At the World Chess Championship between the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi and the Chinese Ding Liren, there is a tie-break after 14 games. The last regular round on Saturday ended in a draw, so that after the overall score of 7:7, the battle for the title in rapid chess this Sunday is shortened.
The last game with classic time control lasted almost seven hours and ended on Saturday after 90 moves and a hard fight in a draw. The Chinese made the first attack. On his twelfth move, Ding put one of his knights under pressure. He raised the same with move number 14 when he advanced his pawn to h4. But Nepomniachtchi launched a counter-attack, as a result of which Ding had to think for a long time and became the first player to slip below the one-hour mark.
Nepomniachtchi was able to gain a slight advantage with Black shortly before the end of the first 40 moves, but gave it up again and reacted angrily with himself. In the period that followed, neither of the two grandmasters was able to put themselves in a crucial position, the draw after almost seven hours was the logical consequence.
The game starts on Sunday (from 11:00 a.m.) in a play-off over four rapid chess games with 25 minutes’ time plus ten seconds per move. If there is still no winner after that, further blitz chess games are on the program. The time pressure in each duel continues to increase.
Nepomniachtchi won the second, fifth and seventh game of the current World Cup, while Ding Liren equalized in the fourth, sixth and twelfth game. The reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen had decided not to defend his title due to a lack of motivation. The Norwegian had recently announced that he was not interested in the outcome of the World Cup. Most recently, he took part in a poker tournament in Slovakia.