London - The
big chess showdown between three-time defending champion Magnus Carlsen
and his US challenger Fabiano Caruana will be decided by a series of
rapid-play tiebreakers on Wednesday.
Norway's Carlsen and Caruana wrapped up their 12-match World Chess
Championship series in London with their 12th successive draw on Monday.
It was an anti-climactic finish to a showdown between 27-year-old
Carlsen - a former child prodigy now regarded by many as the greatest
ever chess player - and the first American contender to the crown since
the legendary Bobby Fischer in 1972.
The result means the players will have a day off on Tuesday before
getting together for an intense session of chess played in a completely
They will try to settle things first in a four-game series in which
each player will have 25 minutes. An extra 10 seconds of time are added
for each move they make.
Things will go to an even faster-paced format if there is still no winner.
The final tiebreaker is a single winner-take-all game played in a lightning three minutes.
Carlsen will be viewed as the favourite on Wednesday. He excels at
rapid chess and defended his title through tiebreakers against the
Russian Sergey Karjakin in 2016.
"I think I have very good chances," the Norwegian told reporters after Monday's game.
But chess legend Garry Kasparov said he was losing faith in Carlsen.
The former Soviet and Russian world champion said Carlsen had the
upper hand in Monday's encounter but agreed to settle on a draw because
he had lost his nerve.
"In light of this shocking draw offer from Magnus in a superior
position with more time, I reconsider my evaluation of him being the
favorite in rapids," Kasparov tweeted.
"Tiebreaks require tremendous nerves and he seems to be losing his."