Stephen Hendry, by winning 10 successive frames, demonstrated his powers of recovery and unshakable self-belief to win a second world title.
Hendry saw off the first of White's challenge
When Hendry trailed Jimmy White 12-6 and 14-8 in the final, he appeared to be heading for a heavy defeat.
But he potted a tricky brown, with the cueball in the jaws of a centre pocket and frame ball yellow waiting for White if he missed, to win the 24th frame to trail only 14-10 going into the final session.
This was still a good lead for White but Hendry won all eight frames that night to complete a remarkable comeback, ending with breaks of 134 and 112.
John Parrott had begun his title defence by recording the Crucible's first and so far only whitewash in defeating Eddie Charlton 10-0 but was then beaten 13-12 by Alan McManus in an absorbing quarter-final.
McManus was subsequently beaten 16-7 in the semi-finals by White, with Hendry overwhelming Terry Griffiths 16-4.
The shock of the first round was newcomer Peter Ebdon's 10-4 defeat of Steve Davis. Chris Small, an 18-year-old Edinburgh bank clerk, beat Doug Mountjoy 10-7 to reach the last 16.