A sponsoring agreement has been agreed between Arctic Securities and Magnus Carlsen.
Magnus became an International Grandmaster at the age of 13, the youngest at the time. In October 2009, during the Nanjing Pearl Spring tournament, he became the fifth chess player in the history to achieve an Elo-rating over 2800 Ė by far the youngest to do so. That year he also became The World Blitz Chess Champion. On January the 1st of 2010 the new FIDE list was published and at the age of 19 Magnus became the youngest ever chess player to be ranked World Number One. Carlsen is the best representative for top excellence within both analysis and implementation.
Further reading »
|Norway Chess 2013 a great success!|
|Norway Chess 2013 R6|
|Norway Chess 2013 R5|
|More on the Candidates.|
|Candidates 2013 in London!|
|Tata Steel Chess 2013 Closing|
|Tata Steel Chess Victory 2013! |
|Tata Steel Chess 2013 R11|
|Tata Steel Chess R8|
|Tata Steel Chess 2013 R6|
|Tata Steel Chess 2013 R4|
|London Chess Classics 2012 revisited|
|R5 & R6 London 2012|
|Round 4 London 2012|
|London Classics R2 and R3|
|London Chess Classics 2012|
|2012 Grand Slam Final: Another Basque winners hat |
|Bilbao white streak continues!|
|Sao Paulo and Bilbao update|
|Grand Slam Final 2012 Sao Paulo R1-3|
|Biel 2012 R10|
|Biel 2012 penultimate round|
|Exciting Round 8 in Biel 2012|
|Lucky day in Biel!|
|Biel 2012 Round 6 & rest day update|
|Round 5 Biel Grandmaster Tournament 2012.|
|Biel 2012 R4|
|Biel 2012 Round 2|
|Biel Grandmaster tournament 2012|
|Winning Tal Memorial 2012|
|R6 Tal Memorial 2012 - Moscow|
|Tal Memorial 2012 Ė R6 against Aronian.|
|Tal Memorial 2012 Ė Round 4 & 5|
|Tal Memorial 2012 Ė Round 3|
|Tal Memorial 2012 Ė Round 2|
|Tal Memorial 2012 Ė Round 1|
|Tal Memorial 2012 - Blitz tournament|
|Tata Steel Chess 2012 Ė Back home again|
|Tata Steel Chess 2012 - One round to go!|
|Tata Steel Chess 2012 R8-10|
|Round 7 victory against Gelfand!|
|Tata Steel Chess R5 and R6|
|Tata Steel Chess 2012 - 9 rounds left|
|Victory against Aronian in R3 in Tata Steel Chess!|
|Tata Steel Chess 2012 R2|
|Tata Steel Chess 2012 has started|
|Arctic Chess Challenge|
|London Chess Classics R9 2011|
|London Chess Classics Round 5 to 7|
|London Chess Classics Round 4|
|London 5.12.11 - Chess and Football today|
|London Chess Classics 2011 R2|
|London Chess Classics 2011 Round 1|
|Tal Memorial Victory! London Chess Classics next.|
|Tal Memorial 2011 Penultimate Round|
|Tal Memorial 2011 R7 Short draw.|
|Moscow Tal Memorial 2011 R6|
|Moscow Tal Memorial 2011 Round 5|
|Tal Memorial Round 4|
|Moscow Tal Memorial 2011 R3|
|Tal Memorial 2011 Round 2|
|Tal Memorial 2011 started today|
|Sao Paulo & Bilbao 2011 Chess Masters Final Victor|
|Chess Masters Final Sao Paulo & Bilbao R9|
|Chess Masters Final 2011 Bilbao R8|
|Bilbao Grand Slam Final 2011 R6 & R7|
|Chess Masters Final, Sao Paulo, Round 4 & 5|
|Chess Masters Final, Sao Paulo & Bilbao, Round 2&3|
|Chess Masters Final, Sao Paulo & Bilbao, Round 1|
|Before the Chess Master Final, Sao Paulo & Bilbao|
|Botvinnik Memorial in Moscow|
|Biel Accentus-GM 2011 Final round|
|Biel GM tournament 2011 Round 9|
|Biel GM tournament 2011 Round 8|
|Biel Accentus GM tournament 2011 R7|
|Biel GM tournament 2011 Round 6|
|Biel GM tournament 2011 Round 4|
|Biel GM tournament 2011 R3|
|Biel GM tournament 2011 Round 2|
|Biel GM tournament 2011|
|Winning Kingsí Tournament 2011 on Tie-break!|
|Kingsí Tournament 2011 Ė Round 9|
|Bazna Kingsí Tournament 2011 Ė R8|
|Kingsí Tournament 2011 Ė R7|
|Kingsí Tournament 2011 Ė R6|
|Kingsí Tournament 2011 Free day - halfway|
|Kingsí Tournament 2011 Ė Round 5|
|Kingsí Tournament 2011 Ė R4|
|Bazna Kings Tournament 2011 Ė Round 3|
|Bazna Kings Tournament 2011 Ė Round 2|
|Kings Tournament Bazna 2011 Ė Round 1|
|Kings Tournament Bazna Ė Opening Ceremony|
|Bazna coming up!|
|Amber 2011 Final stages|
|Amber 2011, Round 8&9|
|Amber 2011 Round 7|
|Amber 2011 Round 5 & 6|
|Amber 2011, 4th round|
|Amber 2011, 3rd round|
|Amber 2011, 2nd round|
|Amber 2011, 1st round|
|Amber 2011. Finally!|
|Mexico, NYC and home|
|Tata Steel 2011 Final round and results|
|Tata 2011 Penultimate Round|
|Tata Steel Chess 2011 Round 10 & 11|
|Tata Steel Chess 2011 Round 9|
|Tata Steel R7 & R8|
|Tata Steel Chess 2011 Round 6|
|My first win in Tata Steel 2011|
|Tata Steel Chess 2011 Round 3 & 4|
|Tata Steel Chess 2011 R2 |
|Tata Steel C T 2011 Round 1|
|Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2011|
|Happy New Year!|
|London Chess Classics 2010 Victory!|
|London tournament 2010 Round 5|
|London Chess Classics 2010 Round 4|
|London Chess Classics 2010 Round 2|
|London Chess Classics 2010 Round 1|
|Tal Blitz Chess World Championship 2010 Day 3|
|Tal Blitz Chess World Championship 2010 Day 2|
|Tal Blitz World Championship 2010|
|Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 finished -Tal WC Blitz n|
|Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 Victory!|
|Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 Round 8 out of 10|
|Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 Round 7|
|Pearl Spring 2010 Round 6|
|Nanjing 2010 Halfway|
|Nanjing 2010 Round 4|
|Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 Round 3 |
|Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 Round 2|
|Nanjing 2010 Round 1|
|Bilbao Grand Slam Final 2010 - Last round|
|Bilbao Grand Slam Final Round 5.|
|Bilbao 2010 Round 4|
|Bilbao Grand Slam Final 2010 Round 3|
|Bilbao 2010 Round 1 and 2|
|Ready for Bilbao!|
|Round 10 and 2014 Olympiad host election.|
|2010 Olympiad Round 9|
|2010 Olympiad Round 8|
|2010 Olympiad Round 6 and 7|
|Khanty-Mansyisk, after 5 rounds of the Olympiad|
|Back from New York and ready for the Olympiad!|
|RAW WORLD CHESS CHALLENGE IN NEW YORK|
|Arctic Securities Chess Stars, Kr.sund, Final.|
|Arctic Securities Chess Stars, Kr.sund, Day 2|
|Arctic Securities Chess Stars, Group play Day 1|
|Arctic Securities Chess Stars, Kr.sund, 28-30/8|
|Kings Tournament Bazna 2010 - Final Round|
|kings Tournament Round 9, June 24th 2010|
|Kings Tournament Round 8|
|Kings Tournament Round 7|
|Kings Tournament Round 6|
|Kings Tournament Round 5|
|Kings Tournament Round 3 and 4|
|Kings Tournament Round 2|
|Kings Tournament Round 1 |
|Kings Tournament, Bazna, Rumania 2010|
|My next tournament will be in Rumania, June 14-25|
|Amber 2010 Last Round|
|Amber and blindfold and rapid, round 10|
|Amber blindfold and rapid, round 9|
|Amber blindfold and rapid, round 8|
|Amber blindfold and rapid, round 7|
|Amber blindfold and rapid, round 6|
|Amber blindfold and rapid, round 5|
|Amber blindfold and rapid, round 4|
|Amber blindfold and rapid, round 3|
|Amber blindfold and rapid, Round 2|
|Amber Blindfold and rapid, Round 1|
|Amber blindfold and rapid starting on Saturday|
|Corus 2010 Last Round|
|Corus 2010 Penultimate Round|
|Corus 2010 Round 11|
|Corus 2010 Round 10|
|Corus 2010 Round 9|
|Corus 2010 Round 8|
|Corus 2010 Round 7|
|Corus 2010 Round 6|
|Corus 2010 Round 5|
|Corus 2010 Round 4|
|Corus 2010 Round 3|
|Corus 2010 Round 2|
|Corus 2010 Round 1|
|2010 Corus Chess Tournament starting Saturday 16th|
|London Chess Classics 2009. Final round, Dec.15th|
|London Chess Classics 2009, Round 6, Dec.14th|
|London Chess Classics 2009, Round 5, Dec.13th|
|London Chess Classics 2009, Round 4 Dec.12th|
|London Chess Classics 2009, Round 3 Dec.10th|
|London Chess Classics 2009, Round 2 Dec.9th|
|London 2009 Round 1, December 8th|
|London Chess Classics, December 7th 2009|
|Oslo, November 28th, Blitz tournament.|
|Moscow, Nov.18th 2009, World Blitz Final Day|
|Moscow, Nov.17th 2009, World Blitz 2009 Day 2|
|Moscow, Nov.16th 2009, World Blitz Championship 09|
|Moscow, Nov.14th 2009, Tal Memorial Last Round|
|Moscow, Nov.13th 2009, Tal Memorial R8|
|Moscow, Nov.12th 2009, Tal Memorial R7|
|Moscow, Nov.11th 2009, Tal Memorial R6|
|Moscow, Nov.10th 2009, Tal Memorial Round 5|
|Moscow, November 8th 2009, Tal Memorial Round 4|
|Moscow, November 7th 2009, Tal Memorial Round 3|
|Moscow, November 6th 2009, Tal Memorial Round 2|
|Moskva 5.november 2009|
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Magnus Carlsen`s Blog
Norway Chess 2013 a great success!
Despite Karjakinís early streak, the last couple of rounds had all the tension expected from a toplevel chess tournament. I was half a point behind after round 6 and when both Sergei and I won i R7 and lost in R8, six players were within striking distance before the last round.
My own game was the first to finish. As black against world ranked no 2 L.Aronian, I managed to equalize early, and he decided to force matters. I could not find a way to play for an advantage and after Rc8 I didnít have any better choice than exchanging queens and a pair of rooks. The opposite bishop and rook ending was dead equal, and a repetition of moves sealed the draw. Topalov had an advantage against Karjakin keeping the suspension until the first time control. By then Karjakin had equalized and also won a pawn, and he forced a repetition of moves to secure sole 1st with 6 points. Congratulations!
Nakamura beat Hammer in a sharp Noteboom and joined me in shared 2nd half a point behind Karjakin. Svidler, Aronian and Anand shared 4th at 5 points after Anand had gambled and lost against Wang Hao in the last round.
Iím very impressed with the Norway Chess organizers headed by Kjell Madland. Everything was organized at a very high level, including ďdetailsĒ such as ten black and white chess cars lined up outside the players hotel in Sandnes.
The organizers, sponsors and volunteers made sure the players and visitors thoroughly enjoyed the stay. I really hope this event will become an annual tradition!
Summer suddenly arrived in Sandnes yesterday and some of the players, accompanying persons and volunteers enjoyed a fun outdoor football session before the excellent and entertaining closing dinner.
Magnus Carlsen, Haslum, May 19th, 2013
Norway Chess 2013 R6
Today, against Teimur Radjabov I got a pleasant position from the opening. My strong bishop on b2 and his weak pawns on a6 and c6 provided me with a number of interesting plans. He spent a lot of time and came up with some accurate moves early in the middle game like Qd6 and Qe7.
I could not make any of the tempting tactical lines work. All seemed to hold for black and by the first time control I was left with a slightly more pleasant ending, somewhat reminiscent of our penultimate round encounter in the Candidates in London.
When he left his bishop on a7 and rook on a4 for too long, I could shuffle my rook between c1 and c2 until he had advanced his kingside pawns to h4, g5 and f6. Sooner or later he had to withdraw his rook and I got my rook to the 7th rank. Gradually I managed to improve my position. Due to my passed a-pawn he had to make a lot of difficult decisions. Low on time both before move 60 and a few moves later he, made some decisive mistakes. After more than 6 hours I had secured a very important victory.
With 4/6 Iím quite happy with both the score and the tournament situation.
Karjakin managed to hold a very difficult ending against Anand and still clear first, half a point ahead. Aronian won against Hammer and shares 3rd with Nakamura at 3.5 points. Anand and Svidler have 3 points.
Wednesday weíll play at the island South Hidle 40 minutes by boat from Sandnes. The weather forecast says rain and wind, but I hope the excursion will be an interesting experience for everyone.
The round starts at 15:00 and Iím playing black against my compatriot J.L.Hammer.
Magnus Carlsen, Sandnes, May 14th, 2013
Norway Chess 2013 R5
Not surprisingly this category 21 tournament is the strongest ever taking place in Norway, and it marks the start of an amazing year and a half with the World Cup in Tromsoe in August and the Olympiad in Tromsoe next summer.
The tournament is taking place in the Stavanger region, in Sandnes at the playerís hotel and R4, R7 and R9 in interesting locations regionally. R4 was in the Aarbakke factory.
I wasnít particularly happy with my own play in the early rounds. In all three white games Iíve had a pleasant advantage at some point. Too many inaccuracies on my part combined with some good defence by my opponents (Topalov, Anand and Svidler) resulted in three draws. I really liked the R3 game against Nakamura. We went outside theory immediately. An early pawn sacrifice gave me enough counterplay and the ensuing battle was hard-fought and enjoyable. Draw.
Karjakin, who won the blitz event on the opening day, has been on a rampage with an incredible 4/4 start.
Today I was in a must-win situation with black against the leader, but my position was really questionable in the middle game. Fortunately Karjakin got ambitious, and when he won my pawn on e5 I got sufficient counterplay. We both had plenty of time on the clock, but he anyhow made a few mistakes before the first time control. Iím not really sure what he had missed. His king was extremely vulnerable and with a few precise moves after the time control I secured an important victory.
Karjakin is still sole leader with 4 points while Iím shared second with Nakamura at 3 points and there are four players at 50%.
Congrats to my countryman J.L.Hammer with his victory against Wang Hao today!
Tomorrow Iím white against Teimur Radjabov.
So far the organizers have done a terrific job and I look forward to the continuation!
Magnus Carlsen, Sandnes, May 13th, 2013
More on the Candidates.
A short week after the Candidates finished in London Iíve managed to return to normal life. Of course I still think about it a bit, such as when writing this blog entry☺
My main feeling is satisfaction and relief with the final result. It reminds me of some key successes earlier in my career.
Losing two out of the last three rounds is of course dissatisfying. I need to understand why and make sure that I do my best to avoid a repeat in the future.
In the first half I think both Aronian and I played very well. I was even happier about my game against Gelfand in round 10. The beauty of the long positional/tactical combination ending with Qa5! was for me one of the highlights of the event. Maybe I made some slight inaccuracies later in the game, but still it was probably one of my best games ever.
In the remaining games I was probably too focused on the result instead of just playing good moves. Apparently also Aronian and Kramnik struggled to find the optimum balance towards the end of the tournament.
Iím not a big fan of the tie-break rules applied in this event. Losing on tie-break would have been highly unpleasant. In fairness I should mention that the suspense experienced was probably partly due to the tie-break rules. Entering the last two rounds we all knew the stakes and it certainly contributed to the nerve and tension till the end. Having a classical or rapid playoff as a not unlikely scenario extending the moment of truth, would reduce the stakes and the tension.
Tomorrow Iím off to Trondheim for a simul with main sponsor Simonsen Vogt Wiik.
Magnus Carlsen, Haslum, April 8th, 2013
Candidates 2013 in London!
Winning the Candidates 2013, and the right to challenge the reigning Wold Champion V.Anand for the title, is my most important single tournament victory to date!
The drama of the last rounds resulted in a +3 tie between me and V.Kramnik. I had the better tiebreak due to more decisive games, as we both knew going into the last two rounds.
For 11 rounds I felt I played a normal elite tournament, and my play was quite consistent at a high level, while the last three rounds were just painful.
The somewhat unusual fatigue and the increased tension experienced may explain why I made too many impractical choices and outright mistakes resulting in two losses (against Ivanchuk and Svidler, who played very well in these games) and one win in between.
Iím very grateful this was enough in the end. Iíll never forget the thrilling minutes between my own last round loss and that of Kramnik.
The nature of the qualifying event is to produce one winner. It does not recognize the close race with Kramnik in 2nd and also Svidler and Aronian finishing 3rd and 4th just half a point behind us.
Iím happy and relieved to have won, and Iím grateful to a lot of people for their help and support before and during the event.
My team of seconds headed by Peter H.Nielsen and the rest of the support team did a great job.
Representatives of my long time loyal main sponsors Arctic Securities and Simonsen Vogt Wiik came to London to support me during the event, and Iíd also like to thank main sponsors newspaper VG and Parallels.
The Candidates tournament was organised by Agon and FIDE in a great location by the river Thames, and the closing ceremony even took place at 11 Downing Street, courtesy of George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
I decided to not blog during the event to focus fully at the tournament, but Iíll revert in a few days commenting on some of my games and providing some thoughts on the developments during the tournament.
Magnus Carlsen, Haslum, April 4th, 2013
Tata Steel Chess 2013 Closing
I got into trouble again with the black pieces today. My opponent was 18-yr old Anish Giri. He played quite accurately after the opening by taking on c6 and destroying my pawn structure with c5. I could not hold on to any of my c-pawns and needed counterplay against his king. At the critical moment I assumed he would not play Qa3 allowing the piece sacrifice Bxb3 axb3 Rxb3 with my queen still on the board: After Qd6 and Qa6 I could indeed sacrifice the bishop on b3. After the exchange of queens the position was equal, and he took my bishop allowing a perpetual. Draw, and 10 points out of 13.
For the first time in ten years, Iíve gone through the tournament undefeated☺
It is definitely my best tournament result since Nanjing 2009. I am very satisfied with the fact that I exploited all the advantageous positions I got with white, and held some difficult ones with black.
Aronian came 2nd with 8.5 ahead of Anand, who lost to Wang Hao today, and Karjakin at 8.
Objectively I think we can conclude that the 2013 edition of Tata Steel Chess saw an exceptional level of fighting spirit in all three GM groups. A low draw percentage, few short games and many spectacular fights.
Naiditsch and Rapport shared first in the B-group while Brunello scored +9 clinching C.
Iím happy that the Tata Steel Chess tradition will continue in 2014 and hopefully for many more years.
Many thanks to the sponsors, volunteers, tournament director Jeroen van den Berg and the organizing committee for staging an excellent event!
Iíll spend a few days back home next week before going to the Parallels Summit in Las Vegas February 4th and 5th.
Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee, January 27th 2013
Tata Steel Chess Victory 2013!
In round 12 today Nakamura played the Kalashnikov Sicilian, and I chose the solid but somewhat unusual 6.g3. His early h5 looked a bit awkward but I think he was doing fine until Be6? Keeping the bishop with Bd7 would have been better. He desperately tried to create activity but my light squared bishop on e4 and the pawn on d5 tied him down. When he allowed f6 it was more or less over, and I finished in style with pawns on e6 and f6!
A few minutes later Aronian and Giri agreed to a draw, and Iím the happy sole winner of Tata Steel Chess 2013 with one round to go!
Aronian, who after his early loss to Anand has kept pace with me after the first rest day, is shared 2nd with Anand.
I need a draw tomorrow to equal Kasparovís tournament record of 10/13 from 1999, and a victory would yield a new record.
It is pretty exciting in the other groups with Naiditsch, Movsesian and 16-yr old Rapport sharing the lead in the B-group and Peralta and Brunello both at 10 points in the C-group. (Incidentally I had the same score after 12 rounds in the C-group back in 2004.)
The last round starts at noon Sunday. For once I donít mind the early start. Iíve slept very well in Wijk this year and feel unusually fit taking into account the long tournament.
Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee, January 26th 2013
Tata Steel Chess 2013 R11
Against Wang Hao today I was really struggling after the opening. It was difficult to develop my light squared bishop, and Be7 was a clearly inaccurate. I had planned Rd8 followed by Be7 but mistakenly thought Be7 first was better. Wang, who has had a rather poor tournament so far, kept the initiative through the middle game. I had to defend rather passively until he played Nc6. By this time I think he had seen the variation occurring in the game where I finally could activate my rooks to reach a drawn ending. Maybe he felt his advantage was slipping anyhow and just wanted to finish the game.
Aronian played black against Nakamura and was better already out of the opening. With his passed c-pawn Aronian posed enough problems to take down his opponent, and he is now clear 2nd place one point behind me, as Anand failed to win a much better ending against Hou Yifan.
My current lead came from winning round 9 and 10 earlier this week against the lowest seeded Hou Yifan and Erwin líAmi. The former played energetically in the opening sacrificing a pawn, but I managed to hang on to the extra pawn long enough to reach a promising heavy piece ending. The subsequent queen endgame with three against two passed pawns was a matter of technique. LíAmi chose a solid line in Caro Kann. I was better in the entire game but it took some inaccuracies from him after the first time control for me to exploit the extra pawn in the rook and opposite bishop endgame.
Thursday I played both football and table tennis and feel in good shape with two rounds to go.
Saturday Iím white against Nakamura. I beat him several times in 2011 while in 2012 our encounters ended in draw. I had mainly black in 2012 though.
Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee, January 25th 2013
Tata Steel Chess R8
Most years leaving Norway early January for Wijk aan Zee translates to leaving the snow and the freezing cold behind. This year has been remarkable in that weíve had below zero temperatures and snow on the ground since arrival on the 10th. It feels even more like home this year☺
Iíve played against my round 8 opponent Sergey Karjakin more than 30 times over the years in different formats. In classical chess the score was even until yesterday while Iím well ahead with shorter time controls. Several times Iíve had winning or promising positions also in our classical encounters, and he has saved the draw in the end. The game yesterday was balanced until close to the first time control when he seemed to lose control at one point. I got a nice but maybe not decisive advantage. The rook plus opposite bishop coloured endgame was materially balanced, but white had the active bishop, possible pawn breaks and a safe king. I made various threats for some 20 moves and in the end decided against pushing my e-pawn as he would likely defend too easily this way. I calculated the g4 and h5 pawn sacrifices and concluded that it was unclear but should not lose for white. As I expected Karjakin took the g-pawn but not the h-pawn due to the threat f5 followed by f6+ and e6.
Despite being a pawn down I was quite optimistic due to well placed pieces and his vulnerable king. I think I found the right moves at this stage, and after more than 90 moves and nearly 7 hours it was over. 1-0!
Consequently Iím once again sole leader ahead of Anand, after Anand had caught up with me in round 7 by beating van Wely.
I played Leko with black in round 7 and to my surprise he went for the 5.Re1 line in the Ruy Lopez trying to exploit a minimal endgame advantage. I was left with a passive defence shuffling my king around. He had two options; play a4 and/or g4, but I knew I could hold. He moved his king and bishop around for two hours without making up his mind, and a draw was agreed with the pawns still on a3 and g2☺
Aronian came very close to winning in round 7 against Karjakin, and as he won in round 8 he is shared 3rd with Nakamura at +2 going into the 2nd rest day.
Played some football again today in the snow!
Tuesday Iím black against Hou Yifan from China.
Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee, January 21th 2013
Tata Steel Chess 2013 R6
Iím trying to find a metaphor for the role of the Wijk aan Zee tournament in chess compared to other sports. The 75-year tradition, the unique 14 player all-play-all format, played in the cold and dark of Northern Europe in January makes it quite a challenge. Some players claim they always (or on average) perform below parity in Wijk, while I cannot really think of good examples of players consistently over-performing. It is a tough tournament.
Maybe this it is the chess equivalent of a cross-country marathon or the ĎEleven Cities Tourí skating race in Holland.
I think it is fair to say that the Tata Steel Chess Tournament more or less starts after the first free day. We had been here for a week with 9 rounds to go.
Frankly I was not well in round 5 on Thursday and did not have any ambitions in the game (beyond survival). As black against reigning World Champion V.Anand I went for the 5Ö. Be7 line in the Petroff. The d5 break and subsequent Qb6 provided sufficient counterplay, and after the exchange of queens he offered a draw that I was happy to accept.
Karjakin drew as well while 4 players on 50% won to reach +1 right behind the leaders.
As in round 4, today felt like a must-win situation. I havenít played against my opponent Sokolov for more than 8 years. Back then he beat me several times. He has maintained his high level of chess understanding, but too many blunders hurt his average performance over time.
We played a quiet line in the Ruy Lopez when I made the strategic mistake Na3? He found the right continuation Na5 and to maintain any winning chances I simply had to accept a slightly worse position after Bc2 b4 forcing the knight back to b1. Sokolov had spent lots of time in the opening and tried to compensate by playing quickly in the middle game. I think he was doing well until he exchanged both rooks. With the knight on a5 and bishop on c7 he had no real counterplay. I got a knight to f5 and the position looked very promising for me. It was not so obvious how to make progress, and I was quite happy when he played d5 and the position opened up. Due to his exposed king and weak kingside pawns white was much better, and the rest should have been a matter of technique. Oddly enough it was when I played the inaccurate Nd5 having missed his defensive resources that he immediately blundered with Bd8 losing a piece or more. Two moves later he resigned.
Anand and Karjakin both drew and Iím in sole leader with 4,5 points!
Saturday Iím black against Peter Leko who has 3 points (after losing an opposite coloured bishop endgame against Aronian today).
Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee, January 18th 2013