Radjabov takes Ding to Tiebreaks!
I have enjoyed being a spectator in this match. I think that the level of play has been quite high and that both players have demonstrated excellent competitive qualities. My only regret is that after these 4 very interesting struggles FIDE will now decide the winner with a short series of dumb-downed fast games. Luck will have a big say in the final outcome.
Games 3 and 4 I give below with some brief comments. It is curious that each of the 4 games of this match featured a pawn sacrifice in the opening: three times by Ding Liren and once by Teimour Radjabov. This kind of sacrifice is designed to do two things: first, to try to take the initiative away from the opponent, and second, to dominate the play before the opponent can.
As such, PSYCHOLOGY is playing an important role in this match. What is particularly fascinating is that Radjabov has also tried to exert maximum pressure on his Chinese opponent off the board!
WHAT IS GASLIGHTING?
Gaslighting is a sort of sophisticated head game. It is a manipulative psychological technique designed to create doubt in another person. Once this doubt is planted, the person’s confidence in himself begins to erode and soon his behaviour/performance changes, usually for the worse.
An excellent example of gaslighting occurred after the 3rd game (which Radjabov won against Ding’s favourite opening) when Radjabov was interviewed by Anna Rudolf. Radjabov repeatedly and repeatedly made the same point over and over again: that the game was an easy draw and each time Ding overlooked it.
Of course, Radjabov never demonstrated a single concrete variation that would draw. He simply mentioned a few moves — each time never finishing the variation — waving his hands and saying that it was all just a draw:
Radjabov was fully aware that Ding would later see this video. If he could create some doubt in Ding’s mind that he repeated missed easy draws in the endgame, then Ding might begin to believe that he was not playing well, undermining his confidence and possibly causing him to change his opening repetoire for the next encounter.
By contrast, Ding, in his post game interview, had a very rational explanation of his loss. Radjabov simply played very well and caught Ding with some sophisticated opening preparation:
gm Radjabov,T – gm Ding Liren
World Cup g3 2.10.2019
To be continued