Anand-Nepomniachtchi draw 3rd round

Moscow: World Champion Viswanathan Anand`s hunt for the elusive victory continued as he was held to a draw by former European champion Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia in the third round of the Tal Memorial Chess Tournament here.

The Indian yet again could not get much with his white pieces despite going for a complex variation and it all came easy for Nepomniachtchi in the first game to end on what was a day for black pieces here. The first two rounds had produced just three decisive games and the third round produced as many in a single day.

Incidentally, all the victories came with black pieces and in the other game too Norwegian world number one Magnus Carlsen came close to beating Russia`s Vladimir Kramnik who played with white.

Levon Aronian won a fine game against Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine while Peter Svidler grounded the hopes of American Hikaru Nakamura. World Championship challenger Boris Gelfand found the going tough for the second day running as he was outplayed by Ukrainian turned Russian Sergey Karjakin.

As a result, Carlsen, Aronian, Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi emerged as joint leaders on two points each while Anand, Svidler and Ivanchuk are close behind on 1.5 points apiece.

Kramnik and Nakamura share the eighth spot on one point while Gelfand is at the bottom of the table with just a half point in his kitty. Playing white, Anand faced the Grunfeld defense from Nepomniachtchi that the Indian has himself employed as black many times.