Ding Liren becomes the 17th World Chess Champion

“Self-pinning for immortality — congrats, Ding!!” said Magnus Carlsen as Ding Liren took over his World Championship title. Ding found one last chance to play for a win in the final rapid tiebreak game, just when everyone was sure we were heading to blitz. It was the end of an incredible story for Ding, who never led until Ian Nepomniachtchi resigned in the final moment of the match.

Replay live commentary on the 2023 FIDE World Championship tiebreaks from Fabiano Caruana, Tania Sachdev and Robert Hess.

Ding Liren only got a chance to fight for a place in the 2022 Candidates Tournament when Sergey Karjakin was banned from chess, then he needed to play a crazy month of games to become eligible. He finished 2nd in the Candidates Tournament and would normally have got nothing, but when Magnus Carlsen abdicated his title Ding was given the chance to play a World Championship match.

He never led the match and twice Ian Nepomniachtchi looked sure to win the title, but in the end, after three draws in the rapid tiebreaks, Ding Liren found a way to fight for a win and score a stunning victory.

After three and a half tense rapid tiebreak games it seemed the match was destined to go to blitz games, but Ding Liren found one last remarkable resource with just over a minute on his clock.

With best play Ian Nepomniachtchi could still defend, but Ding Liren had been almost flawless all day and this time he took over just when there was no path back for his opponent. What an incredible win!

The Ding Liren era has begun!

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