Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Chinese Harmony

For many fans, chess is beautiful because of spectacular combinations leading to checkmate. Especially when they include brilliant piece sacrifices. That is the most visual aspect of this game. However, there is another more subtle beauty in chess. It is the art of harmoniously combining the action of pieces aiming to permanently create obstacles for the opponent. That often leads to the opponent consuming precious time trying to solve the problems and sooner or later making a critical mistake. The technique of controlling key squares is included here.

Today’s game is the final part of the clash between Chinese GM Ding Liren and Polish GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda in round 9 of the Candidates tournament held in Madrid 2023.

Ding executed a masterful play with few resources. For 9 moves he practically only used the pair rook-knight to achieve a beautiful positional advantage based on pushing a passed pawn. Those two pieces permanently caused problems for Duda who unsuccessfully struggled to find counterplay.

The Candidates 2022 was a debut for Alireza Firouzja, Richard Rapport and Jan-Krzystof Duda. However all of them finished in lower positions. For Duda was especially painful because he finished in the last position.

Ding didn’t win the tournament but finished second behind Nepomniachtchi. However, because Magnus Carlsen, the then reigning champion, declined to defend the title, both Nepomniachtchi and Ding went to play the World Champion Match in Asstana, Kazakhstan in 2023.

Maybe you play chess but are unable to attend a local club. If that is your case, then join our virtual club. On our site, we regularly play online tournaments and team matches. More than 970 members enjoy that chance and new players join every week. We have new tournaments scheduled for the coming months waiting for players! Join now! Additionally, we have a puzzle section and we have recently started to practice the variant of ‘Vote Chess’. Although not very popular, ‘Vote Chess’ is an effective educational tool for learning together.

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