Round 4&5 in Sao Paulo ended in two draws for me. As white against Aronian I got a very solid position from the opening. There were no targets for him to attack. I felt I should be pressing, but his active pieces made it hard to make any real progress. At one moment I made a horrible blunder. I was very lucky that he was getting low on time and didn't detect it, as I could have resigned immediately a piece down. I noticed the blunder just when I placed the piece and spent some grueling moments waiting for his response. Afterwards the incident wouldn.t let go, and I was struggling to focus on the continuation of the game.
Anand played an early inaccuracy as white in a standard Queens Indian opening. After allowing c7-c5, the position was slightly more comfortable for black. It wasn't much though, and when I prematurely offered the exchange of queens, his accurate defense secured a draw.
I went directly from Sao Paulo to Dublin and Ireland. Once every year there is a gathering with lawyers from all around the world. Simonsen Law firm, one of my main sponsors, hosted a simul with me as their main event. Malcolm Pein, the organizer of the London Chess Classic, was the commentator, and I.m told this turned out to be one of the most successful events of the week.
After Ireland I spent a few sunny and relaxing days in Nerja, Spain, close to Malaga, before arriving in Bilbao on October 6th.

The second part of the Masters Final was initiated with an unusual but interesting conference hosted by tournament sponsor BBK and eminent chess journalist Leontxo Garcia. The players spent some 5 minutes each talking about chess and childhood in front of young chessplayers and parents.
In the long Q&A session we were all asked if there was someone in particular we wanted to beat. Looking back at it today maybe I should have said Caruana. Yesterdays game would be pretty decisive in the sense that anything else then a victory would make it very difficult for me to fight for first. The game was quite interesting. I was a bit surprised by his choice of French and avoided main lines with 2.d3. In the middle game he allowed Qd1-b3-c4 after which his e4-combination looked a bit forced. He thought the endgame would be manageable, but as I expected it was very difficult for black to get any counterplay. He was slowly tied down to the defending of his b and h-pawns, and the rest was a matter of technique. 3-0! I.m now second overall two points behind Caruana.
Aronian sprung a novelty in the Marshall and Karjakin wisely went for a drawish endgame while Vallejo-Anand was a less eventful draw.
I'm white against Vallejo today at 5 pm.
Magnus Carlsen, Bilbao, October 9, 2012