World champion Viswanathan Anand’s hunt for an elusive victory continued as he was held to a draw by Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the eighth round of the fifth Final Masters here at the Alhondiga.
The eighth draw in as many games means that Anand is now out of any real title contention in the six-player double round-robin tournament barring a miracle that seems pretty unlikely.
Draws, in fact, were the order of the day as two other games in the super tournament also reached the same result. Sergey Karjakin of Russia signed peace with World No.1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway while Levon Aronian of Armenia suffered before he could split the points with Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain. With just two rounds remaining, Caruana and Carlsen remained firmly in front on 13 points in the soccer-like scoring system in place here.
Aronian remains the only real threat to the two leaders on 10 points while Anand could only inch himself up to eight with each of his draw fetching just one point.
Karjakin remains fifth on six points while Vallejo Pons is at the bottom of the tables having amassed five points so far.