World champion Viswanathan Anand played out another insipid draw with former challenger Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the fifth round of the Tal Memorial International chess tournament in Moscow.
With his fifth draw on the trot, Anand has a 50 per cent score in the strongest tournament of the year and is placed joint-fifth.
For the second day running, all the games ended in draws, but they were not devoid of action.
Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine played out a draw with world No 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway while American Hikaru Nakamura achieved the same result against Armenian Levon Aronian.
The day's most interesting battle between Russians Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler also reached the parity after wild complications, while in the other game Boris Gelfand of Israel split the point with Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi.
The lead positions remained unchanged, and Aronian, Carlsen, Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi remained at the helm with three points.
Anand, Ivanchuk and Svidler share the fifth spot, half a point behind, while Kramnik and Nakamura follow with two points each.
Gelfand is at the bottom of the table on 1.5 points with four rounds still to come in the super-tournament.
Anand opened with the queen pawn and faced the Queen's gambit declined from Kramnik. The latter managed to almost equalize out of the opening without too many difficulties.
Anand decided in the middle game that he didn't have much to look up to and took the safer route that involved exchange of pieces. The players arrived at an opposite colored bishop endgame and the position petered out to a draw in quick time.
Nakamura's pawn roll boomeranged as Aronian came up with a sacrifice to get the more pleasant middle game. It was the turn of the American to turn defensive with white pieces and a timely return of extra material maintained the balance.
Gelfand also gave up an exchange to capitalize the weaknesses in Nepomniachtchi's position out of a Grunfeld defence. The Israeli, however, could not make a decisive foray and finally signed peace in 62 moves.
Karjakin faced the Sicilian Kann by Svidler and went for an early attack by sacrificing two pieces. Svidler's king danced to white's tune but there was only a draw vide repetition in the offing. Karjakin spotted that easily and the game ended in 26 moves.
Carlsen was involved in a long drawn affair that lasted 74 moves against Ivanchuk.
Results round 5: V Anand (Ind, 2.5) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 2); Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 2.5) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 3); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 2) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 3); Boris gelfand (Isr, 1.5) drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus, 3); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 3) drew with Peter Svidler (Rus, 3).