably, Anand missed his chance, gifting Carlsen a victory from the jaws of defeat. After drawing until Game 10, Anand was forced to go for an exchange sacrifice in Game 11. Despite some initial counter-play, Carlsen defended well and converted the material advantage to a victory thereby retaining his World title.

This was definitely more of a contest than a year ago, although Carlsen was never on the back-foot except for that one move.