Bilbao (Spain): Defending champion Viswanathan Anand started his campaign with a draw against Dutchman Anish Giri in the first round of Bilbao Masters Final chess tournament here.
Anand enjoyed the better prospects for quite some time in a rather off-beat position resulting from a Ruy Lopez but Giri was up to the task in defending, although the Dutchman conceded in the post game chat that he was much worse.
In the other game of the four-player double round-robin tournament, American Wesley So defeated Liren Ding of China to emerge as the early leader in the six-round tournament.
The soccer-like scoring system gave Wesley three points for his first victory, while Anand and Giri got a point each for drawing their game. Ding is yet to open his account. Anand next plays with his second white in the tournament against Liren Ding.