Yesterday I played the unusual Chigorin as black against Kramnik and was fine out of the opening. After some dubious moves by me in the early middle game he was better and when I blundered a pawn in time trouble on move 40 it looked pretty dismal. Kramnik is reknown for his technique but has let me off the hook on a few occasions this year. I decided to fight till the end and. it paid off! A piece up he exchanged a rook and a knight but the 3 against 2 pawns and bishop ending as expected gave me reasonable drawing chances. He missed a tricky winning line or two and in the end I drew! (The other games were drawn as well.)
Today I was white against tail-ender Short and could secure tournament victory with a win. He played the French but erred early by exchanging queens. Maybe he had missed 12.Be2! after which black has serious problems developing his queen side. I won a pawn and after some maneuvering he couldn.t stop my a-pawn. 1-0! (All others drew.)
With the 3-1-0 scoring system I was still fairly optimistic after my two early losses but the final score (of 13 points ahead of Anand and McShane at 11) was more than I could reasonably have hoped for. As a bonus I.ll be back as the no 1 rated player on the FIDE list January 1st!
The closing dinner was held at Simpson.s In the Strand and proved to be as enjoyable for players and guests as last year. I would like to thank the organizer for another splendid event and hope to be back for more tournaments in the future!
Magnus Carlsen, London, December 15th, 2010