In a stunning upset, Ding Liren has become the 17th world chess champion, and the first from China, after defeating Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi in a series of tiebreaks. The victory marks the end of Magnus Carlsen’s reign as world champion.
Ding’s journey to the championship was not without its challenges. He was not initially supposed to compete, only entering the tournament after Carlsen forfeited his right to defend his title. In the beginning, Ding struggled with his confidence and gameplay, even prompting his team to consider calling in a doctor for him. However, as the games progressed, Ding’s confidence grew, and he developed a habit of coming back strong after losses.
The final tiebreak against Nepomniachtchi was a fitting end to a contest filled with ups and downs. In the last of four rapid tiebreaks, Ding snatched victory from the jaws of a draw, in a stunning race against the clock.
The world championship was closely followed by chess enthusiasts, and Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay provided analysis of each game for The Indian Express. Ding’s victory marks a historic moment for Chinese chess and a major shift in the world chess landscape.