“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.
“[Nakamura’s] just very, very resilient and I just found the whole match very difficult and unpleasant to play. At some points, I felt that I was outplaying him and then he started turning it around.
“I never felt I had the energy and never felt at any moment cruising, so it was just a never-ending struggle. That’s why it became so close.”
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.