The World Chess Championship is headed to a tiebreaker after, for the first time in the competition’s history, each of the 12 regular games ended in a draw.
The competition is taking place in London at The College in Holborn. The competitors, reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and American challenger Fabiano Caruana, have been deadlocked since the beginning of their match Nov. 9.
The match has consisted of about 48 hours of gameplay, with more than 600 moves made. The winner will now be determined by a complex structure of fast-paced tiebreaker games. If the players remain drawn after two more rounds of tiebreakers, the match will enter a rarely seen sudden-death “Armageddon” game. (RELATED: The Media’s Female African Chess ‘Prodigy’ Is Actually Nothing Of The Sort)
The 26-year-old Caruana, who comes from Miami, is the number 2 ranked player in the world. He has the opportunity to be the first American World Chess champion since Bobby Fischer in 1972.
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The prize fund for the Championship is one million Euros, to be split 55-45 percent between the winner and the loser respectively, due to the tie-break scenario. In non-tie-break scenarios, the winner claims 60 percent of the purse.
Even prior to their marathon championship match, Carlsen and Caruana were extremely familiar with each other. In their 56 prior head-to-head matches, Carlsen emerged victorious 23 times, with Caruana winning 11 times, and 22 draws.