The drawback of arriving in the US a week before Sinquefield Cup is that the longer you stay, the worse jetlag arriving back home. I’m doing quite well though, and I’ve had time to relax and start thinking about events ahead.
As pointed out, (maybe too many times already!), I had 4 whites in Sinquefield Cup and there are remarkable similarities between the games. After a fairly innocuous opening I got a winning or significant advantage in the complex middle game, and partly due to less than optimal time management I missed the critical continuation or overestimated the game continuation. As discussed earlier I still managed to have faith, keep on pressing throughout and win in the 7thhour against Karjakin and Nakamura.
Against Wesley So I certainly didn’t lack motivation. I have a good score against him historically, but he won a nice game against me in Norway Chess in June.
This time I had the white pieces and played 1.d4. His plan with cxd4 and Qxd5 really surprised me as I thought it would leave white with interesting possibilities and hardly any risk. Unfortunately I didn’t find anything tangible, and when I later played Bg5 I had spent most of my time and realized we were heading for a draw. I was astonished and delighted to see Qe7, but the forced variation I chose was not as promising as expected, and suddenly the position was drawn again. Once again, time management was critical. With more time left, I might have seen that while optically promising, the chosen variation didn’t actually work, and tried the simpler and far more effective Rc1 followed by Rc3 with a clear advantage!
The next great chess event is the Chess Olympiad in two weeks, which I will follow as a spectator.
Magnus Carlsen, Oslo, September 5th2018