Most of the players left Sao Paulo Sunday October 2nd and arrived in Bilbao and grandiose Melia hotel in beautiful summer weather on the 3rd. Ivanchuk arrived on the 5th after the highly unfortunate incident of being robbed at gunpoint outside the hotel upon departure in Sao Paulo.
Nonetheless Ivanchuk managed to win against Nakamura in round 6 to extend his lead. I was white against Anand and got a small advantage out of the Nimzo-Indian opening. After a couple of small inaccuracies on my part nothing was left and a threefold repetition after the time control ended the game. Draw.

In round 7 I had the black pieces and was up against Aronian. He played the highly unusual 8.h4 in a half-forgotten line of the Queens Gambit which has become surprisingly topical over the last couple of weeks. I spent some 15 minutes trying to find a response that would make his h-pawn displaced at h4 and was satisfied with the c5-plan sacrificing a pawn for an initiative. He quickly returned the pawn but black kept the initiative. He played the surprising Rc7. In the analysis he admitted to have missed my defense Qa5! Fortunately for him he survives the tactical shoot-out, and the ending was only slightly better for black. An otherwise good game by me was marred by the dubious 26.. b4 after which a3 immediately equalizes. Still only black can hope to achieve anything but his well-timed f4-break secured a draw in a hard-fought game.
Spanish Vallejo saved the excitement in the tournament by beating Ivanchuk. With three rounds to go Ivanchuk is the clear leader at 13 points. I.m shared 2nd to 5th at 8 points.
The competition is held in the glass cube in the middle of the Alhóga Bilbao building and the last three rounds will start at 16:30 local time. The half hour delay was (correctly) expected to result in higher public interest around the first time control.

Magnus Carlsen, October 8th, 2011