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World Championship Game 6: The Lon'Ding' System strikes Nepo

by Shahid Ahmed - 17/04/2023

Everyone looks forward to the sixth game of the FIDE World Championship due to the historical significance of it. This time also it did not disappoint. Ding Liren scored a beautiful win where his opponent Ian Nepomniachtchi had to resign. The threat was to checkmate with a queen sacrifice which was unstoppable. The world no.2 could not make up his mind about the choice of opening and he decided to go for the London System at the very last moment. He wanted to play something which he was comfortable with and in the end it worked out. Four out of six games had decisive results and this is undoubtedly the most thrilling game of them all. Today is a rest day. Game 7 starts tomorrow Tuesday 18th April at 3 p.m. local time, 2:30 p.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/David Llada

"I guess I played one of my worst games ever"

"Actually today I was not sure which opening to play. At the last moment I decided to go for the London System. The line occurred in the game - he played 6...Bf5, I was out of my preparation. I just tried to keep the position not so forced and keep some possibility to play for a win. I think it turned out to be quite well." - Ding Liren on whether he was comfortable playing the London System and also if it was a home preparation.

Ding Liren is certainly delighted to level the score 3-3 | Photo: FIDE/David Llada

"Among all the openings of course I expected London in one of the games. So it happened. But I guess I played one of my worst games ever. It's hard to believe, I think every move was bad. Even then I get this second chance out of this awful position. I think it was pretty much equal at some point if I had played 27...Bd3 instead of 27...Bc2. Even that was unfortunate. Bad day." - Ian Nepomniachtchi on if he expected the London System and what was challenging to him in this game.

Ding Liren - Nepomniachtchi, Game 6

Position after 22...e5

"I spent most of my time after he played 22...e5 23.Rb3. This was not according to my plan. Maybe I should have played 23.b4 instead of Rb3. Before that the position was nearly one-sided. I was the one who put pressure and he didn't have much counterplay. But after 22...e5, 23...Nxa5 suddenly he has a lot of counterplays. I didn't play so well in the middlegame but I am very happy to find 31.Ra5. It might be a very critical move. In general, I feel I was in very good shape during the whole game. I was not influenced by yesterday's loss." - Ding Liren on spending more time on the board than the resting area and more.

Position after 27.h5

Nepomniachtchi felt that he should have gone 27...Bd3 instead of Bc2. Computer recommends 27...Rxe5 28.dxe5 Qd8 29.Qf3 Qd2 for Black. It rejects 27...Bd3 in lieu of 28.b4 Rxb4 29.Qxe5 Qxe5 30.dxe5 Rb8 31.Ra1 giving White the decisive advantage.

Position after 31.Ra5

White felt 31.Ra5 was a critical move. He also calculated 31.Nxc4 Qc1+ 32.Kh2 Bd3 33.Qe3 Qd1 34.Ne5 Qxh5+ 35.Qh3 and felt this endgame is not easy to win for White. So he opted 31.Ra5 as his last resort.

Position after 41.d5

The point of 41.d5 is to ensure the king cannot escape via e6. It can be comprehended well by seeing the final position.

Final position after 44.Qf7
Game 6 - Ding's London System, Analysis by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Ding Liren - Game 6 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Press Conference after Game 6 of World Championship 2023 | Video: FIDE

"Yeah I would like to thank Anish. Actually, yesterday I saw his remark. He believes I will tie the match despite my loss yesterday. Thanks for his confidence. Today it's a game itself, I feel very very pleased with many ideas occurred over-the-board. In the end, this 41.d5 followed by 42.Qc7 also, I was very happy to find." - Ding Liren on Anish Giri complimenting on his game six win.


"The story was that, today I was struggling to find which opening to play just before starting the game. I have many choices. In the end, I decided to play this London System... it's hard to say. I just wanted to play something I am familiar with. I tried to stay calm after yesterday's tough loss. In this opening, I thought I should manage to steer pretty well. It's kind of a reversed Carlsbad pawn structure in the third game. So I can say it went very well." - Ding Liren on how he coped with the previous day's loss and his mindset.


"I guess the reason is, maybe we are not that professional than Magnus." - Ding Liren answered why this world championship is having a lot of decisive games with a big smile on his face. He also added, "Maybe until now there are not so many computer line happened during the opening phase..."


The artist and the only two-time World Cup winner in history, Levon Aronian said something important about Classical chess which was resonated by Harikrishna

Photo Gallery

WGM Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Chair of the FIDE Management Board, made the ceremonial first move of the sixth game | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Ding Liren made all the right moves in Game 6 | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Ding Liren after delivering another equalizer | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

The sixth game of the world championship never disappoints | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Chess is not an easy sport by any stretch of the imagination | Photo: FIDE/David Llada

Nepomniachtchi first dropped a pawn, then the point | Photo: FIDE/David Llada
Replay FIDE World Championship 2023 Game 6 Live Commentary by GM Daniil Dubov and GM Irina Krush | Video: FIDE

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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