Displaying amazing resolve, Magnus Carlsen bounced back to thwart Hikaru Nakamura’s bid to force a tie-breaker and win the New in Chess Classic rapid online title on Sunday.
Having won the first match of the final on Saturday, Carlsen gained the 2-2 draw he needed. In fact, Carlsen reached a completely winning position in the fourth game but accepted Nakamura’s draw-offer.
Nakamura started well by winning the first game. He held a better position but settled for a draw in the second. Thereafter, it was Carlsen’s turn to win.
In a must-win situation to stay alive in the final, Nakamura messed up his position in the fourth game and conceded defeat by offering a draw.
This meant Carlsen won his first title on the Champions Tour that commenced in November. The World champion topped the preliminary league in each of the previous events — Skilling Open, Airthings Masters, Opera Euro Rapid and the Magnus Carlsen Invitational — but could not emerge as champion.
The title also took Carlsen (185 points) to the top of the Champions Tour standings. Wesley So (145), Teimour Radjabov (109) and Anish Giri (105) trail Carlsen.