Levon Aronian, who was leading the tournament going into the final round, had to settle for second after drawing his game against Pentala Harikrishna.
After seven rounds, it seemed Carlsen, who had a one-point cushion, would pocket the title without much difficulty. However, Aronian beat Carlsen in the eighth round to join Carlsen in the lead and throw the competition wide open.
The Armenian Grandmaster though couldn't repeat the result in the final round, as a result of which Carlsen emerged as the winner.
French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave finished third one point behind Carlsen and half a point behind Aronian after drawing his final round game against Nils Grandelius.
Former world champions Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Li Chao, Harikrishna, Anish Giri, Eljanov and Grandelius were the bottom five finishers.
The tournament was marked by the absence of Candidates winner Sergey Karjakin who pulled out at the last moment. Interestingly, Karjakin had won the Norway Chess tournament twice.