Former world champion Viswanathan Anand was easily held to a draw by Grandmaster Levon Aronian of Armenia in the third round of the Corus Grandmasters A chess tournament here.
After a fine victory with black pieces against GM Alexander Motylev of Russia in the previous round, the Indian ace could not do much with his first white pieces in the tournament as Aronian sought comfort in his first love, Marshall Gambit, and got an easy half point after 32 moves.
The draw took Anand to two points out of a possible three so far in the tournament and he will now meet out-of-sort Magnus Carlsen in the next round game.
However, there was good news for India in the 'C' group with world's youngest GM Parimarjan Negi beating local International Master Thomas Willemze.
On two points, alongwith Anand, was World champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia who was held to a draw by Sergei Tiviakov of Holland.
Playing the black side of a Petroff defense, Kramnik was never in any troubles in this fairly simple encounter and routine trading of pieces led to an equal endgame in just 28 moves.
Meanwhile in other games ending quickly in the third round, Ruslan Ponomariov scored his first victory in the event at the expense of Carlsen who was caught off guard in a relatively simple trap in the opening itself.
Losing his queen for two pieces early in the game, Carlsen did not get a second chance and was grinded in just 30 moves.
Czech GM David Navara proved once again that his recent success was no flash in the pan and drew comfortably with GM Peter Svidler of Russia.
It was a Grunfeld defense game wherein Svidler did not get the complications he was looking for and played it safe.
At the time of going to press, top seed GM Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria was seen struggling against Ukrainian Sergey Karjakin.
Results (Third Round): Radjabov beat Shirov, Tiviakov drew with Kramnik, Anand drew with Aronian, Karjakin drew with Topalov; Ponomariov beat Carlsen; Van Wely drew with Motylev; Werle beat L'Ami; Jakovenko beat Georgiev; Bologan drew with Stellwagen; Smeets beat Atalik; Sargissian bt Eljanov Nijboer beat Kosintseva; Hou Yifan beat Van der Wiel; Van Haastert beat Jonkman; Berg drew with Nepomniachtchi; Negi beat Willemze; Krasenkow beat Spoelman; Bosboom beat Peng.