World champion Viswanathan Anand played out his third draw on the trot, signing peace with Levon Aronian of Armenia in the third round of Bilbao Grand Slam final on Thursday.
Anand slipped to joint third in the standings with a tally of three points in the soccer-like scoring system that gives 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw. The Indian ace is currently two points behind new tournament leader Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and 1 point behind Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
In the other two games of the six-player double round robin event, Topalov came crashing on Carlsen while Azerbaijani Teimour Radjabov played out a draw with Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
With seven rounds still to be played in the tournament, Topalov with one win and draws has five points while Carlsen with a win, one loss and one draw has four.
Anand shares the third spot with Ivanchuk and Radjabov on three points while Aronian is at the bottom of the standings with just 2 points earned through two draws thus far.
Playing his first black in the tournament, Anand gave a solid display against Aronian in a Slav defense game. After the opening the players reached a position akin to the Queen's gambit accepted and even as Aronian tried hard, Anand was always on guard.
The middle game saw the trading of queens on the 21st move and soon afterwards Aronian sacrificed a rook for Bishop to get a dangerous-looking outside passed pawn. Anand had to find some correct moves leading to liquidation of most of the pawns on the king side and the Indian ace sacrificed his extra material on the 42nd move to force matters.
Carlsen was out-of-sort for the first time in the event as he dropped a pawn against Topalov through a series of forced manoeuvres. The Norwegian sensation, who is rapidly closing in on the number one slot in the ELO rankings, started off slowly with white in the Queen's gambit declined and felt the heat after making an error on the 21st move.
Topalov pounced on the opportunity and got an extra pawn a few moves later. Further exchanges ensued and the players reached a minor piece endgame that offered little respite to Carlsen who threw the towel in after 56 moves.
Teimour Radjabov tried hard to complicate matters against in-form Vassily Ivanchuk but the later stuck to basics to get an easy half point as black in the end. For the records it was a Queen's gambit accepted wherein Radjabov went for early queen exchanges and put pressure on the king side. Ivanchuk thwarted white's attempt for an advantage with timely counter play and Radjabov had little choice but to repeat the moves.
The game lasted 35 moves.
Results round 3: Levon Aronian (Arm, 2) drew with Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 3); Teinour Radjabov (Aze, 3) drew with Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 3); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 4) lost to Veselin Topalov (Bul, 5).
The moves: Aronian v/s Anand 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5 7. Bxc4 Nc6 8. O-O cxd4 9. exd4 Be7 10. Be3 O-O 11. Ne5 Nd5 12. Nxd5 exd5 13. Bd3 g6 14. a5 Bf6 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. Qc1 Bd7 17. Qc3 Qb8 18. g3 Be7 19. Bf4 Bb4 20. Bxb8 Bxc3 21. Bxa7 Bxb2 22. Bc5 Bxa1 23. Rxa1 Rfb8 24. h4 Bf5 25. Bxf5 gxf5 26. a6 h5 27. a7 Rb7 28. Kg2 Kg7 29. Kf3 f6 30. Ra6 Rc7 31. Kf4 Kg6 32. f3 Rcc8 33. g4 fxg4 34. fxg4 hxg4 35. Kxg4 Rh8 36. Rxc6 Rae8 37. Bd6 Re4+ 38. Bf4 Rxd4 39. Ra6 Ra8 40. h5+ Kh7 41. Kf5 Rb4 42. Bb8 Rbxb8 draw.
Radjabov v/s Ivanchuk 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Bxc4 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Nc6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.e5 Nd5 9.a3 Be7 10.Qb3 Na5 11.Qa4+ Nc6 12.Nxd4 Nb6 13.Nxc6 Nxa4 14.Nxd8 Bxd8 15.f4 Nb6 16.Ba2 Be6 17.Ne4 Bxa2 18.Rxa2 f5 19.Nc5 Rb8 20.b4 c6 21.g4 Nd5 22.Ne6 Rg8 23.Rg2 Bb6+ 24.Kh1 Ne7 25.Bb2 g6 26.h3 h6 27.Re1 Nd5 28.gxf5 Kf7 29.Nd4 Bxd4 30.Bxd4 gxf5 31.e6+ Ke7 32.Bc5+ Kf6 33.Bd4+ Ke7 34.Bc5+ Kf6 35.Bd4+ draw.
Carlsen v/s Topalov 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 b6 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. O-O Nbd7 10. Bg3 c5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Nxd5 Bxd5 13. e4 Bb7 14. Rc1 a6 15. b4 cxb4 16. Bc7 Qe8 17. Qe2 b5 18. Ba5 Rc8 19. Qb2 Nf6 20. Rxc8 Qxc8 21. Nd2 Qc3 22. Qxc3 bxc3 23. Bxc3 Rc8 24. Ba5 Bd8 25. Bxd8 Rxd8 26. Rd1 Rxd4 27. Nb3 Rd8 28. f3 Kf8 29. Kf2 Nd7 30. Be2 Ke7 31. Na5 Ba8 32. Rc1 Kd6 33. Ke3 Nb6 34. f4 Rc8 35. Rxc8 Nxc8 36. Kd4 Ne7 37. Bf3 Kc7 38. Nb3 Kb6 39. Ke5 Ng6+ 40. Kd6 Nxf4 41. Nc5 b4 42. h4 a5 43. g3 Nh3 44. Nd7+ Ka7 45. Kc5 f5 46. Kb5 fxe4 47. Bh5 e3 48. Kxa5 g6 49. Bg4 h5 50. Be2 Ng1 51. Bf1 e2 52. Bxe2 Nxe2 53. Nf8 Be4 54. Nxe6 Nxg3 55. Nf4 Kb7 56. Kxb4 Kc6 white resigned.
Photograph: Vijay Kumar