2023 World Chess Championship: Game 9

2023 World Chess Championship

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

Game 9: 82-move draw after intense drama
Match Score: 5-4
Official Site: https://worldchampionship.fide.com/

2023 World Chess Championship: Game 9
Friday, 21 April 2023

After a fierce battle in round eight, both players appeared to have dialled down the intensity. Game nine was the calm after the storm, despite lasting for nearly six hours. Although they reached a dead draw by move 50, Nepomniachtchi decided to test his opponent for another 32 moves. This was the longest game of the match so far.

~Milan Dinic, FIDE

Ding Liren playing one point down to Ian Nepomniachtchi was close to falling behind even further in Game , but held a difficult knight ending. Knight endings are a lot like pawn endings where players have to be more alert about tempos and counting squares.

In this Berlin, it was a double-edged game throughout which means that there was little room for big errors. Many have been simplistic in their analysis by saying that this match has many errors, but this is without context. All but one of the games has been rich in ideas with tremendous energy expended in testing the limits of preparation and over-the-board improvisation.

Ding was well-prepared with the black pieces, but it didn’t stop Nepo from trying to snatch the initiative after 20.Bxh6! Nc5 21.Ng6.

Ding has to walk a razor’s edge or he’s going down another game. While he gets counterplay after 21…Rxb2. What a game! No pre-arranged draws here. These two players are giving the type of match that will build intrigue if you have some commentators adept at explaining. Is it better to have a 7-7 match like Carlsen-Caruana (all draws) or a make like this ending in 7-7 with exciting wins on both sides? Most will choose the latter.

However, Ding is still a point behind and was able to hold a tricky knight ending after some precise moves. Nepo had a 3+2 pawn advantage and set a few traps, but the six-hour game eventually went down to a dead draw after 82 moves. Brutal fight!

Analysis by IM Robert Ris (ChessBase)

Game 9 – Full Broadcast

Video by FIDE

Press Conference – Game 9

Videos by FIDE Chess

C-Squared Podcast
GMs Christian Chirila & Fabiano Caruana

Video by C-Squared

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