Ding Liren has become 17th world chess champion – the first from China – defeating Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi in a tie-breaker. Ding defeated Nepo in the last of the four Rapid tiebreaks. Ding takes over as winner of the World Chess Championship from Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, who chose not to defend his title after a 10-year reign. He and Nepomniachtchi had finished on seven points each after the 14 first-stage games played in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
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Each had won three, with the other eight ending in draws. For the tie-break stage of the match, also in Astana, the contenders had only 25 minutes to make their moves, plus an additional 10 seconds for each move played. The 30-year-old won the rapid chess playoff by 2.5 points to 1.5, capitalizing on his opponent’s mistakes, following the pair’s 7-7 tie across 14 longer “classical” games.
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