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How To Learn From The Best
Ding Liren. Photo: Chess.com/ Maria Emelianova.

How To Learn From The Best

In one of my recent articles we analyzed the games of Rudolf Pitschak. As one of the readers correctly pointed out, he wasn't the best player in the world. Actually quite far from that! And yet we could learn something from his games.

Now imagine how much we can learn from the best players! 

Recently the whole chess world was astonished by the following unbelievable game by GM Ding Liren.

You can find annotations and some more details about this game here.

Such a piece of art alone guarantees Ding Liren a special place in the future chess books, but to tell you the truth, it is just one shiny diamond among the wealth of the great games produced by the Chinese grandmaster. You can learn a lot by studying Ding Liren's games and I am sure there will be many books devoted to this talented player.

Here I would like to discuss some of his favorite patterns.

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Photo: Chess.com/ Maria Emelianova.

It seems to me that more than anything else Ding Liren likes passed pawns and domination. In order to achieve his goals he frequently sacrifices an exchange. In the following games you will see blends of Ding Liren's favorites.

In the next game, White sacrifices an exchange to get a strong passed pawn to completely paralyze Black's heavy pieces. White's total domination in the final position is stunning!

The next game is quite similar. Notice White's move 27.Bf6! Yes, 27.Bf4 was also very strong, but Ding Liren cannot pass up an opportunity to sac an exchange! The final paralysis of Black's pieces after 34. h7! is quite remarkable too!

You can see more of these themes in two games vs. the former women's world champion. Ding Liren is a very stern teacher, so when Hou Yifan didn't learn the lesson in 2009, he repeats more of the same in 2017!

Here are more games featuring Ding Liren's favorite patterns. Be prepared for many exchange sacrifices, passed pawns and a lot of domination!

I recommend you analyze the games played by the world's best players the same way. Try to find their favorite ideas, trademark patterns, tricks, etc. You will see how quickly it will improve your chess!

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