Kramnik won the tension-filled match by a score of 8.5-7.5 in a final day of quick, time-limited games.
Each of the 31-year-old players was to receive US$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.
Kramnik secured his victory in the fourth game Friday, which Kramnik won with White. Friday’s score was 2.5-1.5.
Kramnik is world chess champion
The chess world has an undisputed world champion for the first time since 1993, after Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik won a reunification match in a tie-break.
His match with Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov was tied 6-6 at the end of the scheduled series.
In a tiebreaker series of four rapid-play games, Kramnik won the final one to beat his rival 8.5-7.5 overall.
The match reunified two rival chess organisations which split apart 13 years ago.
The dispute dated from the occasion when Garry Kasparov withdrew from the World Chess Federation.
Veselin Topalov was recognised as the World Chess Champion, and Vladimir Kramnik the Classical World Champion.
As Topalov resigned in the final game, Kramnik stood up and celebrated his victory by clutching his hands above his head, as his team erupted in joyful cheers.
“We are planning to get drunk with my friends today,” he said.
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Topalov, who is known for aggressive play, won his title of World Chess Champion in October 2005. Kramnik, whom enthusiasts liken to a boa constrictor for his slow but deadly play, has been the classical world champion since 2000, when he defeated Kasparov.
Now the two championships have merged under the aegis of the World Chess Federation, known by its French acronym FIDE.
“Life goes on, I am 31, and I still have a chance to fight for the champion’s title,” Topalov said.
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