Ding Liren is having a rough time at the World Chess Championship.
The World Chess Championship is currently entering the third day and Ding Liren has already suffered a game loss. This not only minimized his chances to become the next world champion but also his global ranking. Following the loss, Ding Liren drops behind Alireza Firouzja and is now rank #4 in the world. Ian Nepomniachtchi, on the other hand, moves closer to the 2800 rating.
The classical game loss caused Ding Liren -4.8 and Ian Nepomniachtchi +4.8 to their respective ratings. The 19-year-old GM, Alireza Firouzja, goes to 3rd place by default. If Nepomniachtchi grabs himself another classical game win, he'll become the 15th person in history to cross over the 2800 milestone.
Ding Liren performance is not looking great
The World Chess Championship between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren has been very interesting so far. The first day ended in a draw and the Chinese GM shared his struggles. He seems to be succumbing to the pressure and wondered during the match if “there was something wrong with my mind”. He also shared in the post-game conference that he had been struggling with his feelings and emotions.
On the second day, Ding Liren surprised the masses with a bizarre move - 4.h3. This prompted huge reactions from the chess community. Many people assumed that it was also an idea that came from Richard Rapport who is working on Ding Liren's side. The move also apparently caught Ian Nepomniachtchi off-guard as his face showcased surprise.
However, the game went downhill for Ding Liren as he was not only losing on the board but also on time. The 2nd game of the World Chess Championship ultimately fell into Ian Nepomniachtchi's grasp and he takes the lead in this significant tournament.
Regarding his performance on day two, Ding Liren expressed his thoughts about the rare move. "It's just a move that is very rare, and actually I know a lot of ideas after h3, but today the game was a disaster. The idea was a good invention of my seconds, but I didn’t play it very well."
Throughout the day, both players and especially Ding Liren was always thinking away from the board. To this, GM Jorden van Foreest jokingly tweeted: "A game of the chairs. Chair that wins gets to be the iron chair."
Levon Aronian also addressed this situation, saying "resting rooms during such stressful times acts as sanctuary." He also empathized with Ding Liren's situation, who had been absent from the competitive chess scene for a long while during the pandemic.
Today is currently a rest day. Ding Liren will look forward to recovering from the loss and Ian Nepomniachtchi will continue marching ahead in this battle for the world champion title.
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