Fighting Fire with Fire: Ding-Wei, FIDE World Cup Baku 2015 1-0

Fighting Fire with Fire: Ding-Wei, FIDE World Cup Baku 2015 1-0

Dec 1, 2015, 6:05 AM |

This stunning game came to my attention through GM Simon Williams excellent "Move by Move" section from Chessbase Magazine 169.


GM Williams stresses that the Chinese School of Chess emphasises the sharpest possible lines, where threat is met by counter threat. There is no retreat and no surrender.


The lesson for the Club Player in this game is to seek maximum pressure and piece activity. The greatest flaw of weaker players is that they are passive (I tend to become guilty of this). 


There must be at least 8 examples of finding the most active move for both sides. If this game doesn't invigorate you, then nothing will:)


Lesson 1: Harry the h-pawn in the English Opening



In this position, White strives for the sharpest idea with 5. h4 looking to attack the fiachetto position immediately.

Lesson 2: Time is of the most importance



An extremely important lesson in not losing time. Black has developed his Bishop to g4 threatening the h-pawn.

Exchanging via hxg6 is poor as White has spent tempo on h2-h4-h5 just to exchange Rooks.

Lesson 3: Get the Maximum out of your position


This sequence made a big impression on me. Observe how White does not play passively and just "develop".
Every move makes a threat, and rather than meekly retreat he fights fire with fire.
In particular, to find a move like Qd4 goes beyond the material (which one wouldn't consider if you don't see beyond the loss of a pawn).
"Create more threats and your opponent is likely to make more mistakes."
"Passivity loses you games. Only become passive if you have"
Both sides are trading blows.

Lesson 4: Positional Compensation through Piece Activity


This separates the good from the ordinary. I didn't consider Qd4 because I thought it loses a pawn.
I failed to look beyond that the long dark diagonal is ripe for Bb2 where White would then stand better.
There is more to chess than simply bean counting.

Lesson 5: Look for the most active move!
Don't meekly retreat automatically. Seek the most out of your position.
Top players meet threats with counter threats. They trade punches with punches.

Lesson 6: Don't accept material in exchange for miserable positions
This is true chess talent to me. Assessing correctly that 15. ... Rxd4 would lead to a miserable position due to doubled e-pawns and the Rook at h8 tied down to the h-pawn defence. Once more, there is more to Chess than bean counting

Lesson 7: Again, strive for the most active move
This game is simply a model instruction on playing actively and getting the most out of your position. Meeting threat with counter threats.

Lesson 8: Saving Private Ryan
In order to rescue the trapped Knight, White uses his Queenside pawns to attempt to open the c-file and pin the c-pawn.

Lesson 9: Don't entomb your own pieces

Lesson 10: Play to your trumps

Lesson 11: Activate, Activate and Activate your pieces
The activity of the Rook at g4 is mind blowing. It typifies the theme of this game as piece activity. 
Observe how this Rook switches to the e-file, then 6th rank, then the 4th rank, then g-file and finally the 7th rank.

Complete Game: Ding, Liren - Wei, Yi FIDE World Cup Baku 2015 1-0