2023 World Chess Championship: Game 4

2023 World Chess Championship

Astana, Kazakhstan (April 7th-May 1st)

Game 4: Match tied as Ding gets the win
Match Score: 2-2
Official Site: https://worldchampionship.fide.com/

2023 World Chess Championship: Game 4
Thursday, 13 April 2023

Nepo gets crushed after Ding’s thematic exchange sac

The pendulum has swung toward Ding Liren after he capitalized off of a grave mistake by Ian Nepomniachtchi. Ding had already shown signs of settling in after a comfortable draw in Game 3 of the World Championship match. It turns out that he moved back to the main hotel, but was a bit vague on why. He only said that he wanted to focus totally on the match. Perhaps the two days of isolation is what he needed to calm his nerves.

Nevertheless, it appeared to be Ding who was more comfortable going into game four. The 14-game match will ebb and flow and the player with the strongest nerve will have an advantage. Nepomniachtchi would be under pressure after this 47-move mauling from Ding. The pawn sacrifice of 15.c5! showed tremendous energy by the Chinese #1. The exchange sacrifice after 29.Rxd4! paved the way for a crushing victory as the knight and pawn phalanx dominated both black rooks. The move 36.e7! was a bone in the throat of Nepo’s position.

Fabiano Caruana did a masterful job of explaining the nuances. Particularly the idea of 3…e4!? 4.Ng5 and the ensuing pawn sacrifice after 4…c6! 5.Ngxe4 Nxe4 6.Nxe4 d5 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.Ng3 h5! with compensation. The commentary is a must-see and not just rifling through moves in a rapid fashion like other channels. It’s a masterclass. Well done Fabiano!

C-Squared Podcast
(GMs Christian Chirila & Fabiano Caruana)

Ding-Nepomniachtchi (Game 4)

Notes by IM Robert Ris

So what should we expect now? It is obvious that the tide has shifted in Ding’s favor. With his initial discomfort, he openly expressed his feelings. Whereas Nepomniachtchi is hard to read. His answers to questions about his well-being are often vague, but it may be a contrast of personalities. This was a bad loss which raises a question about Nepo’s focus.

These moments of inattention against such a high-quality opponent. Now that Ding has expressed confidence and the Chinese support is increasingly visible, the momentum has completely shifted. While we hate to make too much of his match with Carlsen, we did raise this question…

It is clear that we have a competitive match and the fact that Magnus Carlsen isn’t competing will continue to fade. The fans are all-in with this match and the winner will be the deserving champion. After the rest day, we are moving toward an important juncture of the match. If Nepo loses again in the next pair of games, he may tilt. He will need to not lose after six games.

Game 4 – Full Broadcast

Video by chess24

Press Conference – Game 4

Videos by FIDE Chess

Video by GM Daniel King

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