Norwegian chess player Magnus Karlsen, world number one, defended his title as world champion in the match after defeating compatriot Fabiano Caruana in a separate match.
Carlsson had beaten Caruana in three time-bound games from four additional matches, ending hopes the United States had won the championship for the first time since Bobby Fisher won it in 1972.
The players have played 12 regular matches over the past three weeks and ended with a draw.
"This is an amazing victory for me," Carlsen told the BBC.
"Fabiano played very well, he was a very strong player, so winning was something special for me."
He explained that the tension had peaked over the past three weeks and that he did not feel at all times as long as he would win the match or that he would lose, and that he hung in the middle to put them in the middle.
However, Caruana told NRK television Norway that he had gone through a "bad day" and could not even begin the battle in the final match.
Carlsen, who was crowned three times before, is likely to win again, win two more matches and only need a match in the third game to secure victory.
Caruana, however, resigned in the third game after being convinced that his rival Norway was on his way to winning.
The players must play four short matches after their first draw, and whoever wins the greatest number of them will crown the title.
Carlsson's victory came after he appeared to have played in his last 12 matches to reach an important penalty, sparking criticism from former world champion Gary Kasparov, who said he had made a "surprise show" and seemed to "lose patience" and no longer want to win.
Vladimir Karamnik, a Russian chess teacher, said about Karlsson at the time "he might be tired of tension and fights, and maybe from chess itself to some degree."
"I know very well what is best for me," Carlsen told the BBC.
"This is a pure athletic decision, and despite today's results I feel it's the right choice."
Carlsen is one of several players who set a record for the 19-year-old international professor.