After two days of rapid in Leuven I was in a good mood, coming off two wins in a row. The third day however, turned out to be a difficult one.
First I had the black pieces against the notoriously solid Anish Giri, and I played the King’s Indian in search of a complicated struggle. I did not really get what I aimed for though, but after he missed the right moment to sac a pawn for a dangerous attack, which we both had seen and underestimated, mass exchanges and a draw quickly followed.
In the next game against Vishy Anand, I decided to play the English opening, and perhaps still reeling from losing a winning position against MVL earlier that day, Vishy played rather carelessly and soon got a very difficult position. To his credit, he then realized what was happening, and forced me to play very concretely and sac a piece, rather than slowly increasing my advantage.
I initially found the right way, but it took me massive amounts of time, and I soon landed in time trouble. After a few adventures I still kept some advantage, until I got my king trapped on the first rank, which made it very difficult, if at all possible, to make progress.
Around that time he offered me a draw, which, with well under a minute on the clock I should absolutely have accepted. Through inertia I kept playing, sacked a pawn, then another for an attack that did not exist, and soon landed in a lost endgame. It still was not that easy though, and with his clock eventually ticking down as well, I managed to save the draw.
In the last game of the day, against Ian Nepomniachtchi, I decided to play the same line of the Caro-Kann with Nf6 and exf6 that I had beaten him with at the World Rapids last year. (The opening this time was the Scotch, but think about it, it’s basically the same position!)…
Read the full post on the official blog of Magnus Carlsen