Home Chess World Chess Championship: Video games 7, 8 and 9 – Ding’s Prep Found?

World Chess Championship: Video games 7, 8 and 9 – Ding’s Prep Found?

World Chess Championship: Video games 7, 8 and 9 – Ding’s Prep Found?


Video games 7, 8, and 9 of the 14-game match between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren have simply been performed in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The winner can be topped as the brand new World Champion in classical chess, following Magnus Carlsen’s abdication of the title. Given the change of event schedule at Recreation 7, this recap is barely longer than the others.

The schedule of video games will be discovered right here, with Lichess offering a reside broadcast transmission of all video games. Learn beneath for detailed ideas and annotations on the video games from GM Harikrishna Pentala – one of many strongest gamers on the planet (FIDE Ranking: 2704, World Rank: 34) and a former world high 10 participant with a peak score of 2770, together with extra basic impressions on the event to this point.

Recreation 7

The annotations by GM Harikrishna Pentala are offered within the embed beneath, with a direct hyperlink to the complete research accessible right here.


Going into Recreation 7, Ding had simply come off a victory in Recreation 6 and equalized the rating again to three – 3. The gamers started Recreation 7 with a line of the French Defence – our annotator’s personal favored opening for black earlier than he grew to become a super-GM. 

Ding’s opening, nevertheless, seemed to be positionally shaky with a frightening assault being mounted by Nepomniachtchi. The aggressive momentum was with Nepomniachtchi, whereas Ding needed to play extraordinarily exactly to keep away from shedding items, or getting mated. 

Ding managed to take action – however at the price of most of his time. But, the momentum started to shift and the place grew to become completely equal if not even barely in favor of Ding. 

Catastrophe struck for Ding at transfer 33. Explaining within the post-game interview that he merely believed he was shedding and his place was misplaced, he spent round 80% of his remaining time – from 11 minutes all the way down to effectively underneath 2 minutes – contemplating what to play. The reality is, he may return his rook to its place from a transfer earlier, and nonetheless have equality and take a look at a distinct concept. 

(Picture – FIDE / Stev Bonhage)

Enjoying a catastrophic blunder, Nepomniachtchi received a pawn, obtained a a lot stronger place, with a number of threats coming Ding’s approach, resulting in Ding’s resignation. 

Very like in earlier video games, the actual battle in Recreation 7 was between Ding and Ding’s personal psychology. On the board, he once more outplayed Nepomniachtchi – however he froze up and seemingly received hit by pressures of the Match. 

With this necessary victory for Nepomniachtchi, he took the lead with 4 – 3. 

Recreation 8

The annotations by GM Harikrishna Pentala are offered within the embed beneath, with a direct hyperlink to the complete research accessible right here.


After a crushing loss for Ding, the first query was once more on Ding – and whether or not the remainder day can be sufficient for him to recuperate. 

Ding opened with 1. d4 and the gamers opted for a Nimzo-Indian. By transfer 9, the Lichess Masters Database confirmed the gamers had entered new territory. But trying on the Lichess Gamers Database – the sport database of rated video games performed on Lichess – viewers seen that up till transfer 14, the precise opening had been performed between two Lichess gamers. 

A more in-depth look into the accounts revealed that they solely ever performed each-other in rated video games, they usually performed openings which coincidentally matched most of the openings Ding had performed on this World Championship Match to this point. This can be very unlucky for staff Ding if this was him and his seconds making ready on low rated “burner accounts”. 

For any gamers wanting to cover preparation, it’s advisable to play informal, unrated video games, as they don’t seem within the gamers’ database. It’s also doable to open a non-public, unlisted research and solely invite your seconds to it. For even better anonymity, notice that ‘burner accounts’ should not required in any respect. Enjoying with out logging in, whereas solely sharing the sport hyperlink amongst each-other, would by no means reveal any plans or novelties. Many gamers making ready for elite degree play – together with earlier World Championships, in line with rumors – have used these final two strategies earlier than, with out incident. 

In the meantime, those that are very privacy-conscious may even use our code to make their very own non-public Lichess server to play on, as long as our software program license is complied with. That is mainly the Fort Knox possibility of on-line preparation, giving the preparer full oversight over each facet together with entry, infrastructure, and the database. 

Ding’s opening was inventive and aggressive, with a handed d-pawn by transfer 19. His place regarded extraordinarily promising, with quite a lot of errors and inaccuracies performed by Nepomniachtchi. Ding’s time administration was a lot better, additionally, protecting tempo with Nepomniachtchi. 

(Picture – FIDE / Stev Bonhage)

At transfer 31, Ding may have been a whole Rook up – however considerations with a possible perpetual verify made him play a distinct line. Regardless, regardless of refusing to take the Rook he remained with the benefit and dynamism of the place. A second blunder by Ding at transfer 37 price him the benefit, and the place rapidly collapsed right into a draw. 

A irritating end result for Ding, however a fortunate break for Nepomniachtchi. Once more, it feels Ding outplayed Nepomniachtchi over the board, however couldn’t convert as a result of his personal inside elements. 

Recreation 9

The annotations by GM Harikrishna Pentala are offered within the embed beneath, with a direct hyperlink to the complete research accessible right here.


Following the potential discovery of Ding’s prep throughout Recreation 8, the pure query was whether or not staff Ding would keep away from the traces in that prep, or proceed with them. 

With Nepomniachtchi opening 1. e4, Ding went right into a Berlin Defence. After just a few inaccuracies by Ding, the momentum once more felt to be with Nepomniachtchi, who marshaled his items into one other kingside assault. The place regarded very scary for Ding, with the slightest inaccuracy probably costing him the sport – but once more, he someway defended tenaciously and Nepomniachtchi’s assault fizzled out.

Regardless, the place nonetheless regarded daunting for Ding, and it remained Ding’s recreation to lose. A tense endgame ensued, which regarded drawn however regarded more durable to defend for Ding. After 82 strikes, the place was an apparent draw and the gamers shook fingers, making this the longest recreation of the match to this point. 

Snap verdict

Within the final three video games of this very thrilling match, we’ve got had huge quantities of drama. Staff Ding haven’t caught any breaks – with a freeze harking back to Recreation 2’s collapse, and a possible discovery of their preparation – months of labor and concepts which is an absolute catastrophe for them if true. 

Nepomniachtchi at present leads 5 – 4, so in one of the best case situation for Nepomniachtchi, in simply three extra video games the match, and a brand new World Champion, might be determined. Given what we’ve seen within the video games themselves, it continues to be a coin toss. Ding is getting strong probabilities and sometimes outplays Nepomniachtchi on the board, however his time administration and psychological state are his actual opponents right here. 

(Picture – FIDE / Stev Bonhage)

But when his prep has really been found, he might wrestle to get convertible benefits in future video games – and with Nepomniachtchi within the lead, he has an actual uphill wrestle now, with little or no room for error. 

Whereas this creator has been optimistic of Ding’s probabilities, a comeback by him at this level within the match, with all of those inside and exterior elements in opposition to him – would make this a comeback of the ages – the form of factor that might go down in chess historical past. Whereas that’s by no means unattainable, it seems to be more and more distant, barring some type of collapse from Nepomniachtchi. 

Lichess is repeatedly operating World Championship Thematic Arenas on the times of the event – with positions taken from the video games. Be sure you comply with our social media to see when the subsequent one can be!

(Title picture – FIDE / Stev Bonhage)



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