About an hour into round one Friday I blundered against Anand, A pawn down without counterplay. How different compared to last year when I started off with two quite nice victories and was close to winning round 3. Surprisingly, by now I.ve reached the same 2,5 out of 3 as last year. After the blunder I defended quite well against Anand. There might have been a win for white but the Kf5-line he chose ended draw after a few accurate defensive moves. Yesterday I won a smooth game against home favorite Mamedyarov. In round 3 as black against Caurana today I was a bit fortunate when Caruana started to drift in a drawish ending. He thought there were many ways to draw, but allowing Nf3+ was a mistake, and I don.t think he could save the rook ending. Until a year ago we won several games each with white for a fairly even score, while from June 2014 onwards I.ve had black in six of our seven classical encounters and black has won four, white none!
Wesley So has played well and is co-leader after beating Giri and Adams with white and even putting some pressure on Kramnik as white. Kramnik is 3rd with 2 points followed by Anand, Vachier-Lagrave and Mamedov at 50%.
I have black tomorrow as well, against Michael Adams. I have a great score against him as white, but black is another matter.
Magnus Carlsen, Shamkir, Azerbaijan, April 19th, 2015