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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kramnik Is Chess King After Beating Topalov

ELISTA -- Vladimir Kramnik won a long anticipated unification match against Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov in a tiebreaker Friday, becoming the first universally recognized world chess champion since 1993.

Kramnik won the tension-filled match in the southern republic of Kalmykia by a score of 8.5-7.5 in a final day of quick, time-limited games.

Each of the players, both 31, was to receive $500,000 for taking part in the match, which was arranged to heal a 13-year-old schism in the chess world dating back to World Champion Garry Kasparov's withdrawal from the World Chess Federation.

The tiebreaker consisted of four rapid games of 25 minutes each.

The first game was drawn by mutual agreement after 47 moves.

The second rapid game ended in favor of the Russian. He got a small opening advantage in the Anti-Meran variation of the Slav. After the queens were exchanged, Topalov made an overambitious pawn push, which enhanced Kramnik's advantage. Kramnik showed brilliant technique to push home his advantage.

The third game ended in Topalov's favor. He managed to obtain a complicated and unbalanced position, and broke though the center, sacrificing two pawns on 33rd and 35th moves in process. Kramnik had to give up a queen in order to survive under his opponent's direct attack, and resigned on move 50.

Kramnik played the Slav defense in the fourth game. The Russian was flawless during the technical stage, and Topalov committed a huge mistake on move 44. He resigned almost immediately after seeing the opponent's reply, handing Kramnik a 2.5-1.5 victory for the rapid game series.