Ding Liren
(October 24, 1992)
Rating Elo –
Ding Liren learnt to play chess when he was 4. His biography can be described on the whole as a model one for the chess boom of the recent decades in Asia. His home city of Wenzhou was at that time reputed as the “City of Chess”. His mother was a nurse and had arranged with a colleague of hers that they would teach their children to play chess: not the traditional Chinese chess, but the Western or (as it is called in China) “international” chess.

The future grandmaster came into the eyes of chess fans and experts alike while still competing in junior tournaments: he twice won silver, first in the U10 and then in the U12 World Cup. However, he only shot to prominence after scoring three victories in the National Championship – in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Out of the entire plethora of talents that China has offered to the world, Ding Liren stands out thanks to his professional approach, which helps him to progress faster than his rivals do.

Ding Liren is currently studying for his degree in Law at Beijing University. However, since his early years Ding Liren was aiming for a professional career in chess. The grandmaster says that he cannot imagine his life without chess and his plans for the future are exclusively related to professional chess.

In 2013, Ding Liren made his debut in elite chess participating in the Alekhine Memorial, which was held in Louvre and at the State Russian Museum of St Petersburg. And despite the fairly modest result, the Chinese grandmaster managed to defeat, thanks to his excellent brand tactics, the future winner Levon Aronian. The Ding Liren’s greatest achievement so far is the Tromsø Olympics gold medal playing for China’s national team.