It’s the morning of the second day, and naturally I won’t write much – there’s preparation to be done. Yesterday was a great day, and not just from a results perspective. The World Cup is an amazing experience; having all these iconic chess players wandering around me was quite dazzling. I felt a little like a star-struck Twilight fan who’d just wandered into the set. This was of course more than a little inconvenient, given that I was supposed to be concentrating on my game, but the location of my board made it even tougher: I was second-row, centre-stage, one board away from Morozevich, Svidler, Shirov and Gelfand. Intimidating, to say the least!
Fortunately, the opening went very smoothly, and I quickly got a big lead on the clock – a big plus while the nerves were still settling. Another anxiety-settler was seeing Fi in the middle of the crowd. She couldn’t find a single spectator or official who spoke English, so she must have been more than a little board (though the lady doth protest), but to her credit, she remained to the end.
A draw with black is not a bad result at all, but I was pushing hard for the win and it would have been nice to break the psychological barrier that he is ‘unbeatable’. Still, who’s complaining?
All for now – I’ll write after the second game.