At 27 Luke McShane is quite an experienced player. He won the Youth World Championship under 10 already back in 1992 at the age of 8. Browsing through his games from this championship revealed that he met a number of the current top 100 players among others his opponent yesterday Levon Aronian.
He played 1.e4 against me today and I went for the sideline 6..Bc5 in the Ruy Lopez. He seemed to be well prepared. I spent 30 minutes looking for a way to avoid the main continuation, where play gets really sharp. I did not find a good alternative and instead managed to mix up the move order with h6? directly instead of exd4 followed by h6.
The resulting position felt unpleasant and despite spending most of my time for the first 20 moves I made several more inaccuracies - while McShane played well - to reach a lost position. In the time trouble I somehow managed to find a few good defensive moves and he still had a job to do after move 40. He spent lots of time on his next 10 moves and when trying to consolidate before the second time control he allowed me some counterplay with Qe1 after which I believe the game was headed for a draw with correct play. After nearly 7 hours a draw was agreed.
There were two decisive games today. Nakamura appeared to be worse in the middle game against Aronian. The latter made a few mistakes before the time control and seemed to fall apart in contrast to his normal display of tenacious defense. Short went for an old drawish variation against Kramnik but managed to misplace his white squared bishop. His position was probably lost before move 20 and he resigned some 20 moves later.
I.m shared first with Kramnik and Nakamura after 2 rounds with 4 points (based on football score).
Monday I.m white against co-leader Hikaru Nakamura whom I beat in the last round in Tal Memorial a week ago.
Magnus Carlsen, London, December 4th, 2011