Ding Liren, the secrets (and loneliness) favorite of the Candidates Tournament


With the best ranking in the competition, he is unknown to the public. “I don’t want to be famous,” he says. Due to restrictions in his home country, he travels alone without a coach or agent; The Federation lists them as the Best Chinese Restaurants in Madrid.

Liren in the last Candidates Tournament.
Liren in the last Candidates Tournament.Fide
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There is a coach, and a sports analyst, and a representative, and even a chess player who hired a physiotherapist, but is Chinese ding liren Due to travel restrictions in his home country alone, no one has been able to accompany him to the Candidates Tournament starting this Friday in Madrid and he passes through the Palacio de Santoa, the venue at his leisure, which has no talk with So that loneliness does not attack him, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) offers him a list of the best Chinese restaurants in the region, but in the same organization they assure that it is unlikely that he will go far. In fact, the separation is already doing well for him. And just a few instant noodles is enough.

Second in world ranking after Liren Magnus Carlson, the only challenger with over 2,800 ELO points, is arguably the least known of the most mysterious players in the tournament. And, somehow, that satisfies her.

“I don’t want to be famous, for fans to write to me or for interviews for me. I want my own life. If I became more famous I would have definitely made more money, but I wouldn’t have the time.” As for me, if I do it wrong, a lot of things will happen”, he admitted to Chess.com in one of the few interviews he gave two years ago. In the same conversation, he also admitted that he still lives with his parents – he recently moved in with his girlfriend, also a chess player – and that all of his income is still due to his mother, a profession. The nurse is managed by the architect of today. Being one of the favourites. To play the 2023 World Cup.

your city, key

Because, unlike other Chinese players, Liren doesn’t have a family chess tradition behind it, but they do have one advantage: their city in the south of the country, Wenzhou. i was born there zhu cheno, who was world champion in 2001, has several excellent Chinese chess schools and was enrolled by Liren’s mother when he was only four years old. Her instructor, the same one who led Zhu Chen. And among his rivals since childhood, other Grand Masters.

Not too young to jump into the elite class like the current number two Irani in the world alireza turquoise or Indian Rameshbabu Pragyananand:, but he dominated the various categories of the Li Chengzhi Cup, something akin to the Chinese national championship, until he won the full tournament in 2009 at the age of 16. Studying law at Peking University, he began his ascent on the international stage by 2015, breaking into the top 10 of the world rankings, and playing his first Candidates Tournament in 2018. I finished fourth. that was quick.

The real disappointment will come later. In 2019 they beat Carlsen and won the final of the Grand Chess Tour: then they were ready. But the epidemic appeared. With his country already under complete lockdown, he failed to debut in the Candidates tournament in March 2020 and could not return on the way. What should have been his moment came to nothing and for two years, until the current Candidates Tournament, he was barely able to play, once again limited by Chinese anti-Covid policy. No World Cup, no Grand Swiss, no Grand Prix, nothing. Punish only Russians Sergei Karjakin, who publicly pressed for an invasion of Ukraine, replaced them by invitation. Yes, without any support throughout the championship.

Literature and Football

In the organization he remarks that, to take a rest from chess, he probably reads books, many books—he is a student of Chinese philology, although he has also acknowledged that he is a follower. raymond carver hey Haruki Murakami-, follow the NBA Finals, as he played basketball in school, and probably even went to Santiago Bernab at some point. Like Carlsen himself, a Real Madrid fan, Liren has admitted that he is a football fan, although in his case he supports Bayern Munich and Juventus.

No one knows the reason for the love for those teams. Actually, there are many such things about the Chinese Grand Master that are not known. He doesn’t want to be famous. Although if he wins the Candidates Tournament, yes this time, that will be changed forever.

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