On 30 April 2023, in Astana, Kazakhstan, Chinese grandmaster Ding Liren sensationally defeated Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi in a dramatic battle for the chess crown. Ding Liren not only became the 17th World Chess Champion, but he also won the hearts of chess fans across the globe with his incredible fighting spirit and disarming interviews. At the final press conference, the new champion said the match ‘reflected the deepest of his soul’.
Humble and almost vulnerable in his demeanour, Ding Liren is a formidable fighter with a rich inner chess world. Throughout his career, his creative output has been immense. His games feature outstanding precision, rationality and superior endgame technique on the one hand and a talent to find brilliant, imaginative solutions on the other. His stoicism in the face of adversity and ability to quickly learn from mistakes and adapt to his opponents is unique.
Few chess greats can boast that they reached first place in both the blitz and rapid world rankings and became World Champion in classical chess. Even fewer can claim an unbeaten streak of 100 classical games. That’s how special Ding Liren is.
In this best games collection, grandmaster Davorin Kuljasevic follows and explores Ding Liren’s rise from his first chess steps in provincial China to the top of the chess world. Making no secret of his admiration for this extraordinary chess genius, the author describes Ding Liren’s successes and setbacks and how these experiences shaped him as a player and a person.
Davorin Kuljasevic is an International Grandmaster born in Croatia. He graduated from Texas Tech University and is an experienced coach. His first book Beyond Material: Ignore the Face Value of Your Pieces was a finalist for the Boleslavsky-Averbakh Award, the best book prize of FIDE, the International Chess Federation. His second book, How To Study Chess on Your Own, was an international Bestseller.