Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for World Chess(LONDON) — The world's next chess champion will be decided Wednesday in London.
Reigning champion, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, and his American challenger, Fabiano Caruana, have so far battled it out in an intriguing series of 12 games throughout the month of November, ending in 12 draws.
Now a series of rapid-fire tiebreaks will decide the winner, who will earn the prestigious title of world champion and a 1 million euro cash prize, or approximately $1.1 million.
The Finalists
Three-time world champion Carlsen, 27, is the favorite. Dubbed the “Mozart of Chess,” the Norwegian has dominated the world of chess in recent years, injecting much needed glamour into the sport with his aggressive style and part-time modeling career.
In 2003, he became one of the youngest grandmasters of all time at the age of 13. At 19 he was ranked No. 1. Two years later he became the highest-rated chess player in history, beating his mentor, the legendary Gary Kasparov. Carlsen’s first world title followed a year later.
Carlsen has also modeled with Liv Styler in 2010 for G-Star Raw, was voted one of the “sexiest men of 2013” by Cosmopolitan and was featured in TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in the world. He has enchanted the world of chess and beyond in the same way a young American by the name of Bobby Fischer, the last American to win the world chess championship, once did in the Cold War era of the 1970s.
Another prodigious talent, Caruana became a grandmaster at 14 years old and is attracting widespread international interest himself.
A year younger than Carlsen, Caruana has surpassed expectations so far. If he triumphs, the Florida-born talent could become the first American to win the world champions since Fischer shocked the world in 1972.
The Final Game
Four rapid games will take place. There will be 25 minutes allocated for each player, with 10 seconds added to the timer in each move.
If that series ends in a tie, the stakes get even higher. A match of two games will be played with 5 minutes on the clock and only 3 seconds added on for each move. If there is no winner after five of these matches, things will really start to get interesting.
If neither Carlsen nor Caruana have found a way to break the deadlock, sudden-death takes place. The commander of the white pieces, moving first, will receive 5 minutes on the clock. The player of the black pieces will have 4 minutes. In the event of a draw, black will be declared the world champion. Stay tuned.
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