Game of the Week #566: Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Ding Liren - The decisive game

by Merijn van Delft
5/4/2023 – In his “Game of the Week” show #566, Merijn van Delft looks at the game that made Ding Liren the 17th World Champion in the history of chess: the fourth game of the World Championship match tiebreaker. A historically important, tense and instructive encounter! | Merijn’s show is available on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here.

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Game of the Week #566

After many weeks of suspense, the new world champion has been crowned: Ding Liren. The match was extremely close and could have gone either way.

Most of the time Ian Nepomniachtchi would have been the logical winner, but in the end it was the Chinese star who kept his cool. The amount of risk that Ding Liren was willing to take on several occasions is not something that many people associate with a World Championship match.

We take a look at the decisive fourth rapid game.

Warm-up question: What would you play here with Black?

This week’s show

The flexible Open Spanish

In this opening Black opts for active piece play and is not afraid to fight for the initiative from an early stage. One of the many good features of this opening is that Black is often the side which controls the pace of the game.

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Merijn van Delft is an International Master from the Netherlands who lived in Hamburg for many years and is currently based in Amsterdam. After scoring a GM norm in 2017 he is eager for more. His ChessBase show on Wednesday evenings has been running for over ten years now.