2023 World Chess Championship
Astana, Kazakhstan (April 7th-May 1st)
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.
BLUNDER ALERT: Ian Nepomniachtchi has just made a tactical error against Ding Liren in the 4th game of @FIDE_chess World Championships! Can you figure out why 28…Nd4 is a blunder? pic.twitter.com/EWOx9rDSjU— ChessBase India (@ChessbaseIndia) April 13, 2023
Ding Liren follows up with the immediate 30.Nb3! and Giri calls the position “dead lost” for Nepomniachtchi! He points out Ian has made an “outrageous, crazy blunder”, just as he did against Magnus in the match:https://t.co/iXyvueQRcs #NepoDing #c24live pic.twitter.com/i5Ehl7pvpz— chess24.com (@chess24com) April 13, 2023
Nepo is getting squeezed, but holding on. You know it’s bad when Anand and Krush are trying to find legal moves that don’t lose instantly. #WorldChessChampionship @thechessdrum pic.twitter.com/qNgc7Ulx8d— Daaim Shabazz (@thechessdrum) April 13, 2023
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!
(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…
The question here is how Nepomniachtchi will react to the loss. Against Carlsen, Game 6 was devastating and he collapsed. Fortunately, it is very early. The rest day will help him. This will be an interesting match of wits. #WorldChessChampionship— Daaim Shabazz (@thechessdrum) April 13, 2023
Photo: Anna Shtourman ? pic.twitter.com/Pekzn29C35
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