China’s Ding Liren claims the World Chess Championship title

Ding Liren became the new World Chess Champion after defeating Ian Nepomniachtchi in the tiebreak match.

It was Ian Nepomniachtchi who was having the lead during the part of the 14-game match with a classical time control, but Ding Liren was managing to equalize the score. Fighting for a victory in the last round Ding Liren gave it all to score the full point with white pieces, but Nepomniachtchi turned the tables and reached better position. The latter had a pawn up in the endgame forcing Ding Liren to precisely defend. Nepomniachtchi exhausted all the sources in the position, and Ding Liren saved the game taking the match into tiebreaks.

Game 14; Photo by FIDE/Stev Bonhage

The playoff mini match of four rapid games (played with time control of 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment) started sharply. It was a highly demanding position for both the players which had two Queens hanging at the same time! Eventually, the position converted into a perpetual check. The next two games looked much simpler on both sides and finished in a draw.

Tiebreak match of 4 rapid games; Photo by: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Ding Liren had black pieces in the final tiebreak rapid game, managing to achieve great initiative out of the opening. The engine bar showed equal position, but the Chinese grandmaster had better practical chances to score. It was a roller-coaster endgame looking much better for Ding, but Nepomniachtchi had several chances to save the game. However, Ding Liren prevailed and won the tiebreak clinching the title of the World Chess Champion!

Emotional moment for Ding Liren after his victory in the last playoff game; Photo by FIDE/Stev Bonhage

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Photos by: FIDE/ Stev Bonhage
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