Khanty Mansiysk: Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand today played out an easy draw with black against former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the second round of the Candidates Chess tournament here.
Not missing anything after his fantastic opening round victory against top seed Levonn Aronian of Armenia, Anand gave yet another emphatic display of positional chess as he drew with Topalov without much ado. The Indian ace moved to 1.5 points out of a possible two, a tally now matched by Russian duo of Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler.
While the opening day saw only Anand winning and rest of the games ending in draws, the second round was quite the contrast as only Anand drew. Vladimir Kramnik cut through the defences of compatriot Sergey Karjakin in great style while Peter Svidler made his 'wild card' look worthy with a crushing victory over Dmitry Andreikin.
Making sure he won't be far behind after the first round defeat, Levon Aronian struck back with vengeance as he made mince meat of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan. With Anand, Kramnik and Svidler in front, Aronian holds the fourth spot on one point along with Topalov and these two have Mamedyarov, Karjakin and Andreikin right behind them with a half point each.
On what turned out to be an easy day as black, Anand opted a set up akin to the Slav defense and had apparently done a lot of home-work in the variation. Topalov sank in to a long thought early in the opening while he went about capturing a pawn in the center and Anand was simply on top in preparation as he played much faster.
After winning the pawn, Topalov could not think of anything better than converting to a endgame with Rooks and Bishops still on board but Anand had worked out that this ploy will also lead to a draw only. Further liquidations led to a drawn rook and pawns endgame and the peace was finally signed with only King's left on the board. The game lasted 54 moves.