Yesterday was a turbulent day. Alexander Morozevich withdrew from the tournament due to health reasons. He has been replaced by Viorel Bologan, Moldova (currently ranked as no 20 in the world).
This affected me significantly as I was scheduled to play Morozevich yesterday.
Faced with a choice I preferred not to play against a sick Morozevich who would travel home today. Instead Bologan and I will play round 3 on the freeday Sunday.
In the end I was quite happy to go to the beach yesterday instead.

Today I was black against Bacrot. The Bogo-indian opening worked reasonably well, and we reached a fairly balanced middle game without any obvious plans for any of us. Bacrot seemed somewhat uncomfortable and made some inaccuracies leading to a favorable endgame for me. I pushed my a-pawn and had two interesting alternatives. I could have reached a kingside pawn ending an exchange up with some winning chances. Instead I chose what I thought was a highly promising knight ending, but I had made a miscalculation. His king would reach the a-pawn in time. Draw, after 6 hours play.

Wang Hao has staged a mighty comeback after his loss against me in round 2. Yesterday he won against Nakamura and today he beat Giri with the black pieces to claim sole first with 9 points after 4 rounds.
Giri, who out-prepared Bacrot yesterday and won in style, is second with 7 points.

After defending for some time, Bologan over-pressed against Nakamura and lost. Nakamura and I have 5 points. I.ve played 3 games only though.
Bacrot has 4 points and Bologan (Morozevich) 0.

The combination of football score and one delayed game makes the standing unusually complex. The classic way Wang has +2, Giri and I +1, Nakamura 50%, Bacrot -1. It is maybe adequate this early in the tournament.

It is getting quite hot in Biel!

Friday I.m white against Anish Giri at the usual 2pm.

Magnus Carlsen, Biel, July 26th, 2012