London: World champion Viswanathan Anand played out a draw with former challenger Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the seventh round of London Chess Classic in London.
After a hard earned victory over Nigel Short of England in the previous round, the Indian ace could not do much with his white pieces and decided to split the point on the first all-drawn day in the Classic this year.
World number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway had an off day and that paved the way for Hikaru Nakamura of United States to strengthen his position at the top of the table with another easy draw as black against Luke McShane of England.
Michael Adams of England had it safe right from the word go against Levon Aronian of Armenia while in the other game of the day, English David Howell signed peace with compatriot Nigel Short.
The lead positions changed only a little following a peaceful day as Nakamura stretched himself to be two points ahead of Carlsen, Kramnik and McShane who all have to play an extra game compared to the American.
Aronian and Anand share the fifth spot on six points, two points clear of short who, in turn, is one point ahead of back-rankers Howell and Adams.
Anand got little with the favourable colour against Kramnik after the latter went for a queens gambit declined.
After initial skirmish, Anand had to part with a rook for minor peace even as the position never left the boundaries of a draw.
Aronian was quite happy as Adams went for a harmless setup in the Berlin defense. Regulation exchanges led to a level rook and pawns endgame where only Adams, with his listless play, had anything to complain about.
Nakamura looks set to cap the year with another big triumph as he now has two white games remaining. Playing black in a closed Sicilian, the American had little trouble in maintaining the balance with his black pieces.
Short could not secure his second victory in the tournament as Howell played safe and sound.
In the open section, Abhijeet Gupta retained his chances with an easy draw as black against GM Peter Wells of England. For a final showdown, Gupta takes on English Gawain Jones in the penultimate round. Results round 6: V Anand (Ind, 6) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 9); Luke McShane (Eng, 9) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 11); David Howell (Eng, 3) drew with Nigel Short (Eng, 4); Michael Adams (Eng, 3) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 6).
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– GM Susan Polgar