Game nine of the FIDE World Chess Championship ended in a draw ©FIDE/Twitter

Game nine of the International Chess Federation World Championship between Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi and China's Ding Liren ended in a draw as the Russian maintains a one-point lead in Astana.

Nepomniachtchi did have the upper hand throughout the match, but could not break through Ding's defences as the pair have to settle for the second draw in a row to make the score 5-4.

The match lasted 82 moves, highlighted by the battle between the knights.

Ding was using the black pieces while Nepomniachtchi used white.

The most crucial part of the match-up was when Nepomniachtchi had a chance to capture Ding’s rook to be exchange up, but went for a bishop exchange instead, leading to Ding equalising.

The players exchanged queens as well as a pair of rooks and other minor pieces.

Towards the end, Nepomniachtchi had an extra pawn and an active king, but Ding held his own and pulled through for a draw, which keeps him in contention for the title.

The Russian only needs 2.5 points to secure the title as he looks to win his first world title.

"After I grabbed the exchange, the position became tricky," he said.

"I believe it should be winning for White; at least there were some nice chances. 

"But it wasn't clear, and he defended well."

"Everything is connected - time management, quality of moves, calculation of lines," Ding said.

"So, today I spent less time on the calculation, but the quality, as you can see, suffered a lot."

Game 10 will be taking place on April 23 as the FIDE World Championship take a break tomorrow.