2-0 again today, this time against Peter Svidler. My bad start is now well forgotten! THe blindfold game today started in an amusing way. Since we usually change colors every day I had somehow assumed that I would be white in blindfold game, without checking the pairings properly. As a result, I was really surprised when 1.e4 appeared on the screen, as I had intended to play 1.d4 myself. I then sat there for a couple of minutes, as I had not yet prepared anything with black. An interesting position arose in which both sides had chances. After he missed a key blow, 22...Bxg2, the position certainly turned in my favour. I subsenquently missed a couple of good continuations, but what I did was enough to make him resign after 25 moves, in a position we both thought was dead lost for white. However, as we both realised later, his resignation was clearly premature. In the final position white could have fought on with 26. Nd7, a move both of us missed. Still, black would have been clearly better, but there was still everything to fight for. The rapid game went much smoother. From a Grü Indian I reaced a pleasant position, which improved over time as I put pressure on my opponent, and he made a few inaccuracies. He resigned in a hopeless position at move 34, being a pawn down with few prospects. Ivanchuk took the sole lead today, beating Sergey Karjakin 1.5-0.5. He is half a point ahead of Ponomariov, Kramnik and I. Tomorrow my opponent is Jan Smeets. The Dutchman is the lowest rated player in the tournament, but is not to be underestimated, as witness my game against him in Corus this year, when I had to suffer a lot before finally winning in mutual time-trouble with white. Nevertheless, I naturally hope to continue the positive trend of the last two rounds.

Magnus Carlsen, Nice, March 15th 2010