Liren Ding was crowned the new world champion on May 1 because he made a very high-risk decision, which requires great composure, intelligence and self-confidence. It was the fourth and last game of the rapid tiebreaker of the World Cup in Astana (Kazakhstan). The previous three had ended in a draw after going 7-7 out of fourteen slow games over three weeks. The Chinese had assumed that a new tie would hurt him because he felt inferior to his rival, the Russian Ian Niepómniashi, in the even faster round of the lightning modality.
And he decided that the best thing to do was to act like a kamikaze, nailing a rook over the king in a very complex position, with queens on the board, despite the fact that he had less than two minutes left on the clock. Niepómniashi, who already took the tie for granted and was repeating plays, was blocked, made a mistake and had to settle for remaining runner-up in the world. Meanwhile, Ding cried with joy and emotion: he was the first Chinese to achieve the absolute title after ten years of the reign of the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.