Anand draws with Carlsen to slip to joint 4th

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Bilbao, Spain, Sep 7 (UNI) Viswanathan Anand's form continues to elude him as the Indian was held to another draw by Magnus Carlsen in the fifth round to be joint fourth in the Bilbao Grand Slam Final chess tournament here.

As all the fifth round games ended in draws yesterday, lead positions in the category-22 tournament remained unchanged with Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria at the top in the Euro 4,00,000 prize money event.

With five more rounds still to go, Topalov has nine points, Carlsen is at the second place with eight points while Levon Aronian has six.

Anand shares the fourth spot in the event along with two other contestants Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk with four points apiece in the tournament that follows a soccer-like scoring system with three points for a win and one for a draw.

Carlsen took charge very early in the opening as he went for the Schielmann defense in the Ruy Lopez surprising the Indian.

However, Anand did tried to stage a come back in the middle game with better chances and an extra pawn but apparently missed out on a tactical sortie on the 20th that cost him a Rook for a Bishop.

The Indian ace was soon on the defensive and had to find the right path to equalise. A knight manoeuvre ensured that for Anand as he won back the lost material and the ensuing queen and pawns endgame was just a draw. Finally, after 36 moves, both players settled for a draw.

The tournament leader was always superior in his game as he launched the Nimzo Indian defense against Vassily Ivanchuk but failed to post a win as the game ended in a draw.

The queens got traded early and Topalov, playing with black, found his counter play on the queen side. After trading of all heavy pieces, it was a minor piece endgame on board where the players signed peace after 44 moves.

Temour Radjabov, who was playing with whites, also failed to break Levon Aronian's defence and in this game too, an early queen exchange led only to a miniscule advantage for white bit Aronian was good enough to thwart Radjabov's challenge.

Results round 5: V Anand (Ind, 4) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 8); Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 4) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 6); Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 4) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 9).

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