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Ding and Nepomniachtchi all-square earlier than ultimate showdown

Ding Liren acquired a dream place with the black items after the opening of Recreation 13, however one puzzling transfer and one actual inaccuracy allowed Ian Nepomniachtchi proper again into the sport. In reality it was Ian who had the probabilities after Ding sacrificed the trade, however ultimately the sport led to a comparatively fast draw by repetition. The scores are degree going into Saturday’s ultimate classical recreation, when Ding has the white items.

Replay the reside commentary on Recreation 13 of the FIDE World Championship match in Astana from Fabiano Caruana, Tania Sachdev and Robert Hess (or try the sport with laptop evaluation).

Each earlier occasions that Ding Liren had scored a win within the match he misplaced the very subsequent recreation, however this time he held a draw to maintain the scores degree going into the ultimate classical recreation. Because the participant with the white items, he now has an edge for the primary time within the match.

It may need been extra, nonetheless, since Ian Nepomniachtchi was nonetheless reeling from the dream-shattering loss in Recreation 12, simply when he’d appeared on the verge of wrapping up victory within the match. He was requested how he’d been capable of come again and play in Recreation 13.

It wasn’t the sweetest second yesterday. In the present day I simply got here and tried to play chess, which clearly was not too good… however I attempted!

Ian did change one factor.

On the chessboard, nonetheless, it was a well-known story, with neither facet within the temper for a fast draw. Ian performed the Ruy Lopez, and Ding Liren once more performed the classical Ruy Lopez with 3…a6, relatively than the Berlin, after a 37-second pause. The gamers headed for the Anti-Marshall, and it was solely on transfer 10 that Ian Nepomniachtchi diversified from the ten.a4 that had given him victory in Recreation 5.

Right here Ian went for a quintessentially fashionable opening concept, 10.Be3, which was nothing particular however had the advantage of being playable however fully untested on the highest degree. If Staff Nepo knew some nuances that Ding Liren must work out on the board, it may very well be a key issue.

All of the items remaining on the board gave the potential for pleasure, with Ukrainian Grandmaster Pavel Eljanov questioning if that was a good suggestion for Ian.

Ian performed quick, as you’ll count on after enjoying the primary uncommon transfer, however then sank into thought earlier than enjoying 14.d4!?

The decision all spherical afterwards was that he ought to have performed 14.axb5! axb5 and solely then pushed the d-pawn.

After 14…exd4 15.cxd4 cxd4 16.Nxd4 Nc4! Ian may need muttered to himself, “not once more!”

The knight is all of the sudden hitting the b2-pawn, the e3-bishop and the d2-knight, one of many defenders of the shaky e4-pawn.

Ian determined drastic measures have been obligatory and eradicated the knight with 17.Nxc4!?, however after 17… bxc4 18.f3!? Bf8 19.Bf2!? Ding Liren all however blitzed out 19…d5!

Ding commented afterwards:

This d5-break I’m very completely satisfied to play, as a result of it’s like some type of Sicilian Defence, and if Black can efficiently play d5 then he has no drawback in any respect. You can too hope for some benefit after that.

Quickly we acquired to maybe the vital place of the sport, after Ian performed 21.Be4.

Ding Liren stated his first intuition right here was to defend the bishop, and goal the b2-pawn, with 21…Rb8!, which will get the pc’s stamp of approval. If he’d made the transfer quick you surprise if Ian would have crumbled below the rising strain.

The explanation Ding didn’t go for it, nonetheless, was that he felt it was “not really easy to show a transparent benefit” after 21…Rb8 22.Bxd5 Bxd5 23.Qd2.

He was additionally tempted by the shocking 21…Nf4!?, when after 22.Bxb7 it seems 22…Qg5 or 22…Rb8 first provides Black full compensation for the piece, however in all probability no extra. Ding’s purpose for rejecting that was altogether extra poetic — if it wasn’t primarily based on a guess along with his second Richard Rapport!

At this level, Fabiano Caruana was busy explaining to viewers that he felt the match was following a film plot.

I believe that this match is following the plot of a traditional film, and the film is Remaining Vacation spot. In Recreation 8, Ian was in a life-or-death scenario, and in some way, by a miracle, he survived. Then there have been just a few quiet video games the place all the pieces was going properly, after which he thought that all the pieces was persevering with to go properly, however out of the blue, Loss of life got here for him in that recreation yesterday. And now he has to discover a solution to cease Loss of life, which is continuous to return for him, and it’s going to be very troublesome from this place. I actually really feel like I’m seeing some correlation between that film and this match, and who is aware of, if he manages to cease it, then within the final recreation he’ll be in fairly good condition to get to the playoff, however that is essentially the most harmful second within the match for Ian.

After 25 minutes, nonetheless, Ding Liren got here up with a transfer that stunned everyone, 21…Re5!?

Ding later famous the oddity that the centre of the board was fully occupied by items, not pawns, and he defined his motivation for the transfer.

I needed to play for the utmost by 21…Re5, to try to defend the pawn and knight with a rook, nevertheless it additionally has some drawbacks.

Nepomniachtchi referred to as the rook transfer “synthetic” and as a substitute instructed that “one thing like 21…Qc7, 22…Rad8 would work like a allure for Black”.

Ian’s spirits have been clearly lifted once more, although his quickly-played 22.Rc1 Rc8 23.Ne2?! may need run into bother if Ding had discovered the exact 23…Qe8!. As a substitute 23…Qe7?!, defending the e5-rook and the b7-bishop, ran right into a refutation, 24.Qd4!

Ding confessed to lacking that “very highly effective transfer”. Within the centre of the board the queen hits the e5-rook and the c4-pawn, tremendously limiting Black’s choices, whereas getting ready the d1-square for a rook.

If the queen was on e8 then Bc5, ousting the queen, could be one of many choices, and the pc even suggests the “correction” 23…Qe8 as one of the best transfer within the place. As a substitute Ding pressed on with one of many factors of his Re5 transfer, 24…f5!?, however with out the specter of Bc5, trapping the queen, Nepomniachtchi was capable of reply 25.Bg3, when Ding had a selection of methods to sacrifice the trade. He went for 25…Rxe4!?

After 26.fxe4 Qxe4 27.Qxe4 fxe4 the complicated middlegame had come right down to an endgame the place Ding had a bishop and a pawn for a rook.

It was simply the most recent twist within the match, however as Fabiano Caruana identified, issues weren’t so dangerous if Ding might neglect about what had gone earlier than.

The one purpose that it is not successful for Ding is as a result of he had a very good place, so he should not be making an attempt to battle for a draw on this recreation.

Ian felt the identical, saying of his benefit, “I’m undecided if it was loads”, and identified that simply as he’d been capable of survive “move-by-move” within the middlegame, now all the pieces was understanding tactically for Ding. The positionally fascinating 33…Nd3! got here simply in time.

As a substitute retreating the attacked d5-bishop would have led to catastrophe, e.g. after 33…Bb7 34.Nxe4! Bxe4 35.Rxc4, with all three black minor items attacked.

Nepomniachtchi might have missed an opportunity to trade off that monster knight with 36.Ne2! and 37.Nf4, however by this stage it appears each gamers have been completely satisfied to finish hostilities. As a substitute he selected 36.Re2, which turned out to be the ultimate key place of the sport.

Ding went for 36…Nc1 and after 37.Re1 Nd3 38.Re2 the gamers repeated strikes for a draw. Ian commented:

I didn’t see why I’m higher. My rook is passive, and the issue is that he all the time has the counterplay towards the b-pawn, so he’s not obliged to guard on e4.

Ian additionally noticed an amusing line, 37.Nxe4, giving again the trade and hoping to get a microscopically higher place, however then he observed 37…Bg1+!

The compelled 40.Kxg1 Nxe2+ 41.Kf2 Bxe4 42.Kxe2 is a completely dead-drawn opposite-coloured bishops endgame.

Ding Liren, in the meantime, stated he thought of 36…Ke6, “to play for a win”, however he appropriately noticed that 36.Nxe4 Bxe4 37.Rxe4+ Kd5 38.Re8 Nxb2 39.Rd8+ is just one other completely logical draw.

The black king has to cease White enjoying Be5, hitting the knight and g7-pawn, so 39…Ke4, however then after 40.Re8+ the king has just one selection, to return with 40…Kd5, and the place repeats once more for a draw.

The World Championship match stays tied going into the ultimate classical recreation.

The penultimate recaps adopted, with MrDodgy getting his second within the solar. What might probably go fallacious?

Ding Liren seemed assured within the press convention, and gave a shocking reply when requested about his win the day earlier than.

I didn’t have too robust feelings after yesterday’s win. It’s regular, it’s common degree. I noticed Ian seemed very, very upset when he missed Rxe6, however at that time I simply tried to give attention to the place and never be influenced by him… The emotion may happen later, not instantly after the sport.

On paper he now has the benefit for the primary time within the match, since he’ll have the white items within the ultimate classical recreation, although he famous that may very well be a double-edged sword.

It’s presupposed to be a bonus, but additionally an obstacle. I keep in mind the Topalov-Anand match, the place Topalov had the white items within the final recreation, however he dissatisfied and so I’ve a relaxation day to see what to play for the final, or perhaps not the final, recreation.

Ding already misplaced within the match with White in Recreation 2, after which very almost once more in Recreation 12. For Ian, in the meantime, the remaining day will probably be one other likelihood to recover from the trauma of that Recreation 12. The stakes on Saturday will probably be extremely excessive, although some are already getting ready for tiebreaks on Sunday!

Don’t miss all of the motion from 15:00 native time (5am ET, 11:00 CEST, 2:30pm IST)!

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