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23-year-old defends World Chess Championship title

Magnus Carlsen

Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen retained his title as World Chess Champion on Sunday, vanquishing rival Viswanathan Anand for the second year in a row.

The 23-year-old world number one beat India’s Viswanathan, who had held on to the championship from 2007 to 2013 until being dethroned by Carlsen, in the 11th game of the competition.

“Overall, throughout the match, Carlsen played better than I did,” Viswanathan was quoted as saying by Russian news agency TASS.

“I tried, but the risk didn’t work out. Carlsen didn’t make a mistake. I had nothing left to do but take risks.”

Carlsen had been playing since November 8 against Viswanathan, who is nearly 20 years his senior, in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The victory will mean one million euros ($1.2 million) in prize money for Carlsen just a week before his 24th birthday.

Before he captured the championship title in 2013, the last Westerner to hold the world champion title was American legend Bobby Fischer who relinquished it in 1975.

Introduced to chess by his father, Carlsen showed off his genius as a toddler.

His breakthrough in chess came in 2004, when the 13-year-old defeated Russian former world champion Anatoly Karpov, forced Garry Kasparov to a draw and became a grandmaster.

At the age of two, Carlsen knew by heart all the major car brands and later memorised the long list of Norway’s municipalities, with their flags and administrative centres.

A fashion model in his spare time, he made it to the Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013.

Carlsen has been hailed by Russian legend Kasparov as a Harry Potter-type “super-talent”.

AFP

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