World champion Viswanathan Anand played out a quick and easy draw with Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan to extend his lead to a full point after the 11th round of Morelia-Linares chess tournament in Spain.
Anand took his tally to seven points out of a possible 11 and benefited from the defeat of young Magnus Carlsen, who was outdone by Peter Leko of Hungary in a masterly crafted endgame on Monday.
Playing the black side of a Caro Kann defense Anand had little difficulty in keeping Radjabov's pieces at bay after the Azerbaijani went for one of the side variations in the opening.
As it turned out, the Queens were off the board in quick and it took just 18 moves before both players realised that it was not worth carrying on.
With just three rounds to come and two Whites to back him, Anand looks set to retain the crown he won last year.
As a matter of fact, his return to the Morelia-Linares edition of this traditional event had proved extremely lucky last year, as after winning the title the Indian ace scaled the number one spot in FIDE rankings for the first time.
Taking the Mexico angle in contention, if Anand wins, this will be his fourth victory in Mexico in as many visits including the World championship title that he won last year.
Former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria inched closer to the leader scoring the second win of the day at the expense of Latvian born Spaniard Alexei Shirov while Levon Aronian played out a draw with Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
Topalov demonstrated his tactical acumen to cruise past Shirov, who apparently blundered. It was a routine discussion in the Grunfeld Indian defense where Shirov lost control in the middle game.
Going for the kill, Topalov sacrificed a Bishop to rip apart blacks king side and it was all over in just 34 moves.
As things stand, the trio of Aronian, Topalov and Carlsen now follow Anand a full point behind while Ivanchk and Radjabov are now joint fourth on 4.5 points apiece.
The loss against Topalov put Shirov in joint seventh place that he now shares with Leko with both having 4.5 points apiece.
Leko played the game of the day beating Carlsen with exquisite technique. It was a Sicilian Sveshnikov where the Hungarian got a typical endgame advantage and nurtured it extremely well.
For the record, it was an endgame with Bishops of opposite colours and rook wherein Leko just proved much superior.
It is already the second time this year that Leko beat Carlsen.
Earlier, during the Corus chess tournament at Wijk Aan Zee in Holland, Leko had spoiled Carlsen's party.
Results round 11:
Teinour Radjabov (Aze, 5) drew with Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 7); Levon Aronian (Arm, 6) drew with Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 6) beat Alexei Shirov (Esp, 4.5); Peter Leko (Hun, 4.5) beat Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 6).
Teimour Radjabov v/s V Anand
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. Nh3 Nf6 7. Nf4 e5 8. Nxg6 hxg6 9. dxe5 Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Qxe5+ 11. Qe2 Qxe2+ 12. Bxe2 Nbd7 13. O-O O-O-O 14. Rad1 Nb6 15. Bc1 Bd6 16. Rfe1 Kc7 17. h3 Rhe8 18. Bd3 game drawn.