When V.Ivanchuk won this tournament in 2009 it took place in Bazna. This year each player has a car with driver for the 18 km trip to the playing venue in Medias. Probably unaware of this Ivanchuk caught a ride in .my. car yesterday. As both won the first round and chessplayers are notoriously superstitious when it comes to tournament habits, we might have wanted to continue the tradition if not for the fact that we faced off in round 2.
I was black and as always it was difficult to guess in advance what Ivanchuk would pull out of his hat for the occasion.
In a quiet Roy Lopez with d3 I eventually decided on a somewhat forced continuation with b5 and d5. Following the exchange of pawns on e4 I invaded the d-file with my queen with compensation for the backward and vulnerable a-pawn. After a two-fold repetition of moves Ivanchuk deviated with h3 allowing a5 and my potential problem was solved. The position was equal without much life left, and a draw was agreed on move 33.
Radjabov pursued his structural advantage against Karjakin until move 90 but had to concede a draw in the end. Nakamura bounced back after outmaneuvering Nisipeanu from an equal position around the 2nd time control.
White against 5th seeded Radjabov tomorrow!
Magnus Carlsen, Bazna, June 12th