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World Championship Game 10: The Pray or the Prey?

by Shahid Ahmed - 24/04/2023

The tenth game of the FIDE World Championship 2023 ended in a draw. Only four games left to decide the new world champion. Ding Liren does not have a lot of games left to fight back. While he chose the English opening, the World no.2 was able to pull the element of surprise card. The extra pawn did not mean much for the Chinese as his pawn structure was bad. It was not possible to extract anything to get even remotely close to delivering the equalizer. Team Liren must dig deep and find something to keep this match going. Else the climax will not be as interesting as the first half of the match was. Game 11 starts today at 3 p.m. local time, 2:30 p.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Time is running out for Ding Liren

"The whole line is quite interesting for White... 9...Bc5 is known to be more forced. This 6...Bb4 (7.dxe5 Nxe4 8.Qf3 Nxc3) 9.bxc3 Bc5 move I played myself against some International Master... I thought it's quite a nice line... If you go for some forcing lines. Then you take some extra risk. As far as I know there is not so much White can do here... Many many different editions of this endgame, winning the endgame but the structure is so poor." - Ian Nepomniachtchi on the game and him playing the same line at a Titled Tuesday event few years ago.

Ding Liren (CHN) does not have a lot of games left to strike back | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Ding Liren - Nepomniachtchi, Game 10

Position after 9.bxc3

"I guess 9...Ba5 is the main line. I know a game he played against Aronian some years ago. He won with very accurate and powerful play. 9...Bc5 came as a totally surprise to me. I had to figure out the idea during the game. I tried to have some advantage. At one point I am wondering if I could retreat the bishop instead of taking on d6 (16.exd6).

Position after 15...g5

I didn't know if it's possible for the bishop to go back. Maybe it's not possible, maybe it's just a bad move. So I played the natural move. I guess he defended quite well. So I didn't have so many chances in that game." - Ding Liren on Game 10. Later he added, "10...Kf8 again surprised me. I was expecting 10...g6. So I had to think again to see what will be his answer after 11.Be2 d6 12.Bf4. I expected the h5 idea. If I go h4 then he can play Bg4 at some point and Re8 is a very quick development. So at that point, I decided to castle to let him play 14...h4."

Position after 22...h3

"...I wasn't quite sure if I should have played 22...h3 because it sure is double-edged. Something like 22...Rac8 would be more smart..." - Nepomniachtchi on the game.

Ding, where is the sting? Game 10 analysis by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Ding Liren vs Ian Nepomniachtchi - Game 10 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India
Press Conference after Game 10 of World Championship 2023 | Video: FIDE

Photo Gallery

Kunsulu Zakarya, a prominent Kazakh scientist in the field of biological safety and the head of the Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences, made the ceremonial first move of the tenth game | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Ian Nepomniachtchi comfortably drew Game 10 | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Whose prayer will be answered? | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

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.

FIDE World Championship 2023 schedule | Photo: FIDE


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