After playing out a draw against Peter Svidler in the seventh round, Viswanathan Anand made another draw against in-form Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. With the draw in the penultimate round, the Indian maestro remained at the joint-third spot in the Tal Memorial Chess tournament.
In the penultimate round, Anand was expected to pull up his socks to dismantle the Russian to move to the top. But, Nepomniachtchi played it safe to remain at the top of the 200000 USD prize money tournament.
Nepomniachtchi pressed for advantage in the English opening as white. Anand warded off the initial advantage of the Russian by the trade of queens and later by some key positional manoeuvres.
Nepomniachtchi, who started the game as the topper in the chart, ended the day with a safe hand after playing out this cautious game against former World champion Viswanathan Anand.
With just one round to go in the tournament, Nepomniachtchi with 5.5 points sits at the top and Anish Giri of Holland, with half point lesser, stands second. Anand, Levon Aronian of Armenia and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia share the third spot with 4.5 points each, while Peter Svidler of Russia and Chinese Li Chao have four points to their name.