Round 9 represented another must-win for me against sole tournament leader Ivanchuk.
This time I got a very pleasant position out of the opening. When he allowed Rxd7, which could not be captured as his queen get trapped, white is simply much better. Despite calculating many lines with black sacrificing his queen I somehow missed the line appearing in the game, and I consequently made a few inaccuracies. Material-wise the position was balanced when I won his queen and two pawns for a rook and two knights but the vulnerable black king made his defense very challenging. With two minutes left on the clock around move 30 he started to blitz out moves and quickly lost a piece. 1-0!
Nearly an hour earlier Aronian had already scored a convincing 25-move victory against reigning World Champion Anand.
Nakamura lost on time against Vallejo.
Lots of spectators followed the games from outside the cube today, and I hope three decisive games provided excellent excitement.
With one round to go Ivanchuk and I have 14 points each and we play Aronian and Nakamura respectively Tuesday (at 16:30). They both have 11 points and have to win to try to catch the leaders.
In case of a tie for first there will be two blitz games and if necessary Armageddon.
Magnus Carlsen, October 10th, 2011