Round 10 and 11 are old news by now. I struggled to get the necessary wins in the Blindfold while Rapid continued with two more smooth wins. I was very satisfied with my rapid games against both Grischuk and Gelfand. A point behind Aronian before the last day it was all decided in the blindfold against Gelfand. I went for an unusual and tactical position from the opening with Ncb5 but he defended impressively accurate. When it was my turn to find the critical moves I went astray and the rook against knight and bishop was just lost for me.
Levon Aronian won the overall competition with +9, an amazing score against such elite competition. He also won the Blindfold section. Congratulations!
I came second overall ahead of V.Anand who was the only other player with a plus score. My ambition before the tournament was clearly to win but I.m actually very satisfied with repeating the +7 score from last year and especially with the strong 9.5/11 and clear first in the Rapid section.
The hotel in Monaco was absolutely first class and so was the organization of the event. The last edition of the Amber Rapid & Blindfold was a highly memorable experience.
As a young player, the Amber tournament represented one of the pinnacles of top chess and winning the qualification back in August 2006 made a dream come through. I feel fortunate and grateful to have been invited to participate five times in row. Thank you Muriel and Joop van Oosterom!
Magnus Carlsen, March 25th 2011