Ding Liren crowned as new World Chess Champion as he beats Ian Nepomniachtchi in tiebreaks

New Delhi: The chess world has a new world champion in GM Ding Liren as he beat GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in the last rapid game of the tiebreaks. After a score of 7-all in classical segment and three draws in the rapid section, Ding took a brave decision to refute the repetition and outplayed Ian in a time scramble.

It was all emotions on the board as Ian left devastated while Ding burst into tears and could not believe it. The Russian grandmaster, who was the favourite before the tournament began, will have to return heartbroken as he lost the World Championship match two times in a row.

Game 4 in the rapid section was a see-saw with Ding getting a comfortable position out of the opening and but one inaccuracy and everything was equalised. At some point before going into the endgame, Nepo had a better position but one brave decision and one mistake turned the tables forever.

They once again went for the Ruy Lopez: Closed, Martinez Variation and Ian, with the white pieces, chose 13.Bb1 which practically made him play with one less piece. In a complicated position, on move 18, Ding went for a d5 break which enabled Nepo’s bad bishop to escape in future and another pawn break with 29…e4 unleashed white’s light square bishop and he lost his advantage.

On move 35, Ian decided to bring his rook from a2 to a1, which was a natural move but equalises the game as black grabbed a pawn and had a passed a-pawn. On move 46, Ding pinned his rook to his king to escape checks and refute the repetition and the sequence 47.Qf5 c4 48.h4 brought Ding into complete control of the game with his two passed pawns.

While there were still some defensive chances for Nepo, with less than a minute on the clock, it was tough for him to find them as he had to resign on move 68.

In the first rapid game, Ding had a great position with white but Nepo took his chances and went for an attack. One mistake from the Chinese grandmaster and it was a draw. In the second game, Ian had a better position out of the opening but a few exchanges and the position was equal. The third game in Neo-Catalan was pretty much equal and ended in a draw.

While the wishes poured in from chess fraternity and chess fans across the globe, former World Champion Magnus Carlsen took to Twitter to congratulate Ding for his decision and the result.

Interestingly, now both, the men’s and women’s world champions are from China.

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