Former world champion Viswanathan Anand's hunt for an elusive victory continued as he was held to a draw by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France in the fifth round of Sinquefield Cup, a part of the Grand Chess tour.
Getting his third draw besides two losses, Anand took his tally to 1.5 points out of a possible five and with just four rounds to come, the Indian needs some big wins to recover the lost ground.
World champion Magnus Carlsen meanwhile continued with his demolition act and downed Wesley So of United States to join Levon Aronian of Armenia in lead on 3.5 points.
The other overnight leader Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria suffered his first loss in the tournament as last year's winner and local favourite Fabiano Caruana struck form.
While Aronian was held to a draw by Alexander Grischuk of Russia, American star Hikaru Nakamura's attempt to dent the confidence of Dutch Anish Giri also did not materialise as this one too ended in a peace treaty.
With Carlsen now in front with Aronian, Topalov and Giri are sharing the third spot on three points each. Nakamura and Vachier-Lagrave are next in the standing list a half point behind while the duo of Caruana and Grischuk share the seventh spot on two points each. Anand and Wesley so now occupy the bottom of the tables with 1.5 points each.
Anand came up with a surprise choice in the Sicilian Najdorf against Vachier-Lagrave. The quite approach led to quick exchange of pieces in the ensuing middle game and Anand had an extra pawn to his credit when the dust subsided.