Five-time winner Viswanthan Anand had to settle for the joint sixth spot after drawing with Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland in the 13th and final round of Tata Steel Chess tournament that concluded here.
Fabiano Caruana capped a brilliant performance with another fine victory coming at the expense of Vladislav Artemiev of Russia and won the tournament with a huge two points margin over world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who finished second.
Caruana ended the event with a whopping ten points out of a possible 13, a feat that was achieved by Garry Kasparov in 1999 and Magnus Carlsen in 2013.
Carlsen often finishes in second place when he doesn't win, but trailing the winner by two points is something the Norwegian is not used to.
Wesley SO of United States finished third scoring seven and a half points in all, a half point ahead of Daniil Dubov of Russia and surprise packet Jorden Van Foreest of Holland.
Anand, raised expectations of an improved finish by beating Alireza Firouza in the 11th round but following two back-to-back draws thereafter, the Indian ace finished on a 50 percent score.
Anand finished joints sixth alongside Anish Giri of Holland, Jeffery Xiong of United States, Duda, Artemiev and Firouzja.
In the challengers' section, things worked out well for the Indian duo of Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Nihal Sarin as they both won their games for a good finish. Sarin defeated Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan in what was a clinical display while Ganguly crashed through the defences of Anton Smirnov of Australia.
David Anton Guijarro of Spain won the Challengers on 8.5 points to qualify for the Masters section next year. Uzbek teenaged Grandmaster Nodirbek Abdusattarov finished second on tiebreak ahead of Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine and Erwin L'Ami of Holland.
Ganguly finished sole fifth on 7.5 points while Sarin tied for the sixth spot with German super-talent Vincent Keymer.
Results final rounds Masters: Alireza Firouzja (Fide, 6.5) drew with Daniil Dubov (Rus, 7); Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 4) drew with Nikita Vitiugov (Rus, 5); Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol, 6.5) drew with V Anand (Ind, 6.5); Vladislav Artemiev (Rus, 6) lost to Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 10); Wesley So (Usa, 7.5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 8); Anish Giri (Ned, 6.5) drew with Jorden Van Foreest (Ned, 7); Yangyi Yu (Chn, 4.5) drew with Jeffery Xiong (Usa, 6).
Challengers: Nihal Sarin (Ind, 7) beat Rauf Mamedov (Aze, 6); Nils Grandelius (Swe, 6.5) lost to Vincent Keymer (Ger, 7); Pavel Eljanov (Ukr, 8) drew with Erwin L'Ami (Ned, 8); Anton Smirnov (Aus, 4.5) lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly (Ind, 7.5); Max Warmerdam (Ned, 4.5) beat Jan Smeets (Ned, 6); Lucas Van Foreest (Ned, 6.5) drew with David Anton Guijarro (Esp, 8.5); Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzb, 8) drew with Dinara Saduakassova Kaz, 3).