Moscow (Russia): World Champion Viswanathan Anand played out his sixth draw on the trot, signing peace with long-time rival Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in the sixth round of the Tal memorial tournament here.
Playing black, Anand did not get much to hope for against some solid play by Ivanchuk and the Indian inched up to three points from six games in the strongest tournament of the year.
Interestingly, for the third day running, all the five games ended in draws leaving the standings as they were after the end of the third round.
The games were yet again hard fought especially in a couple of encounters and were not devoid of excitement.
Norwegian world number one Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian of Armenia and Russian duo of Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepommniachtchi remained at the helm on 3.5 points each while Anand, Ivanchuk and Peter Svidler follow them half a point adrift.
Another half point adrift is Vladimir Kramnik of Russia along with Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Anand`s challenger in the next World Championship -? Boris Gelfand --stands last with three rounds still to come.
Yet again playing combative chess, Carlsen tried very hard and at some point gave initiative to Svidler before the players arrived at a level position.
Kramnik was held to a draw by Nakamura and the all Russian duel between Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi also reached the same result. In the other game of the day, Aronian too could not make best use of his white pieces against Gelfand.
Ivanchuk was the one who chose an unambitious and quiet line against Anand`s Queen`s gambit declined Lasker variation.
The world champion has had some memorable results in the opening including his victory in the crunch game of the last world championship against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov.
Ivanchuk may have gone for seemingly harmless manoeuvres but as Anand explained in the post game conference, this was not because he sought a quick draw.
"He does this very often, playing harmless positions and then concentrating heavily. If you make a small mistake he will play the ending very well. The thing is, today it was not only harmless, but also very dry.”
"In Bilbao, for instance, he outmaneuvered me, so today I wanted to be more careful. Vassily is quite dangerous in harmless positions," Anand said.
As it happened in the game, Anand liquidated to a level knights and pawns endgame and drew in 36 moves.
Carlsen faced the Grunfeld defense which has found many followers here. Peter Svidler is riding high on his recent world cup success and he got in to the act pretty soon after Carlsen handed him the initiative.
However, a crucial defensive move on the 39th turn ensured that white held his position together and the players shook hands in 53 moves.