2023 World Chess Championship: Game 6

2023 World Chess Championship

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

Game 6: Ding equalizes! Another decisive result… 4/6 so far
Match Score: 3-3
Official Site: https://worldchampionship.fide.com/

2023 World Chess Championship: Game 6
Sunday, 16 April 2023

Ding powers back to equalize the match

In a completely masterful game rich with ideas, Ding Liren trotted out the London System and dissected Ian Nepomniachtchi in fine fashion in Game 6. Gata Kamsky, a London System specialist, had this to say…

The London System… a favorite of club players and also for beginners. It’s simplicity provides white with a playable position and sidesteps all of the dizzying complications of Queen’s Gambit Declined, Grunfeld, Benko/Benoni, King’s Indian lines. On the other hand, it promises white nothing, but a solid game. While there are many ways to play against the London, it still contains an amount of venom. When asked why he played the London, Ding simply replied that he could not make up his mind on what to play.

After the game, there was the question, “Where did Nepo go wrong?” It wasn’t obvious, but what was clear was that something went gravely wrong. Nepo described it as his “worst game ever” but he was exaggerating a bit. He was simply on the wrong end of a masterpiece. GMs Daniil Dubov and Irina Krush were batting around ideas of white’s strange rook lifts of Ra3-b3. An International Master named Emory Tate used to be fond of such maneuvers, but only to swing the rook from a3 to g3 or h3.

Ding’s concept was much more subtle in that he offered the a-pawn for central control. Nepo would regret it. Ding developed a geometric formation just as Nepo did the previous day.

Now the show begins.

Black’s trump was a passed a-pawn that seem destined for the queening square. However, Ding had created weaknesses around the black king and after 33…f6 white began a series of geometric maneuvers.

As Nepo kept pushing his a-pawn to glory, Ding homed in on the g7-square. Black’s rook had to keep a keen eye, but white had a devastating plan after 41.d5!

Why is Ding wasting time with this? Most commentators thought he wanted to deflect the rook, but the plan was far more deadly. However, Nepo was only one square from queening and going up two games. What was Ding thinking?? Not even chess engines suggested it initially.

Anish Giri was also befuddled. David Howell then gave the solution but admitted that people were posting the pattern in the chat from an engine. After 41…a2, Ding revealed his plan… 42.Qc7!! threatening 43.Ng6+.

Can’t black simply avoid the check after 42…Kh7? Let’s the how Ding shocked the world!

Video by ChessDrama

So on 43.Ng6 Rg8 44.Qf7!

Ian decided not to spoil the moment and resigned. His smile while offering his resignation showed appreciation for the idea. On 44…Bxg6 white finishes with 45.hxg6+ Kh8 46.Qxg8+! Kxg8 47.Ra8 mate. The most picturesque finish was 44…Qg5 45.Qxg8+! Kxg8 46.Ra8 with mate or f8 or h8. The move 41.d5! was finally apparent as it removed the e6 flight square. Amazing. Amazing.

Analysis by IM Robert Ris (ChessBase)

Game 6 – Full Broadcast

Video by FIDE

Press Conference – Game 6

Videos by FIDE Chess

Video by C-Squared Podcast

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