Ding Liren wins match against Wesley So

by Johannes Fischer
5/11/2016 – Ding Liren, China's number one and currently number nine on the FIDE Elo-list from 1st May, wants to establish himself firmly among the world's best. To gain more experience against top players, from 4th to 8th May the Chinese grandmaster played a four game match against Wesley So, currently number ten in the world. Ding Liren won the match 2.5-1.5.

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Ding Liren pressed from the very start. In the first game, in which Ding Liren had White, he obtained a slight plus after the opening but under pressure So found a tactical resource to force the draw with a perpetual.


In game two So came up with a novelty in the Open Spanish but this attempt to avoid well-known lines almost backfired. Ding Liren had no trouble to equalize and even had the better chances - which, however, he again failed to use.


But in game three Ding Liren finally was more lucky. He proved to be very well prepared and emerged with a better position from the opening. This time, So failed to withstand the pressure and Ding Liren managed to convert his advantage to a full point.


Now So had to win the fourth and last game to equalize the match and to force a tie-break. But with colors reversed this game followed the same pattern as the first two games: So got an advantage but Ding Liren defended stubbornly and finally managed to hold the draw and to win the match.



Ding Liren receiving a trophy and a big check. However, the sum on the check
seems to be exaggerated. The winner of the match received "only" 20,000 US-Dollars.

Wesley So lost the match and had to content himself with 10,000 Dollars.

Organisers and players

In the Live-Rating list Ding Liren is now number seven in the world, ahead of Anish Giri and Sergey Karjakin.

Photos: Tournament page...


Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".