World Champion Viswanathan Anand maintained his slender half-point lead after playing an eventful draw with former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the sixth round of the Morelia-Linares chess tournament.
Anand took his tally to four points out of a possible six after the end of the penultimate round of the event and is likely to play the second half at Linares as a leader when it begins in the Spanish hamlet on February 29th.
In the final round at Morelia, Anand meets Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
It was a game with wild complexities between Topalov and Anand. Playing white the Bulgarian went for a fashionable variation against Anand's Nimzo Indian defense and the middle game that ensued ensured a keen tussle.
Topalov was able to open up black's kind side after a couple of pawns and a set of minor pieces changed hands but soon after Anand was in his element in working out the country play.
Topalov tried to attack on the slightly weakened king side but that was neutralised by Anand's counter play around the center.
After subsequent exchanges the players reached a queen and pawns endgame where the peace was signed after 42 moves. This was Topalov's first draw after two consecutive losses.
From the perspective of decisive results, this was perhaps the dullest day in the category-21 super event as only Azerbaijani Teimour Radjabov was able to score a victory over young gun Magnus Carlsen of Norway while the remaining games ended in draws.
It was an early finish between Ivanchuk and Alexei Shirov of Spain while the last game to end in the day between Levon Aronian of Armenia and Peter Leko of Hungary also saw the points being split.
With eight rounds still to come, Aronian remains in sole second spot on 3.5 points while Radjabov eclipsed Carlsen from the joint third spot to share it now with Shirov and Topalov on 3 points each.
Sharing the joint sixth spot now are Carlsen, Leko and Ivanchuk who all have 2.5 points in their kitty.
Results round 6:
Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3) drew with Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 4).
Levon Aronian (Arm, 3.5) drew with Peter Leko (Hun, 2.5).
Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 2.5) drew with Alexei Shirov (Esp, 3)
Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 3) beat Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 2.5).
The moves: (Veselin Topalov v/s V Anand)
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 c5 5. g3 b6 6. Bg2 Bb7 7. O-O cxd4 8. Qxd4 Nc6 9. Qd3 O-O 10. b3 d5 11. cxd5 Ne7 12. Bd2 Rc8 13. e4 Bxc3 14. Bxc3 Nxe4 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Qxe4 Bxd5 17. Qg4+ Ng6 18. h4 Bxf3 19. Qxf3 Qf6 20. Qb7 Qe7 21. Qe4 Qc5 22. Rad1 Rfd8 23. Rfe1 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 Rc7 25. Bf3 Qe5 26. Qb4 Qc3 27. Qg4 f5 28. Qh5 Qf6 29. Bg2 e5 30. Bh3 Rf7 31. Qe2 e4 32. Rd5 f4 33. Rf5 Qa1+ 34. Kh2 fxg3+ 35. fxg3 Rxf5 36. Bxf5 Nxh4 37. Bxe4 Qe5 38. Qg4+ Ng6 39. Bxg6 hxg6 40. Qd7+ Kh6 41. Qxa7 Qe2+ 42. Kh3 game drawn.