St Louis (USA): Former world champion Viswanathan Anand did not have a change in fortunes as he played out his sixth draw in a row, signing peace with tournament leader Levon Aronian of Armenia in the eighth and penultimate round of the Sinquefield Cup chess meet.
Having lost two and drawn six, Anand is certain to lose some rating points even if he wins his last round game against reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
A victory however, will give the Indian ace a much needed boost as his standing in the tournament as well as in the tour will get better.
For the first time, the round did not produce a single decisive games with all games ending peacefully. Carlsen was the closest to victory against American Hikaru Nakamura but the Norwegian has been struggling with his form tremendously in the last few games. It was a major slip that saw Nakamura survive a near-hopeless position.
With just one round remaining in the super tournament, Aronian is sitting pretty eying his first major title this year. The Armenian with 5.5 points, enjoys a full point lead over nearest rivals Anish Giri of Holland, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, Alexander Grischuk of Russia and Carlsen who all have 4.5 points apiece.
Nakamura and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria share the sixth spot on four points each, a point ahead of Fabiano Caruana of United States and Anand who have three points in their kitty. Wesley So, with 2.5 points is at the bottom of the tables.
In the second half, Anand's most difficult game was supposedly against in-form Aronian but it turned out to be an easy game in the end. Playing the black side of an English opening Anand faced little difficulty once Aronian made an erroneous 16th move when a pawn capture by the queen might have given a tangible advantage.