Viswanathan Anand played out his fourth consecutive draw at the London Chess Classic in the seventh round against Levon Aronian of Armenia. After seven rounds of action, the Indian Grandmaster now sits in fifth place with 3.5 points, 1.5 points behind leader Wesley So.
In the shortest game of the day, Vishy Anand had almost no problems to keep the balance against Levon Aronian. After his unnecessary loss against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the sixth round, the Armenian dropped to 50% and didn't seem to be able to start another attack on the tournaments' leaders.
Anand, who was playing with black pieces, castled on the King's side on his fifth move after choosing to go with the 'Queen's Gambit declined' opening. On his eighth move, when Aronian captured a pawn on the C4 with his light-squared bishop, Anand chose to exchange Queens. In his eleventh move, Anand pinned Aronian's knight with his King which forced the Armenian to castle on the King's side.
The game jumped into life in the sixteenth move when Anand initiated a series of exchanges that saw both players lose a rook and two minor pieces each. Aronian appeared to have got the better of Anand after the exchange with his rook placed at D6. However, Anand was alert to the danger and neutralized his opponent's initiative by moving his king to f7. Eventually, in the 27th move, Anand offered to exchange his other rook and following the exchange, both the players agreed to a draw three moves later.
Hikaru Nakamura picked up the only full point in the seventh round with a win over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Anand will now face Bulgaria Veselin Topalov in the next round on Saturday.
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