Compared to the Sao Paulo part, Bilbao has turned out quite differently. By winning an interesting but not perfect game against Vallejo in round 7 I drew level with Caruana with 3 rounds to go.
Yesterday I played the French with 3... Bb4. My opponent Karjakin might have been influenced by his relatively poor tournament when choosing the less sharp continuation. He didn.t pose any real problems to me, and I couldn.t pose any problems to him. The locked rooks and opposite bishops endgame was drawn by repetition.
It was only my second game of 2012 against V.Anand, and I really looked forward to our encounter today. The 3.Bb5 Sicilian gives white more space and potential long term advantages. His energetic d5! seemed to solve some of his problems, but when he allowed e5! followed by e6! it got quite tricky. I had a strong initiative for the sacrificed pawn, and after Nh3 I think I was simply winning.
As I expected Anand resigned already on move 30. He was totally tied down with too many weaknesses to have any realistic chances of saving the game.
As black against Caruana, Aronian tried a creative but unsound knight sacrifice followed by a similar exchange sacrifice. Aronian had some counterplay, but Caruana finished him off mercilessly in the time trouble.
Consequently Caruana and I share first at 16 points (football score) or +3.
Tomorrow at 16:30, I play black against Aronian (who is in third at ten points).
Caruana has black against Vallejo. In case of a tie for first, there will be a blitz play-off.

Magnus Carlsen, Bilbao, October 12, 2012