Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen won the finale of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, the richest and most-watched chess event in history.
Carlsen beat Hikaru Nakamura in the Grand Final of the Norwegian’s $1 million signature tour to bag the $140,000 champion’s prize and bring his total Tour winnings to $349,500.
Over the week-long final game between the two chess titans, Carlsen had to come from behind three times, before finally defeating Nakamura in an Armageddon tiebreak
“I don’t know what to say, there were just so many twists and turns. Ultimately, it’s a bit random that everything is decided by one game, but it has to end at some point,” the 29-year-old said after his victory.
Carlsen and Nakamura have had a fierce rivalry spanning over 10 years. In 2016, Nakamura likened Carlsen to Sauron from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ — something Carlsen seemed to take great joy in referencing on Twitter after his victory on Thursday.
After in-person chess tournaments were canceled earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Carlsen organized the online Chess Tour to keep players and fans alike entertained.
The Tour consisted of four separate events, which began in April, and the grand finale. The total prize fund for the Tour was a record-breaking $1 million.
The Norwegian grandmaster went on to win three of the four stages, losing only one match at a knockout stage to Nakamura, before winning the Grand Final.
Nearly 70 million TV and online viewers tuned in to watch the five events. It was broadcast in 10 languages across the world and the Grand Final was at times the most-watched TV show in Norway.