Who will be the next world champion?

With the 2022 Candidates Tournament winding down, discussions over who would win the next World Cup were in full swing. Will the opponent perform better this time, or will he not need to think about the defending champion again? who will win? Magnus Carlsen or Ian Nepomnyachchi? My immediate response was, “None of them!” I guess Ding Liren!

Will Ding be the next world champion? Photo: Maria Emelyanova / Chess.com

Since the World Champion decided not to defend his title, according to the rules, the best contestants in the Candidates Tournament would play for the title. But that explains only half of my expectations.

Bestselling book author black SwanNaseem Talib It proves convincingly that we live in a world with Live distribution by large margins. In other words, events that should statistically only occur once every 10,000 years occur more or less regularly. For example, who will forget the negative price of crude oil we saw a few years ago, or the people who paid millions of dollars for a digital monkey board? Somehow life is stranger than fiction for some reason.

Did you know that the championship battle between Carlsen and Nepomyashchi will not happen? number! I had no inside information and actually had no idea! But over the past two years, I’ve learned that when the unexpected happens, the unexpected will happen.

Moreover, it is not as if the history of chess did not give us many examples.

Do you remember the match between Vladimir Kramnik and Alexei Shirov in 1998? In this duel, the opponent of the then world champion Garry Kasparov must be determined. Shiroff convincingly won 5.5-3.5 and thus qualified for the title fight. But World Chess Champion in 2000 = Kasparov or Shirov? Neither! I’m sure you all know, it was Kramnik.

Vladimir Kramnik
Kramnik became the world champion – although he lost to Shirov. Photo: Maria Emelyanova / Chess.com.

Here is another story from the distant past. legendary Maya Sheburdanidze She became the world champion in 1978 and was only 17 years old at the time! This is how Wikipedia (English) describes their way to the address:

Chiburdanidze finished second at the 1976 Tbilisi Women’s Interzonal, where she qualified for the 1977 Nona Gaprindashvili Women’s World Championships. She won this world championship with 8½-6½.

However, Wikipedia does not mention how Sheburdanidze qualified for the 1976 Interzonal. something like this: The Soviet Women’s Championship in 1975 was also a qualifying tournament for the inter-regional tournament, and the top three should earn the starting positions in the inter-regional tournament. However, Chiburdanidze only managed to take the joint seventh place, and in fact the talent of Maga had to wait three years for the next World Cup.

Maya Sheburdanidze
Shebordanidze was also a “surprise world champion”. Photo: Bart Molendijk/Dutch National Archives, CC.

And here the series of unexpected events began. First of all, the player who finished third in the tournament wrote a letter to the Soviet Chess Federation saying that she would change her gender. Of course, she can then participate in more women’s competitions and for this the Federation began to look for a replacement player. Surprisingly, all the players in the queue declined the invitations one by one for various reasonsFinally, it was the turn of the young Sheburdanidze. I seized this golden opportunity and the rest, as they say, is history.

If you still think that all these examples are very unique and will never be repeated, let me ask you just one question: should Deng play the role of the candidates five months ago, when all the participants were already confirmed? No more questions!

Next, I want to analyze the game that will likely make Ding the world champion. While it may seem just another example of a boring endgame for Mega Masters to some, it is actually very entertaining and educational. Let’s start with the opening.

What movements 6.a3 and 7…a6? Shouldn’t you be developing your pieces in the slot instead of mindlessly moving your marginal pawns? Is it another example of the weird moves great professors play in editorials?

The explanation is actually quite simple and logical. Both players are waiting for the bishops to move to f1 and f8 and then want to play dxc5 (or dxc4). If the bishops then regain the pawns, both players will play b4 (or b5), thus gaining space on the king’s side and equipping the evolution of the other bishops to b2 (or b7). and GThis is exactly what happened in the game. It seems that this opening will only lead to a boring symmetrical situation, but People looking for blood always find a way to break the symmetry:

But let’s get back to our game. Can you guess Ding’s movement in the next position?

Many will now say: “What was so special here? The white exchanged a pair of knights. So what?” Well, compare the contestants after this exchange! This exact maneuver made it possible Akiba Rubinstein To create his timeless masterpiece. Note that black runners are the main cast in the show, while white runners do nothing.

The only downside to Deng’s maneuver is the instant exchange of queens. But even in such endgames, tactical opportunities can be found. This is a question for our less experienced members. What is the point of the last move?

If you find the next exchange sacrifice followed by a knight’s fork, give yourself your back. Former world champion Once upon a time was Anatoly Karpov I found a more complex version of this group:

Let’s get to the last useful moment in our main game:

I followed and watched the match liveHikaru Nakamura also played 35… Bd8. I didn’t like this move right away because it’s very unlikely that you could save a game with such a passive defense. But until I saw the engine rating of the situation after 36.Rb7, I thought Black could still fight! because it appears +3.26 and the game is already completely settled for the engine!

It may be difficult for many people to find the pawn sacrifice suggested by the engine, but that is exactly what you need to play in situations like this. This is a classic example:

After Nakamura’s passive move, the rest was just a matter of technique, giving Ding Black no chance:

Let’s see if my prediction comes true and if Deng becomes the new world champion. No matter what happens, I feel very comfortable with my bold predictions. If I’m right, people will call me a genius. And if I’m wrong, no one will remember it anyway in a few months.

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