Going all out for a win to clinch the title, world champion Vishwanathan Anand suffered a heart-breaking loss at the hands of Wang Hao of China in the final round to finish a disappointing fourth in the Norway Super Chess tournament in Sandnes.
Anand, who needed a win against Hao in the last round to win the title, was placed joint second going into his final game after his winning eight round encounter against local boy Jon Ludwig Hammer.
The shocking defeats of leader Sergey Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen, the highest rated player in the world, in the penultimate round also worked in Anand's favour as it threw the championship wide open.
But the loss to Hao in the final round broke Anand's heart as he finish joint fourth along with Peter Svidler and Levon Aronian on five points apiece.
Sergey Karjakin of Russia won the title with six points after his ninth and final round game against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov ended in a draw.
American Hikaru Nakamura defeated Jon Ludwig Hammer in the last round to finish joint second with local favourite Magnus Carlsen on 5.5 points.
Carlsen was held to an early draw in the ninth round by Levon Aronian in 30 moves after a bout of heavy piece exchange.
By virtue of the win over Anand, Hao finished seventh on 4.5 points ahead of Vaselin Topalov (4), Teimour Radjabov (3) and Hammer (1.5).
Against Hao, Anand opted for the English opening but erred as early as in the 16th turn with a wrong looking rook move. But Hao too failed to capitalise on the mistake instantly.
Anand, however, was error prone and had to give up his queen for a rook and bishop on the 19th turn.
Thereafter, Anand tried to get back into the game but Hao hung on grimly to his advantage and pocketed the point after 38 moves.
Ironically, Hao, who was trailing in the last two places for most part of the tournament, produced his best in the last two rounds defeating Carslen in the penultimate round and then Anand in the final round.
Photograph: Kent Skibstad/Reuters