World champion Viswanathan Anand slipped to joint third after being held to a draw by second seed Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the second round of the Grenke Chess Classic here.
With two draws from two games, the Indian took his tally to one point. His first white game in the tournament did not come good as Caruana came up with fine counter-play to maintain the balance.
Caruana, who had beaten Georg Meier of Germany in the first round of this six-player double round-robin tournament, was joined at the top by German player Arkadij Naiditsch who outwitted Michael Adams of England.
The other game between Germans Daniel Fridman and Meier ended in a draw paving the way for the latter to open his account.
Caruana and Naidticsch have 1.5 points from one win and a draw and Anand and Fridman are breathing down their necks with two draws apiece.
With eight rounds still to come, Adams and Meier are at the bottom of the standings having half a point in their kitty.
Fabiano Caruana had suffered a major reversal at the Tata Steel Chess tournament and lost his place in the top-10 of world rankings when the event ended.
The Italian explained that there were many factors behind that fiasco and one of them was the absence of his coach Vladimir Chuchelov who is back to work with him here.
After a first round drubbing of Meier, the Italian showed a lot of courage against Anand who had beaten him in the Tata tournament.
The Ruy Lopez by Anand led to slightly better prospects but the Italian came up with a new idea on move 20 to get a level position.
Just two moves later, Anand made a slight inaccuracy that allowed the centre to be dissolved.
In the post game conference Anand candidly admitted he missed a move.
“I should have at least thought about it,” he said.
Once the centre was opened, Caruana had no problems and subsequent exchanges led to a drawn opposite coloured Bishops endgame where the peace was signed after 40 moves. Naiditsch pushed hard for a victory and his efforts were rewarded when Adams cracked under pressure.
The Nimzo Indian by the English met with some classical response and it was a tense affair after Naiditsch gave up his queen side pawns for an ambitious attack.
Adams decided to part with a rook for knight but his position remained difficult to defend. After nearly seven hours, the German romped home.
Fridman and Meier played out a draw through repetition of moves from an irregular queen pawn game. The shortest game of the day lasted just 26 moves.
Results round 2: V Anand (Ind, 1) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 1.5); Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 1.5) beat Michael Adams (Eng, 0.5); Daniel Fridman (Ger, 1) drew with Georg Meier (Ger, 0.5).
The moves: V Anand - Fabiano Caruana
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6.
Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Re8 10. d4 Bb7 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. d5 Nb8 13. Nf1 Nbd7 14. N3h2 Nc5 15. Bc2 c6 16. b4 Ncd7 17. dxc6 Bxc6 18. Bg5 h6 19. Bxf6 Nxf6 20. Ng4 a5 21. Nxf6+ Qxf6 22. Ne3 axb4 23. cxb4 d5 24. exd5 Bd7 25. Qb1 g6 26. d6 Rad8 27. a4 Bxd6 28. axb5 e4 29. Bxe4 Qf4 30. Nf1 Bxb5 31. g3 Qf6 32. Bg2 Rxe1 33. Qxe1 Bxf1 34. Qxf1 Bxb4 35. Ra8 Rxa8 36.
Bxa8 Bd6 37. Kg2 Kg7 38. Bf3 Bf8 39. Qe2 Qe7 40. Qxe7 game drawn.