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World Championship Game 9: The longest game so far

by Shahid Ahmed - 22/04/2023

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

A Calm Demeanor - Ding Liren (CHN) | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Nepomniachtchi - Ding Liren, Game 9

Position after 17.Qe2

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.

Position after 26...Be6

"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.

Position after 55...h3!

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.

Ding Liren vs Ian Nepomniachtchi - Game 9 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India
Press Conference after Game 9 of World Championship 2023 | Video: FIDE

Photo Gallery

Marat Azilkhanov, Deputy Chairman and Head of the Secretariat of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, made the ceremonial first move of the ninth game | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

For someone who has a full point lead, Ian Nepomniachtchi does not seem confident about his chances | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Which gladiator will come out victorious out of the biggest stage | 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


Official site

Match Regulations

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