Anand . Shirov played a fighting draw today. As white against the tournament leader Kramnik I was hoping to continue the improvement seen in round 3, but unfortunately the quality of my play was down a notch (or two) again today.
In the English Sicilian reversed opening I got a playable position from the opening.
My a5 push only makes sense if followed by a6 directly. Too late I discovered that black probably is better after b5. Having to settle for Re1, which probably was the best alternative meant that little play was left in the position for white. After the exchange of queens it was fairly equal. Before the time control I still enjoyed some ambitions to create winning chances, which turned out to be completely unrealistic. Avoiding some drawish lines I instead ended up with a very difficult ending. The only good news today was that I managed to pull my self together and draw the complicated rook ending a pawn down.
Tomorrow I.ve got another white against Shirov. Stay tuned☺,
Magnus Carlsen, Bilbao, October 13th 2010.