Russian Grand Master Ian Nepomniachtchi has a better head-to-head record over Chinese opponent Ding Liren ©FIDE

A new world champion is set to be crowned in Astana, Kazakhstan, after the city was confirmed as host for the International Chess Federation (FIDE) World Championship match in April.

Grand Master and world number two Ding Liren from China is scheduled to play Russian Grand Master Ian Nepomniachtchi, ranked third in the world, in a match which carries a prize purse of $2 million (£1.62 million/€1.84 million).

The contest, which is set to run from April 7 to May 1, is to be played over 14 games.

The first 40 moves in each game will be subject to a time control of 120 minutes, followed by 60 minutes for the next 20 moves, and then 15 minutes for the remainder of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 61.

 In the event of a tie, the Championship is to be determined in a rapid chess playoff.

Nepomniachtchi won the 2022 Candidates Tournament to earn his shot at the title.

He is set to compete under a neutral flag under FIDE regulations.

World number two Ding, the highest ranked Chinese player, was the runner up in the competition held in Madrid last June and July.

Norway's world champion Magnus Carlsen has chosen not to defend his title in 2023 ©Getty Images
Norway's world champion Magnus Carlsen has chosen not to defend his title in 2023 ©Getty Images

The pair's most recent meeting in that tournament ended in a draw.

They had first played against one another in 2009, during an exhibition match between Russia and China in Sochi.

Nepomniachtchi, then 19 years old, beat 16-year-old Ding in all their matches including speed chess and blitz chess contests.

Nepomniachtchi has won three and lost two of the 13 classical chess meetings between the pair.

Eight previous encounters have also been drawn.

Nepomniachtchi lost the most recent championship match held in 2021 to Norway’s Magnus Carlsen in Dubai.

Carlsen had been world champion since 2013, when he defeated five-time world champion Vishwanathan Anand of India.

Carlsen won a further four championship matches over the next decade.

In 2022, Carlsen confirmed he would not defend his title leaving the way for a new champion.

He remained world speed chess and blitz chess champion after victory in both categories in December.