England has been one of the strongest western chess nations for more than a century. In the current generation Michael Adams has been no 1 in England for most of the last decade but was recently overtaken by Nigel Short. At his peak, Adams was no 4 in the world (several times from 2000 to 2002) and does not lose often.
The opening phase of the game today went as planned for me. Despite mobile pawns on both sides the position was a bit static when I decided to attack on the kingside. It was a bit risky as well as premature as I hadn.t completed my development on the queen side. I soon regretted opening up the position as I had underestimated the strength of his rook invasion to c2. Both of us missed that he could get a winning advantage at this point. He was getting short on time and instead he went for a slightly better endgame which I managed to hold to a draw without any problems.
I.m not satisfied with my play today, maybe all the long games and hard fights are taking its toll.
Kramnik won against Short and is trailing just 1 point behind me going into the last round. None of the others can catch us.
Tuesday I.m playing black against Short while Kranmik is black against Nakamura.
Magnus Carlsen, London, December 14th 2009.