I left Norway nearly three weeks ago for the US and Mexico. The short version is that I had a great experience with a variety of activities in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Zihuatanejo and Mexico City.
I have to mention the Mexico City chess festival specifically. It is probably the biggest chess festival worldwide and the number of participants and spectators and the enthusiasm shown by the multitude of chess fans was simple amazing.
The core event for me was the 4-player rapid and blindfold cup and the matches against the World and against student representatives, and they all went my way in the end. In the final against Judith Polgar I fell for a nice tactical shot in the first rapid game but managed to strike back with black in the blindfold and win the blitz playoff.
After a long flight back I arrived in London Tuesday this week.
Unfortunately my second during the event, Yan Nepomniachtchi did not get his visa in time. Thanks to Malcolm Pein Yan got the visa eventually and he arrived today, 4 days late.

This 4th edition of the London Chess Classics is the strongest ever, and I believe the first category 21 tournament in the UK!
I.m hoping to repeat my 2009 and 2010 victories here in London, but I will face strong competition from last year winner and runner-up V.Kramnik and H.Nakamura as well as the world no 2 rated played L.Aronian and possibly also reining World Champion V.Anand, and Luke McShane who never fails to impress in the London Classics despite his full time job in the City.

The first round today gave the audience four great fights, and they all ended decisively.
For Kramnik it was a matter of technique after Judith Polgar sacrificed a piece for two pawns somewhat dubiously in the opening. Nakamura outprepared Aronian in the opening and from a slightly better position he played accurately where Aronian went astray in ensuing time trouble.
Once again I played Luke MeShane in the first round with black. He had a clear initiative in the middle game until he allowed the trick 27.. Nxg5. Later only black had real chances, but he defended quite well until the first time control. I don.t really know what his decisive mistake was, maybe it was already lost when he allowed my king to go to g5 and h4. 0-3 (with football score).
M.Adams won a long game against reining British champion G.Jones.
V.Anand had a bye, as this is a 9-player tournament.

Sunday I.m white against Levon Aronian at local time 2pm. An important game!

Magnus Carlsen, London, December 1st, 2012