Magnus Carlsen has emerged victorious over challenger Fabiano Caruana at the 2018 World Chess Championship in London. While spectators and fans may have been disappointed by the early draw in game 12, Carlsen’s strategy proved successful. He won three straight in the tie-break rapid games and will go home with a €550,000 prize.

Answering questions after the match, Carlsen said that Caruana was his toughest challenger yet for the championship.

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All 12 scheduled games of the World Chess Championship have been completed, with neither Magnus Carlsen, the reigning champion, or Fabiano Caruana, the challenger, declared the winner. In fact, there was no winner in any one of the individual games.

The match will now move to four games of rapid Chess (25 minutes per player per game, plus 10 seconds per move). If there is no winner after that, there will be two games of blitz (5 minutes plus 3 seconds per move), followed by two more, and finally an Armageddon game, in which White gets an extra minute but Black wins on a draw.

In any case, a champion will be declared on Wednesday.

Drawn games are common in higher level play and the last World Championship also ended regular games at a tie. For the first time in the tournament’s history, however, all games played under classical time controls finished with a draw.

The last draw attracted some criticism for Carlsen, who offered it at the first opportunity (draws by mutual agreement are not permitted in the first 30 moves) despite being in a favorable, if somewhat complicated, position.

But it seems Carlsen was playing the game for a draw. Caruana, only 3 ratings points behind the champion in classic time controls, put up a good fight throughout the previous games. In rapid and blitz, however, Carlsen remains the top ranked player, while Caruana is number 10 and number 18, respectively. Carlsen apparently prefers his odds in these tighter games.

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This Friday begins the 2018 World Chess Championship in London. Reigning champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway takes on challenger Fabiano Caruana of the United States in a 12 game series scheduled to conclude November 26th, though tiebreaks could extend the series an extra day or two.

Carlsen, 27 years old, has held the title since defeating Viswanathan Anand of India in 2013. Caruana, 26, trails the current champion by just three rating points going in to the tournament (2835-2832) and is the first American World Champion challenger since Bobby Fischer in 1972.

For those not able to attend in-person, the World Championship games will be broadcast live online (3 PM GMT, 10 AM ET). A subscription to the series is only $20.

Don’t have someone to follow the games with? Consider Mates, the official World Chess Championship dating app. According to the app’s developer, “Good sex has a lot in common with a good game of chess… That’s why Mates limits your conversation to an hour, so you spend less time talking and more time playing.”

And if that doesn’t work for you, the tournament’s organizers have also signed an official online betting partner. Unibet expects wagers on the Chess championship to exceed those placed on some of the recent FIFA World Cup games. Odds are currently running ⅔-⅓ in favor of Carlsen.

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After 28 seasons of The Simpsons, we learned something new about Homer last week. He’s a pretty good Chess player!

One scene has him playing a simul in Moe’s Tavern. Another sees World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen encouraging Homer (via web conference) not to abandon the game.

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Norwegian Chess Humor

A new commercial for Felleskjøpet, a cooperative and agricultural equipment vendor, featuring World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen… (note that in Norwegian, the same word, “bonde”, is used for both “pawn” and “peasant” or “farmer”.)

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Chess Fashion

Magnus in Chess SweaterFashion-conscious fans of Chess in Norway have a new source of duds courtesy of world champion Magnus Carlsen. Magnus’ new company, Magnusgenseren, is producing knit sweaters of traditional Norwegian style but featuring the figures of Chess pieces.

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Carlsen vs Anand 2014 WCC Game 11Facing Viswanathan Anand, whom he defeated last year to claim the title, Magnus Carlsen of Norway has again come out on top in the 2014 World Chess Championship match. After 11 games, the final score was 6.5-4.5 5.5 for Carlsen. Three games went to Carlsen, one to Anand, and seven were draws.

Anand’s performance this year was stronger than last, yet Carlsen was still able to outlast him, even after apparently falling asleep during one game.

Dress and Play Like Magnus Carlsen

Fashion label G-Star RAW has launched its spring/summer advertising campaign featuring World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen.

Play MagnusAnd Magnus has launched a mobile app (iOS only) called Play Magnus. The app allows users to play Chess against an engine modeled on Carlsen. Games can be set at different difficulty-levels, which are supposed to represent Carlsen’s skills at different ages. The Champion has said that he will play annually in-person against the top players of the app.

While the basic version of Play Magnus is free, qualifying for the in-person events requires registration at 99¢/€0,89 and access to in-app training videos is another 99¢/€0,89 each.

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FIRST MOVE LOGOAmerica’s Foundation for Chess, which promotes the First Move Chess program for elementary school classrooms, has signed on World Champion Magnus Carlsen as Honorary Chairman. The organization also announced that it has raised an initial $1 million for a fund of $5 million, which it plans to use for “developing critical and creative thinking skills” in half a million students by 2017.

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Magnus Carlsen World Chess ChampionFor the upcoming International CES consumer technology show in Las Vegas, Nordic Semiconductor will be outfitting world champion Chess player, Magnus Carlsen, and 20 opponents with wireless heart rate monitors for a simultaneous Chess game demonstration.

Sure it’s a celebrity publicity stunt to promote the company’s low-energy Bluetooth components. But I also think it’d be quite interesting to watch Carlsen and opponents’ heart rates as the games progress. Carlsen is known for looking relaxed even during the most important or intense of games. A heart rate monitor will tell observers if his outer appearance honestly reflects his internal state. Imagine the possibility of seeing Carlsen’s heart rate jump after one of the other players’ moves.

See, this is how to attract geeks to your booth.

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