2023 World Chess Championship: Game 7

2023 World Chess Championship

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

Game 7: 4th decisive game in a row as Ding collapses
Match Score: 4-3
Official Site: https://worldchampionship.fide.com/

2023 World Chess Championship: Game 7
Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Ding Liren dropped Game 7 after playing a masterpiece that was the talk of the chess world. It is a disappointment that he followed his win by mismanaging his clock. Ding played the French Defense, an opening he hadn’t played since 2013. When asked why he chose the French and he mentioned that it was an idea played to surprise Nepo. He succeeded and gained the initiative but ate up a lot of time. After sacrificing the exchange, Black’s dark-squared bishop attacks and defends.

Position after 25.Rh4

Both stated that the game was normal but of course, as time control started to become a factor, Ding was visibly nervous and started to falter. Although the opening experiment seemed to hold up, a large amount of theory needed to be absorbed. As the position got a bit more complicated, Ding’s time continue to whittle down. Now he had less than a minute with several moves left until secondary time.

Ding played 32…Rd2 (threatening mate) and after 33.Re2 played 33…Rd3? instead of repeating moves. After 34.Qxc5, the commentators (Dubov and Krush) analyzed 34…Bd4+!? This is the same move Nepo suggested to Ding after the game. However, after 35.cxd4 (35.Qxd4=) Qf4 and white survives the fusillade of checks after 36.Rc1 Qg4 37.Rg2 Rd1+ 38.Rxd1. Qxd1 39.Kf2.

After 34.Qxc5 Rd1+ 35.Kg2 black is simply lost. With time running out, Ding played 37…Qxc3 but resigned. The FIDE site noted,

The game lasted 37 moves and just under four hours. It echoed the drama in the 24th game of the Karpov-Kasparov match in Seville, where Kasparov sacrificed a pawn for an attack while Karpov was in desperate time trouble.

The match started drawing some criticism. It is a bit of a contrast compared to the Carlsen-Caruana match when there were 14 straight draws. It seem like the chess world is a bit fickle.

Analysis by IM Robert Ris (ChessBase)

Game 7 – Full Broadcast

Video by FIDE

Press Conference – Game 7

Videos by FIDE Chess

Video by GM Daniel King

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