World champion Viswanathan Anand settled for a draw with Russian Alexander Grischuk in the 13th and penultimate round of Magistral Ciudad de Linares chess tournament in Linares on Saturday.
Anand will meet Carlsen in the last round and the only way he can finish tied first is if he wins and both Grischuk and Ivanchuk lose the final round game – a highly unlikely scenario given the form of both the players.
Anand employed the Sicilian Najdorf, an opening that has been a major discussion amongst top players for decades, and went for the sharp Poisoned pawn variation.
Grischuk showed that he had a new idea up his sleeves when he played his 20th move and Anand was forced to go to the defense with his king side coming under pressure.
The world champion warded off white's threats with an exchange sacrifice that gave compensation but the position remained risky for a long time with all white's pieces trained to go for the kill on black's king.
A minor inaccuracy by Grischuk on move 29th enthused life back in Anand's position according to the experts and the Indian came back strongly after another mistake by the Russian to force an equal position. The game was drawn after 33 moves.