A blunder by Russian Grand Master Ian Nepomniachtchi allowed Ding Liren of China to win the 12th game of the World Chess Championship and equalise the score after 12 games in Astana, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.
Ding began with a safer line of 1.d4 with white pieces in what was a crucial game for him. After Ian’s response of Nf6, followed by d5 and e3, the game saw an uncommon opening in the Colle system.
Ding was able to generate a minor imbalance in the position after the first set of pawn exchanges in the fifth move, as White held four pawns on his queenside and three pawns on his kingside. Black had five pawns in the central majority and two pawns on his queenside.
The Chinese got off to a decent start out of his opening choice, but a bishop to c2 in the 19th move gave an upper hand to the Russian.
By a string of good moves, Ian came into a very commanding position by the 25th move.
Both players blitzed out the next few moves, but an array of inaccurate moves from Nepomniachtchi cost him a decisive advantage.
His pawn to f5 on the 34th move was his biggest blunder, as he offered the third free pawn on e6, and Ding was prompt enough to seize the position as he took the pawn with rook to e6, forcing him to resign on the 38th move and bringing the score on level terms (six-all) after 12 games.
CHECK OUT THE FULL BOARD FOR GAME 12 OF #NEPODING. NEPOMNIACHTCHI’S 34TH MOVE TURNED THE GAME AROUND. BOARD COURTESY: CHESS.COM
With no rest day to follow on Thursday, Nepomniactchi will clearly be under tremendous pressure as Ding holds the psychological advantage over him. Two games remain in the World Chess Championship.
- Game 1 - Draw
- Game 2 - Ian Nepomniachtchi
- Game 3 - Draw
- Game 4 - Ding Liren
- Game 5 - Ian Nepomniachtchi
- Game 6 - Ding Liren
- Game 7 - Ian Nepomniachtchi
- Game 8 - Draw
- Game 9 - Draw
- Game 10 - Draw
- Game 11 - Draw
- Game 12 - Ding Liren
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