2023 World Chess Championship
Astana, Kazakhstan (April 7th-May 1st)
2023 World Chess Championship: Game 13
Thursday, 27 April 2023
After a titanic struggle in Game 12, this game had tremendous tension, but the penultimate Game 13 ended rather peacefully. It was a game where Ian Nepomniachtchi was trying to regain composure. He succeeded. In a Ruy Lopez, the players went down the familiar path of Game 5 where Nepo scored a victory. After such an energy-exhausting effort in filing the story here yesterday, today we will defer to the FIDE account.
Nepo seemed to be in a more difficult position ahead of today’s round: he had a huge shock in yesterday’s game where he was on the brink of winning the title of World Champion, only to throw it all away in just one move. Today he was playing with white pieces and – with this being one of the final two games – he had to push which, after suffering a devastating defeat, is difficult. Ding seemed to be more at ease as game 13 started.
This game was imbalanced with a lot of complications, it was obvious that Nepo was still affected by yesterday’s fiasco and was a bit tentative. Ding took some initiative in the middlegame, but made some inaccuracies. Most of the annotations on the FIDE website refers to engine analysis and using it to assess whether the move was accurate or not. Sometimes you play moves not because they are accurate, but because they create dynamism or a psychological advantage.
The exchange sacrifice set a tough middlegame struggle and tremendous complications. However, there were chances for Ding to push for a win. Fast forward to a critical position.
Ding now uncorked 25…Rxe4! which ended up making Nepo squirm to get hold of the position. The queens did come off and the following position occurred just before the repetition.
Instead of 36…Ke6 where white could still go wrong, Ding repeated moves after 36…Nc1 37.Re1 Nd3 38.Re2 Nc1 39.Re1 Nd3 40.Re2 and they shook hands. On 36…Ke6 one line is 37.Nxe4 Bxe4 38.Rxe4+ Kd5 39.Re2 Bd4 with chances. However, we will have a final game after the rest day. Some predict a quiet game, but Ding may come with some killer prep and try to rattle the Russian. Nepo may still be reeling from having the title wrested away from him in Game 12.
Game 13 (Notes by IM Robert Ris)
Game 13 – Full Broadcast
Video by FIDE
Press Conference – Game 13
Videos by FIDE Chess
GM Daniel King
Video by GM Daniel King/PowerPlay Chess