Karjakin (21) became GM more than 9 years ago (the youngest ever) and we have both been pretty active in international chess for many years. Surprisingly we haven.t played that many classical games, decisive games are just 1-0 to me I believe.
Today I came close to improve the score.
As white in the Nimzo Indian variation I gave him some activity to get a long-term advantage in the complex middle game. It went more or less as planned although Karjakin played energetically. The position was balanced, and after breaking with g4 he should probably have captured on e4 with the f-knight reaching a balanced ending after a long sequence. Instead he let me keep the pawn and a pleasant position. Getting a bit low on time before the time control he even let me advance the pawns on the kingside. Expecting him to resign any minute I could not keep a cool head, and found the only way to give him serious counterplay with the Ba6-resource. I was playing for two results only and having refilled my batteries I think I made a decent try. It did not help. Throughout the 5th and 6th hour of play Karjakin defended very well and the knight ending was a draw in the end.
In all the other games as well there were clear winning chances but they all ended in a draw.

2.5 out of 4 and shared lead is of course pretty decent and it is time to focus on the coming rounds. Tomorrow I.m black against Ivanchuk.

Magnus Carlsen, Moscow, November 19th, 2011