Magnus Carlsen won the 5th Chess Masters Final in a tie-break playoff with Fabiano Caruana after both players drew their final round games in Bilbao.
Caruana took a quick draw with black against Paco Vallejo, who seemed happy to make a quick exit after announcing his retirement from chess after yesterday's painful loss to Karjakin.
Carlsen had to work a little harder before earning a draw against Lev Aronian, but the result never seemed in much doubt.
The tie-break was played over two games at the rate of 4 minutes plus 3 seconds increment. Carlsen won with the black pieces in the first game and then took advantage of Caruana blundering a piece early in the second game to seal his triumph.
Vishy Anand seemed determined to finish his disappointing tournament on a high in a no-holds barred fight with Sergey Karjakin, but a draw left the world champion back in 5th place.
The final standings (3-1-0 scoring)
||Vallejo Pons, Francisco
Fabiano Caruana took a quick draw with Vallejo. A mistake in retrospect?
Magnus Carlsen drew his final game with Lev Aronian
The playoff games
So in the end Magnus Carlsen made a remarkable comeback in the second half of the tournament in Bilbao to claim victory, repeating his success in last year's edition, also in a tie-break, against Vassily Ivanchuk.
Fabiano Caruana missed out on the tournament victory after a great start in Sao Paulo, but his live rating continues to soar, now placing him at world #5 ahead of Anand and Karjakin.
Hopefully Paco Vallejo will reconsider his hasty retirement decision. The popular Spaniard was always going to be the underdog in this tournament, but his play was enterprising and deserved a little more luck as a reward.
World champion Vishy Anand had a very disappointing tournament, and has been playing below par for quite some time. Can he regain his form and confidence before his next title defence, expected in October/November 2013?
Games via TWIC. Photos from the Bilbao Masters official website.