In the end, then, Carlsen kept his crown, edging out Karjakin in the tie-break.

I followed the dying throes at The Guardian website, which had a worldchess.com widget showing each game in real time. The champion’s final move, a spectacular queen sacrifice leading to checkmate next move, was striking but overall it was a mediocre match. It should be emphasised that in classical chess the honours were even and, incidentally, since separate rapid and blitz world chess championships exist, why create a tie-breaker using these formats?

Comparisons were made in some quarters with the Spassky-Fischer match in 1972, but really there is no contest. That match produced a fair few classic games, above all the sixth and thirteenth, whereas Carlsen-Karjakin produced none.

Still, the best player won.

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