A hard-fought draw determined the end of the classical play in this World Championship Match.
Ninety moves. Ian and Liren tried everything until the very end but to no avail. The game started with the very young Alanna Berikkyzy, winner of the FIDE World School Chess Championship in the Girls under nine category, making the first move for white.
Ding opened with 1.d4, and the players got into a Nimzo-Indian Defense with 4.e3, 0-0. At move 12, Liren decided to go for a known variant with 12.Ng5.
Ian, whose "poker face" is not known to be the best, expressed clearly his not being impressed at all:
Ding went on and played 13.h4 after Ian's 12...h6
After Liren's move, Ian looked relaxed and even hinted at a smile. Play can get dangerous for Black if he takes the knight, but obviously, Ian knows better.
The game was long and tiring, but there has not been a clear advantage for either player. Both the Russian and the Chinese played very well, conceding little to nothing to the opponent.
The endgame, after the middlegame liquidation, looked drawish, but the two Candidates kept going for almost seven hours.
Here is the game:
And here is the press conference from the FIDE Official YouTube Channel
Tomorrow, at 5 AM EDT (11:00 CET - 9:00 UTC), the 2023 World Championship will be decided.
Here is how the tie will be broken:
Don't miss the action!