Nepomniachtchi Breaks Away Again, Outplays Ding In Game 5

Nepomniachtchi Breaks Away Again, Outplays Ding In Game 5


Players and officials were surprised by snowfall, freezing temperatures, and heavy winds in Astana on Saturday, but the 2023 FIDE World Championship is heating up. In game five, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi broke away once again as he exploited his opening and time advantages to put pressure on GM Ding Liren until the Chinese world number-three made some decisive mistakes and collapsed before the time control.

It was a trademark game by Nepomniachtchi, who blitzed out his first 22 moves and finished with one hour and 22 minutes on the clock when Ding resigned on move 48. commentator GM Anish Giri concluded about Ding: “He got outplayed today. He made a lot of mistakes.”

The match score is now 3-2, as the Chinese GM will try to strike back with the white pieces on Sunday, April 16, at 15:00 Astana time (2 a.m. ET/11:00 CEST)

How to watch the 2023 FIDE World Chess Championship Game 5 live

The 2023 FIDE World Championship match is turning into become a real classic. After five games, three of them have already been decisive, more than the 2016 and 2018 matches combined. commentators Giri and Naroditsky couldn’t talk enough about how “amazing” the match is, with plenty of action for chess fans in every game.

GM Maurice Ashley agreed.

In the last five matches, none of them have had more decisive games after five rounds. “I can’t predict what’s happening in this match anymore, ” Giri said, while Naroditsky remarked: “This has more twists than a Hollywood drama.”

Game five was a Ruy Lopez, and as in game two, the players followed a rapid game played by Giri, who lost with the black pieces against GM Alireza Firouzja in the Champions Chess Tour Final in Miami last year. At the press conference, Nepomniachtchi admitted that he was in his opening preparation when he spent just a few minutes on the first 20 moves.

“Definitely the position was in my prep, but for the most part, he played quite sensible moves. It’s quite normal I think.”

Nepomniachtchi’s longest think came on move 24, where he eventually seized the initiative.

Nepomniachtchi got a pleasant position with attacking chances on the kingside. Naroditsky and Giri both thought the Russian GM erased his advantage when he chose 27.Qg4 instead of 27.Qf3!.

But then Ding missed an opportunity to recover in a key moment on move 29. 

“I think the critical moment is that I should have played Qf6 instead of Nxf5. I missed his move g4, which is quite strong… it’s a very good game played by him.” Ding said.

“Probably there were better ways to defend for Black, but I was basically pressing and that was it.” Nepomniachtchi said.

Ding’s final mistake came on move 37. Then there was no turning back.

The moment where Ding Liren resigned game 5. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Ding stops the clock, resigning in game five. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

GM Rafael Leitao analyzes the full game below.

GM Rafael Leitao GotD

With the third decisive game out of five, each better than the other, this is one of the best starts to a world championship match in history. If before the event started there was doubt about the true interest of the public due to Carlsen’s absence, the games spoke for themselves and I imagine that chess fans all over the world can’t wait for the next battle.

You can watch the analysis by GM Hikaru Nakamura below.

Chess is an indoor sport for the most part, but the weather has become an issue in the Kazakh capital. Today the players woke up to a surprising snowfall and freezing temperatures with heavy winds of up to 31 mph.’s FM Mike Klein reports that the spectator area in Astana, which is never full, is the lightest he’s seen of the five world championship matches he’s attended. Only the 2014 match in Sochi, Russia is comparable in terms of spectators.

Nepomniachtchi said he decided to skip spending time in the resting lounge, as it was simply too cold there.

The question now is whether Ding once again can strike back and turn the score. There have not been many examples of comebacks in recent matches. Asked about this at the press conference, Ding, who was open about his “emotional problems” after his first loss, thinks this one was worse.

“This loss hurt more than the previous loss. There are still many rounds where I can recover from the loss.” Ding said.

Giri, however, suggested on the broadcast that he thinks Ding is likely to recover and tie the match eventually. 

It was a disappointed Ding Liren who appeared on the press conference after losing Game 5. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Ding appeared disappointed at the press conference. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

While the new world champion is soon to be crowned, the soon-to-be-former champion posted a picture on his Instagram from Las Vegas hinting that he is taking an interest in the match. GM Magnus Carlsen has been showing off his poker skills in a tournament with some of the world’s top TikTokers.

Asked about this by Klein, Nepomniachtchi gave the quote of the day.

Match Score

Fed Name Rtg 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 Score
Ding Liren 2788 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 . . . . . . . . . 2

Ian Nepomniachtchi 2795 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 . . . . . . . . . 3

The 2023 FIDE World Championship is the most important over-the-board classical event of the year and decides who will be the next world champion. Nepomniachtchi and Ding play a match to decide who takes over Carlsen’s throne after the current world champion abdicated his title. The match has a €2 million prize fund and is played over 14 classical games; the first player to gain 7.5 points wins.

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