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