Victory eluded World champion Viswanathan Anand for the second successive day as he played out a draw with Russian Nikita Vituigov in the second round of the Alekhine Memorial Chess tournament in Paris at the Louvre.
After a shocking loss at the hands of English Michael Adams, Anand recovered a bit in keeping the position together as black against Vituigov who pressed for quite sometime before liquidating the position.
Adams, meanwhile, continued with his winning ways and downed Peter Svidler of Russia to emerge as the sole leader in the super tournament with his back to back wins.
China's Ding Liren's party was spoilt by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France who came up with a scintillating effort. Armenian Levon Aronian, who had lost to Liren in the opener, showed steely nerves to overcome Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.
The other game of the day between Laurent Fressinet of France and Boris Gelfand ended in a draw.
Adams leads the 10-player round-robin tournament with two points from as many rounds and he is now followed by Vachier-Lagrave a half point behind.
Liren, Kramnik, Aronian, Gelfand and Fressinet share the third spot with one point each while Anand stands at joint eighth spot along with Svidler and Vituigov.
The Nimzo Indian defense by Anand did not equalize quickly against Vituigov as the Russian pressed for initiative early in the middle game.
Anand faced the heat but was quite up to the task in finding the defense which involved exchanging of all minor pieces that led to a rooks and queens endgame.
Vituigov held the slight advantage but after the trade of queens Anand's technique was machine like as he drew almost effortlessly. The game lasted 40 moves.
Vachier-Lagrave played the game of the day. It was a pleasure for the spectators as the Frenchman paralysed black's forces on the king side out of a Caro Kann defense as white and then guided his pieces for an attack against the King.
Liren played the whole game almost two pieces less with his rook and Bishop never coming out to take part in the proceedings. It was all over in 39 moves.
Aronian bounced back in style at the expense of Kramnik who looked a pale shadow of himself after a remarkable first round triumph against Vituigov.
The Queen pawn opening gave Aronian slightly better prospects in the ensuing middle game and he managed to get a passed pawn in the center to exert pressure. Kramnik had no chance and lost in 52 moves.
Adams defeated Svidler in a Ruy Lopez game as white. Svidler equalised in the middle game but chose an erroneous plan the crunch moment after which his pawns came under the hammer.
Adams won one and was threatening to pocket another in the minor piece endgame when Svidler called it a day.
Results round 2: Nikita Vituigov (Rus, 0.5) drew with V Aanand (Ind, 0.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 1) beat Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1); Michael Adams (Eng, 2) beat Peter Svidler (Rus, 0.5); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1.5) beat Ding Liren (Chn, 1); Laurent Fressinet (Fra, 1) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr, 1).
Photograph: Oleg Popov/Reuters