After the third round loss it was a relief to focus on something completely different on our day off. I went to play golf for the second time in my life, and I had to concentrate hard just to hit the ball (and not thin air). Surprisingly I had some good shots that improved my mood.
I wanted to strike back against Nakamura in round four. He played a solid defence, and I didn't get much out of the opening. The position was pretty dry, and I had to accept that I was the only one in danger if I pressed too hard. The game ended in logical draw by a perpetual check.
In round five, the last one in Sao Paulo, I faced Ivanchuck, the leader of the tournament. I chose the French defence, and got a good position out of the opening. I had several dynamic plans. The one I chose wasn't as good as I thought, and he could have equalized with bxc3. He missed it or thought he had something better. He made some inaccuracies later on and I won the game. Needless to say it is easier to handle the break before the second part of the tournament in Bilbao after such an important win.
Ivanchuck still leads the tournament ahead of Nakamura. I'm shared third, together with Anand and Aronian. I think the tournament is completely open, still there is everything to play for. The final half of the tournament starts in Bilbao on Thursday, I`m white against reigning World Champion Arnand.
Finally I want to thank the organizers in Sao Paulo for an excellent event. The playing conditions were perfect, and I was particularily happy to see all the young chess enthusiasts that eagerly followed the games on site.
Bilbao, October 4th, Magnus Carlsen