Did Ding Liren Play The Game Of The Year?
Besides all the action at the European Team Championship, some more top grandmasters are active this week, in the Chinese League. Yesterday World Cup runner-up Ding Liren played a mesmerizing game of the kind that you see only once a year.
The Chinese League is a huge event in fact, with 12 teams playing a double round robin between April and December. Usually three or four rounds are organized together, so that players can gather just a few times a year. Some international players are active in the league, such as Vassily Ivanchuk, Ernesto Inarkiev, Dmitry Jakovenko and Dmitry Andreikin.
This week rounds 16, 17 and 18 were played in Tianjin in north-east China. In the match between the city of Shaoxing and the city of Hangzhou, a very special game was played on board one. We've reported several times about Wei Yi brilliancies, but this time it was Shaoxing's Ding Liren who stole the show and played what might well be the Game of the Year.
Players and kibitzers right after the game. | Photo courtesy Qipai.
Four more rounds will be played early December. At the moment the team from Chongqing is leading, ahead of Shanghai and Beijing.
However, before that Ding Liren will be traveling to St. Louis where he will play a rapid and blitz match against Magnus Carlsen, from 11 to 14 November.
Carlsen got to choose an opponent and went for the Chinese GM. The two have trained together before, but only played twice (draws in Wijk aan Zee 2015 and 2016).
This will be one of four matches of the "Champions Showdown." More info about that was posted here. With the game above, one can only look forward even more to that Ding-Carlsen match.
Correction: an earlier version of this article inaccurately stated that the game was played in the match between Zhejiang and Hangzhou.