Viswanathan Anand was engaged in a quick 22 moves draw with Peter Svidler to stay one point ahead of the field after 12 rounds of the World Chess Championships in Mexico City.
The 36-year-old Indian Grandmaster, already world No. 1, is now just two rounds away from being crowned the World Champion.
With an aggregate of eight points from 12 rounds, he is a full point clear of his nearest rival, Boris Gelfand, who at 39 is the oldest player in the field.
Interestingly, while Anand drew his game, the other three games produced results as Gelfand beat Levon Aronian with black to narrow the gap to the leader to just one point and Vladimir Kramnik beat Peter Leko to step into the third slot, half a point behind Gelfand.
So there is a possibility of an upset in the final two rounds on Friday and Saturday.
Anand and Svidler were engaged in Ruy Lopez closed with neither player managing any noticeable advantage from the opening. With just 22 moves gone, Anand, with black, agreed to a draw and split the point.
Kramnik outplayed Leko 39 moves from a Catalan opening to come to sole third, while Gelfand had black pieces but outclassed Aronian in 40 moves from anti-Meran, which has been seen frequently at these championships. In another game, Morozevich beat Grischuk.
Anand will have black pieces when he clashes with Grischuk in 13th round and in the 14th and final round, he will have white pieces against Peter Leko.
Pairings for Round 13 : Aronian v Svidler; Gelfand v Kramnik; Grischuk v Anand; Leko v Morozevich
Results of Round 12: Kramnik beat Leko; Morozevich beat Grischuk; Aronian lost to Gelfand; Svidler drew with Anand
Standings after Round 12: 1. Anand 8.0; 2. Gelfand 7.0; 3. Kramnik 6.5; 4. Leko, Morozevich and Aronian 5.5; 7. Svidler and Grischuk 5.0;
Svidler v Anand:
1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 Bb7 9. d3 Re8 10. a4 h6 11. axb5 axb5 12. Rxa8 Bxa8 13. c3 Bf8 14. d4 d6 15. d5 Na5 16. Ba2 c6 17. Na3 Qc7 18. Qe2 cxd5 19. Nxb5 Qd7 20. exd5 Bxd5 21. Bxd5 Nxd5 22. Rd1 Nf6 1/2-1/2