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Seventh straight draw for Anand

other Updated: Oct 10, 2012 23:43 IST

World champion Viswanathan Anand played out his seventh draw in as many games, signing peace with world number two Levon Aronian of Armenia in the seventh round of the fifth Final Chess Masters here.

With his seventh draw, nothing changed for Anand as he remained clear fourth in the six-player double round-robin tournament and the Indian ace can now look up to the two white games coming his way out of the last three even though catching up at the top seems difficult.

Magnus Carlsen continued to excel in the Bilbao Leg of the super tournament and cruised home to his second win in as many games here.

At the receiving end was lowest-ranked Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain who appeared all at sea against the highest ranked player in the world.

The victory enabled Carlsen to catch Fabiano Caruana of Italy at the top of the table and if his form is any indication, the Norwegian seems set to win another strong tournament. Caruana played out a draw with Russian Sergey Karjakin in this round.

With just three rounds to come, Caruana and Carlsen are now tied at 12 points apiece under the soccer-like scoring system in place here that gives three points for a win and one for a draw.

A distant third at this stage is Aronian on nine points while Anand stands fourth with seven draws in as many games.

GM norms for Dhopade, Mhamal

National U-25 champion Swapnil Dhopade and Anurag Mhamal achieved their maiden GM norms, while M R Venkatesh remained on pole position with one point lead after round nine of the National Premier Chess Championship at Kshudiram Anushiram Kendra here on Wednesday.

Local lad Bitan Bane-rjee also made it memorable earning his third and final IM norm.