Ding Liren's Best Games

Ding Liren, the current World Chess Champion, remains an enigmatic character, despite attempts to shed a considerable amount of light on him after his success in the title match against Ian Nepomniachtchi.

It was a strange match – featuring two challengers and no defending champion – and Ding Liren’s path to the title was abnormal, featuring an artificial and unsatisfactory tournament in China to help him reach the required number of ‘games played’ to kickstart his journey.

Ding Liren
Ding Liren at the 2023 World Championship Match. Credit: VLADISLAV VODNEV/REUTERS

It is currently very unclear if Ding Liren will ever play again (he would have apparently quit chess officially if he had lost the title match); a situation we had hoped not to see again in the world of chess following the previous famous example of Bobby Fischer (a 20-years-later exhibition ‘World Championship Match’ against his ‘frenemy’ Boris Spassky aside).

2024 will provide some answers, as the World Championship will continue to move forward. Perhaps it is time for a complete change in the structure of the quest for the ultimate title.

Meanwhile, we do at least have the new book, Ding Liren’s Best Games by Davorin Kuljasevic, available on Forward Chess, which does provide ample opportunity for readers to become more acquainted with the sheer chess skill of the current champion.

Here are three snippets to whet the appetite, taken from the chapter ‘Win like Ding’ and starting with a classic checkmating pattern that should be familiar to most readers.

Ding Liren’s Best Games: Position 1

RS. Kalugampitiya – Ding Liren

Black to play

view solution

Ding Liren’s Best Games: Position 2

Ding Liren – Magnus Carlsen

White to play

view solution

Ding Liren’s Best Games: Position 3

Zhao Yuanhe – Ding Liren

Black to play

view solution

Will we see more of Ding Liren’s excellence in 2024, or will he simply fade away from the chess scene, never to return? He is listed as a participant for the next Wijk aan Zee tournament, but a lot can happen between now and then.

Time will tell…

Sean Marsh

Get the Book

Ding Liren's Best Games

Ding Liren’s Best Games

Publisher: New in Chess

Author: Davorin Kuljasevic

Position Solutions

Position 1

Position 2

Position 3

Sean Marsh

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