With 13 rounds the Corus tournament is longer than most top events. Today we played round 8 and it is still a week to go. Typically the quality of play becomes less predictable at the end of such a long tournament. It.ll be an interesting and decisive week ahead.
Today I played black against the leader A.Shirov, Spain. I lost the last round against Shirov in Sofia in May 2009 in a Sicilian Sveshnikov due to a bad blunder but opted for the same opening today. I played a different bishop move on move number 22 in a tense position. Black has sacrificed three pawns but has sufficient compensation due to the strong central pawns and the active bishop pair. Shirov immediately played a queen move inviting a perpetual check with draw.
It is a tricky position to play for both sides. White must try to regroup and organise his pieces better, while at the same time being ready to give back some of his extra material. Black must ensure that the attack results in sufficient threats to mate or regain material. I put my rooks in the g- and e-files and pushed the e-pawn to e3. Shirov moved his queen to g2 despite the discovered threat from my bishop. In the end none of us found any better solution than to repeat moves, and so this short but quite interesting game ended in a draw.
Kramnik played white against Nakamura.s Dutch opening, and slowly ground him down to move to 5.5/8 points and we share second place half a point behind Shirov.
After a free day, I.ll play white against Kramnik on Tuesday.
Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee