Viswanathan Anand maintained his pole position despite being unable to get anything more than a draw against Peter Leko in the 12th round of the Morelia-Linares Grandmasters tournament on Tuesday.
Though the world champion stayed ahead, his one-point lead was reduced to half a point, as the 17-year-old wonder-boy from Norway, Magnus Carlsen, hauled himself back from an inferior position to beat Veselin Topalov and move to sole second.
Anand played his favourite opening, the Ruy Lopez, but Leko, black, succeeded in keeping Anand at bay. They drew after 37 moves with neither having any chance of a breakthrough.
That took Anand to 7.5 points out of a maximum 12. Carlsen has seven, while Aronian is third at 6.5 points.
Carlsen's game attracted a lot of attention. The prodigy was in lot of problems as he was two pawns down against the former FIDE world champion Topalov in a game that had the Four knights opening. He was fighting to reach equality, but was then helped by a blunder from Topalov.
In the first half Magnus had defeated Topalov with the black pieces and the Bulgarian GM was itching for revenge, but what he ended up doing was lose the second one, too.
Vassily Ivanchuk drew his Sicilian Classical game in 58 moves against Teimour Radjabov, while Lev Aronian was held to a draw by Alexei Shirov in a marathon 77-move game from a Ruy Lopez, Marshall.
Round 12 results:
Anand drew with Leko; Carlsen beat Topalov; Shirov drew with Aronian; Ivanchuk drew with Radjabov
Standings after Round 12:
1. Anand 7.5; 2. Carlsen 7.0; 3. Aronian 6.5; 4. Topalov 6.0; 5. Radjabov and Ivanchuk 5.5; 7-8. Shirov and Leko 5.0
Round 13 pairings: Anand - Topalov; Leko - Aronian; Carlsen - Radjabov; Shirov - Ivanchuk (white first).