World Championship Game 9: The longest game so far
Ding Liren endured the longest game of the World Championship 2023 match. He is still a full point behind 4-5 against Ian Nepomniachtchi. Yet, the World no.3 oozes confidence. He answers, My self-confidence has to be based on something, chances of winning the match or the next game - in reply to a question, to rate his self-confidence between 1 and 10. Sure, Nepo has been at this stage once before. He is well-versed with off-the-board, verbal jousting. The World no.2 tried to push for a win and extend his lead but his well composed opponent did not budge. Willl he able to bounce back and deliver another equalizer again like he has done twice before? Today is a rest day. Game 10 starts tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time, 2:30 p.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman
Ding Liren endures a long game
Nepomniachtchi - Ding Liren, Game 9
Nepomniachtchi felt that Black should have sacrificed the pawn by going 17...Bf8 18.axb5 axb5. Later his opponent mentioned that, he did not go for this because after 19.Qxb5 Nc5 20.b4 he couldn't find a continuation. Nepo felt after 17...Rb8 18.Nh4, there is a very nice initiative for White. 18...Bf8 19.Qf3 bxa4 20.Bxh6 Nc5 21.Ng6 Rxb2 22.Nxf8 Rxf8 it reached a drawish position.
"27.Bxe6 came as a total shock. I thought he will take the rook. Then Red1 Nf6 and see what happens. Him taking the bishop was totally shocking. Actually after that he is still better. It is not something that I expected, I was hoping for. Also, still I had to fight for the equality after 27.Bxe6" - Ding Liren on the moment where his opponent could have taken the exchange at b5.
Ding Liren felt that the knight endgame was not as simple as it may look like. During the game, he found 55...h3! to be the only way to save the game as he calculated both 55...Ne4 and Ke7 to be lost for Black.
Replay all games
Every game starts at 3 p.m. local time, 2:30 p.m. IST. There is a rest day after every two games. Fifth game is on Saturday 15th April 2023.