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FIDE World Chess Championship: Blitzing, blunders & emotions, game 12 witnesses it all as Ding equalises match

From move 26 onwards, the game had blunders from both sides and the match stands at 6-all.




ding wins game 12
Picture courtesy: Stev Bonhage/FIDE

New Delhi: Game 12 of the FIDE World Chess Championship witnessed a lot of blitzing and a lot of twists and turns and Ian Nepomniachtchi who was winning the game for the most part, end up losing against Ding Liren. The game at some point became more about nerves and emotions than quality and objectivity. From move 26 onwards, the game had blunders from both sides and the match stands at 6-all.

The players went for a Colle System in the Queen’s Pawn Opening and after a more of equal opening, things turned on move 19. Playing with the white pieces, Ding went for 19.Bc2, which was a waiting move in a highly complex position, and with both kings visually weak, the move gave a chance to Nepo to jump in with his knight on h4. White could have gone for Rd1 and going for it on move 21 was a bit too late.

With Nepo’s rook and queen on g-file and knight on h4, he was all set to attack the white king. With an attack coming on the king’s side, Ding went for 24.c4 and allowed Nepo to come in with dxc4 and b5 to come in on the queen’s side as well.

In a moment, tough to explain, Nepo went for 27…Rag8 and offered his rook on g6 for a bishop. Interestingly, Ding did not take the rook and went for a queen maneuver. While the Russian grandmaster saved his rook on move 29, he gave Ding a chance to improve his position and he capitalised this time.

The biggest turning point in the game came when Ian went for 34…f5, giving up a pawn on e6 which activated white’s knight, which was not doing much till now, and allowed rook into the attack with the white queen eyeing a discovered check on the black king. The game was over here and what followed was Ian’s expression, looking devastated, which broke the hearts of chess fans.

nepo in game 12

Picture courtesy: David Llada/FIDE

Taking some time, Nepo played some moves and resigned on move 38.

Nepomniachtchi did not take much time to think before playing his moves during the middle game and that could have been a reason which led to such collapse.

After the game, Liren said that he was not much emotional and knew that the game was crucial, while Ian accepted that his play was not precise. GM Fabiano Caruana said that after a point it was not about chess, but nerves and former World Champion GM Vishwanathan Anand called chess a mix of tragedy and joy.