When we arrived in Wijk last week snow covered the ground and it was pretty cold. The last few days we.ve had plenty of sunshine and warmer weather. (Nearly all the snow is gone.)

Still in his 30.s, Look van Wely is an uncompromising player with a total of 19 appearances in a row in the Corus A-group.
I played him with the black pieces today, and based on an idea from my trainer Kasparov I sacrificed a pawn followed by a new move (13.Bf8) in the opening. Van Wely spent time but anyhow made some minor inaccuracies so that I was slightly better in the early endgame. He managed to defend fairly well until he got into time trouble, but then he made serious mistakes and allowed my c-pawn to queen on move 40. 0-1. I think my play held decent quality today.

Surprisingly all the leaders won (with black). Shirov is still in first place with 3/3 ahead of Nakamura and I with 2.5 and Ivanchuk with 2 points.
Anand and Kramnik have 50% (1.5 points).

K.Lie won in the C-group and together we celebrated the Norwegian victories at the local Italian restaurant.

Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee, January 18th