Viswanathan Anand continued his steady progress at the Dortmund Super Grandmasters Chess tournament by drawing his second round match against Hungarian Grandmaster Peter Leko in Dortmund.
It was his second draw in as many rounds in the elite event being contested by eight players at the Civic Theater.
World champion Vladimir Kramnik shot into the lead by defeating Israel's Boris Gelfand in a positional game. He shares the lead with Russian Grandmaster Evgeny Alekseev who shocked Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the second round.
The game between German Grandmaster Arkadij Naiditsch and Norwegian prodigy GM Magnus Carlsen ended in a draw after a tense struggle.
Leko played the Marshall Attack against the Spanish opening and concentrated his forces against Anand's king by sacrificing a pawn.
Anand was well prepared for this and managed to keep his king safe from threats. He reduced the force of the attack by trading pieces and taking the game into an endgame. Anand enjoyed a pawn advantage in the minor piece ending, but Leko had the bishop pair which compensated for his material deficit.
The players agreed to split the point in a level position on the 29th move.
Kramnik gave a virtuoso positional display to grind down Boris Gelfand in a long game. Gelfand opted for the popular Semi-Slav defense and obtained a roughly equal position from the opening.
Kramnik fianchettoed his king's bishop, after which the position resembled a Catalan game with some pressure building up against Gelfand's queen side pawns. Kramnik kept increasing the pressure and won a pawn on the 32nd move.
He then proceeded to play the minor piece endgame flawlessly and won in 62 moves with an impeccable display of endgame technique.
Evgeny Alekseev played with superb control to score over third seeded Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Alekseev got a strong grip on the centre against the Scheveningen variation of the Sicilian defense.
Mamedyarov sacrificed an exchange in the middle game in a bid to obtain counter play. However, Alekseev played kept things under control and slowly restricted the activity of his opponent's pieces. Mamedyarov admitted defeat on the 45th move in a hopeless position.
Arkadij Naiditsch adopted the exchange variation of the Spanish opening and a tense struggle ensued. A balanced position was reached in the middle game with both players striving to improve the placement of their pieces.
However, neither could make much headway and the game was drawn by repetition after moves.
Results (Round 2): Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1.5) beat Boris Gelfand (Isr, 0.5); Evgeny Alekseev (Rus, 1.5) beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 1.0); Vishwanathan Anand (Ind, 1.0) drew Peter Leko (Hun, 1.0) Arkadij Naiditsch (Ger, 0.5) drew Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 1.0).
The moves: (Vishwanathan Anand Peter Leko)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.00 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 00 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Be3 Bg4 16.Qd3 Rae8 17.Nd2 Qh5 18.Qf1 Re7 19.a4 Rfe8 20.Bxd5 Qxd5 21.axb5 axb5 22.Bf4 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Rxe1 24.Qxe1 Bf8 25.Qe4 f6 26.Qxd5+ cxd5 27.Bc7 Kf7 28.Bb6 Bd6 29.Bc5.