The expected draw between Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik came in 30 moves spread over 93 minutes in the fourth round of the World Candidates chess tournament at Khanty Mansisyk, Russia, on Monday.

The result was a satisfying one for both contenders since neither was desperately seeking a victory.

The draw raised Anand’s tally to three points.

Later, when top seed Levon Aronian punished an ambitious Peter Svidler to join Kramnik at 2.5 points, Anand retained his half-point lead.

Surprised

Anand, playing white, admitted being “mildly surprised” to find himself in the Vienna variation since he had played it several times against the Russian. “I simply could not remember him playing this for a while,” said Anand after the game ended with Kramnik forcing a draw with the help of perpetual checks.

Kramnik, refused to discus his preparations but recalled opting for similar opening lines three years ago against Alexander Grischuk.

Anand wondered if he “missed something” before Kramnik reeled off an obvious sequence of moves to draw.

Against Aronian, Svidler chose to play for a victory after pondering over the 27th move for 41 minutes! “I had to choose between continuing in an interesting position and settling for a draw.

“You don’t win tournaments by making draws like this,” Svidler was to say later.

Aronian improved his position, made Svidler suffer for over two hours and finally broke his defence in 57 moves.

Bouncing back

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov bounced back from two successive defeats to beat Dmitry Andreikin in a game where both players managed to complete 40 moves with less than a minute on their clocks. But Andreikin blundered and lost in 42 moves.

The results:

Fourth round: Viswanathan Anand (3) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 2.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 2.5) bt Peter Svidler (Rus, 2); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 1.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul, 2); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 1.5) bt Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 1).

Fifth round pairings: Andreikin-Anand; Kramnik-Aronian; Svidler-Topalov; Karjakin-Mamedyarov.

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