China's Ding Liren won an epic see-saw struggle



D-Day as Ding and Dubov go through to face each other in the semi

China's Ding Liren won an epic see-saw struggle today to set up a D-Day semi-final clash against Daniil Dubov.

Ding's all-China battle with Yu Yangyi was decided in an Armageddon play-off after three days of rapid chess left it all-square.

Meanwhile, Dubov battered his countryman Sergey Karjakin 3-0 to end a fascinating Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge tie on top.

Ding and Dubov, who revealed he's been playing with a touchpad, will now meet on Friday in the second of the Rapid Challenge semi-finals.

Following the match, Dubov said he was "really pessimistic" about his upcoming semi because he always loses against Chinese players.

"When you play the Chinese it's sort of a masochistic experience - they beat you and you go home!" he said. 

Yu-Ding was the tighter quarter-final than Dubov's and it started predictably with yet another draw.

But in the second, "The Chinese Wall" Ding uncharacteristically collapsed with the White pieces leaving Yu in the lead.

Then from 1.5-0.5 behind, Ding came back into it with a vital win in the third.

The final game ended in a draw to take the match to a final Armageddon tiebreak which ended with both players playing for time as the clock ran down.

Meanwhile, in the other decider, there were plenty of fireworks in the Dubov-Karjakin match despite the final score.

It ended a thrilling quarter-final tie that saw no draws at all over the pair's total of 10 rapid games.

Speaking afterward, Dubov said: "I sort of felt more pressure because of the fact it is Karjakin and he is my compatriot and he knows his stuff.

"It's obviously always tough matches against him. I did not really think about qualifying for something, I just wanted to beat the guy."

The semis start tomorrow when World Champion Magnus Carlsen takes on Hikaru Nakamura, before Dubov and Ding face-off the following day.

The event, which runs until June 3, is being put on in association with the Lindores Abbey Heritage Society, which maintains the historic site. 

Under the tournament’s social media hashtag #HeritageChess fans can learn more about a participating player and his country’s chess history every day in an effort to show the rich heritage of chess on which the players’ careers have been built. 

Coverage of Carlsen-Nakamura begins tomorrow with commentary in 10 languages at 16.00 CEST.

You can watch it live here:

Highlights English:

New files at around 23.00 CEST.

Highlights Audio Multitrack:

New files ready around 1 or 2 AM CEST.

Highlights Norwegian:

New files ready between 23.00 and 2.00 AM CEST

Leon Watson

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

prediction: Ding against Magnus in Finals