World champion Viswanathan Anand played out his seventh draw in as many games, signing peace with World No 2 Levon Aronian of Armenia in the seventh round of the fifth Final Chess Masters in Bilbao, Spain.
With his seventh draw, nothing changed for Anand as he remained clear fourth in the six-player double round-robin tournament and the Indian ace can now look up to the two white games coming his way out of the last three even though catching up at the top seems difficult.
Magnus Carlsen continued to excel in the Bilbao Leg of the super tournament and cruised home to his second win in as many games in Bilbao.
At the receiving end was lowest-ranked Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain who appeared all at sea against the highest ranked player in the world.
The victory enabled Carlsen to catch Fabiano Caruana of Italy at the top of the table and if his form is any indication, the Norwegian seems set to win another strong tournament. Caruana played out a draw with Russian Sergey Karjakin in this round.
With just three rounds to come, Caruana and Carlsen are now tied at 12 points apiece under the soccer-like scoring system in place here that gives three points for a win and one for a draw.
A distant third at this stage is Aronian on nine points while Anand stands fourth with seven draws in as many games.
Russian Karjakin steered clear of Vallejo Pons on five points and he is now clear fifth in the six players meet. Vallejo Pons is now in the cellar with just four draws to his credit after seven games.
The event that started at Sao Paulo in Brazil and is set to conclude in Bilbao, has begun to heat up now and the reason for that is Carlsen.
With a shocking first round loss against Caruana, the Norwegian looked out of sorts when the event was held at Sao Paulo but once back on his familiar European terrain, Carlsen looks the guy to catch while Caruana has had little to show.
Anand, however, could not do much yet again but the draw was a just result coming easy against Aronian who played white.
Having seen Aronian's way of treating the Ragozine defense in a different fashion earlier against Vallejo Pons, Anand was tempted to try the opening himself and it turned out to be a perfect decision.
Aronian, who recently guided Armenia to a gold medal in the Chess Olympiad, failed to get any dynamics rolling in his favour and after his sedate treatment, Anand had little to worry as the pieces flew off the board almost in a heap.
The players reached an opposite coloured Bishops endgame as a result of the exchange melee and there was no reason for either player to continue after just 33 moves.
Carlsen again got his typical variety of chess gunning for him.
Vallejo Pons was picked out for some adventures in a side variation of the French defense and Carlsen out-calculated him in the middle game.
Launching a king side attack by pushing pawns, Carlsen was able to create some definite problems for the Spaniard who simply cracked under immense pressure. Carlsen won a rook and then thwarted some checks to win in 42 moves.
Caruana played his first white under some pressure and did not pose any problems for Karjakin in a Berlin defense game.
The Russian equalised in the queen-less middle game after regulation exchanges and sacrificed an exchange in the final stages to restore parity. The game was drawn in 40 moves.
Results round 7: Levon Aronian (Arm, 9) drew with V Anand (Ind, 7); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 12) beat Francisco Vallejo Pons (Esp, 4); Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 12) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 5).
The Moves: Levon Aronian Viswanathan Anand: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. O-O Qe7 12. Ne4 Rd8 13. Qc2 Bb6 14. Rfd1 Nc6 15. Rxd8+ Nxd8 16. Ne5 Bd7 17. Nxd7 Qxd7 18. Rd1 Qc7 19. g3 Nc6 20. Bb5 Rc8 21. Rc1 Ne7 22. Qxc7 Rxc7 23. Rxc7 Bxc7 24. Nc5 b6 25. Nd3 g5 26. Kf1 Kg7 27. Ke2 f5 28. Kd2 Kf6 29. Kc3 Ng6 30. f4 gxf4 31. exf4 e5 32. fxe5+ Nxe5 33. Nxe5 Kxe5 game drawn.