World champion Viswanathan Anand tried hard but eventually split the point with Dutchman Loek van Wely in the 12th and penultimate round in group A of the Corus international chess tournament on Sunday.
Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi outplayed Efstratios Grivas of Greece to emerge as clear second in the group C.
The Indian meets tournament leader Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the final round and a victory will propel him to a joint first finish.
Starting out with two losses, this has been an excellent recovery by Negi, who is the second youngest ever Grandmaster in the history of the game.
Meanwhile in the group A, Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen staked claim for the title again with a remarkable victory over former world champion and reigning world number one, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia.
Playing the black side of an English opening Carlsen capitalised on a calculation mistake by Kramnik and pulled the plug in the ensuing endgame.
Carlsen took his tally to 7.5 points and joined overnight leader Levon Aronian at the top of the tables after the latter played a quiet draw with Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
Anand is now a half point behind the two leaders along with Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and a photo-finish seems well on cards in the first big tournament of the year.