Vugar Gashimov is one of the three top-30 Azerbaijan grandmasters and quite an aggressive player. We played the Ruy Lopez and he went for his pet line with Bg5. A few moves later I quickly played Kg7 to protect h6 and immediately regretted the choice. To avoid losing a pawn I had to allow some nasty-looking tactics. Material-wise it was subsequently equal but due to several pawn weaknesses and a passive bishop it was an uphill struggle throughout the game for me. Trying to activate my rooks may not have been the right plan as I came pretty close to a lost position, the jury is still out for all I know. The ensuing rook ending is probably drawn and when my a-pawn survived I had more than enough counterplay to secure half a point.
Bacrot . Anand was a Slav variation with a piece sack and it looked fairly balanced until Anand traded off all the heavy pieces. Bacrot managed to win the interesting endgame with white bishop and g + h-pawns against 4 kingside pawns. After two consecutive wins he is now in second place after four rounds half a point behind me. Anand is third.
Paying tribute to the local sports traditions, we are playing table tennis every evening. A nice diversion from tournament games and preparations.
Sunday at 14:30 local time I.m white against former World Champion V.Topalov.

Magnus Carlsen, Nanjing, October 23th, 2010