I.m happy to say I won the Corus 2010 A group in the end with 8,5 / 13 points ahead of Kramnik and Shirov at 8 and Anand and Nakamura at 7,5!
Having described my last round blunder and subsequent save against Short in London in December as a narrow escape, I could better have reserved the phrase for today.
As white against 17-year old F.Caruana I settled for a closed Roy Lopez position out of the opening, but he defended precisely and the position was fairly equal. In the middle game I found a plan that I thought would leave me with a nice initiative but had calculated horribly wrong and ended up in a very difficult position.
Instead of suffering without counterplay, I sacrificed a pawn to activate my pieces. The knight endgame a pawn down was difficult, but we both thought it should be possible to hold with precise defence. In the 5th hour of play he allowed a line that drew fairly directly while he could have made me suffer a while longer.
In the meantime Kramnik had drawn with Karjakin and Anand with Van Wely, while Shriov against Dominguez was a sharp fight that turned out to be a real thriller. With very little time on the clock, Shirov found an incredible resource that turned a desperate-looking position into an unclear one. Dominguez made a blunder and offered a draw. Shirov didn.t see the winning line either and accepted with seconds left in a clearly winning position.
After the traditional prize ceremony with pea soup there was a closing dinner for the players and organisers in the A-group hotel.
The famous Dutch football star Edgar Davids is a chess enthusiast and he came to the hotel for a long chat which I really appreciated.
Now I.m looking forward to a week of vacation abroad before returning to Norway.
Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee