After losing twice yesterday, I wrote that today would be a good moment to strike back. And I'm proud to say that that's what I did, by beating Levon Aronian 2-0. In the blindfold game I played the kings indian defence as black, which usually leads to a sharp and complicated game. I got a dynamic position, and when I got the chance to sacrifice a knight for two pawns and an attack on move 20, I really felt that things were going my way. After he missed a chance to complicate the position on the 25th move, it was over, and he resigned on the 28th move. A very enjoyable win, not least because I spent less than 10 minutes on the clock for the entire game. The rapid game was a completely different story. An equal position was reached out of the opening, and nothing much happened for the first 50 moves. Then, in a completely drawn position, he made a mistake I had being trying to provoke for a while with 50... h5, having underestimated my reply 51.g5! Suddenly, the position was not that clear anymore, and with the additional pressure of being short of time my opponent crumbled and lost 18 moves later. Vassily Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov are still in the lead with 3/4, both making two draws today, against Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk respectively. The aforementioned Svidler is my opponent tomorrow. The five-time Russian champion has been a more or less steady member of the top ten for 10 years now, and rarely loses. Certainly a tough opponent, but I hope to continue in the samne vein as today.

Magnus Carlsen, Nice, March 14th 2010