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World Championship Match 2023 - Game 9

A hard-fought draw!

A suggestive image of Ding alone at the board.

Game 9, Ruy Lopez, but this time Berlin Defense. Ding decided to play a solid game, trying to keep Nepo at bay.
Ian played a very good game, and in the middlegame, it looked like the Russian was going to unleash a deadly attack, with his powerful bishop pair aligned and ready to shoot at the castled  Black King.

A super-focused Nepomniachtchi

But Liren defended well, and the players entered a real endgame for the first time in nine games.

Ian was a pawn-up, but the position is objectively drawn. Now, of course, the players don't have Stockfish telling them that with correct play, this ending was a dead draw, and the game went on for... ever!
After almost six hours of maneuvering and with Ian wanting to try everything to pull a Magnus in this game, the players agreed on a draw in a position that didn't allow any more attempts.

It took Ian and Liren 82 moves. The longest game in this match so far.
A very interesting and exciting game!

Here is the game:



And here you can watch the post-game press conference from the FIDE Official YouTube Channel:

Tomorrow is a rest day. Play resumes on Sunday, April 23, at 5 AM EDT, 11:00 CET, and 9:00 UTC.