Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with black against Anish Giri of Holland in the first round of the 10th edition of Tal Memorial Chess tournament in Moscow, on Tuesday.
Anand chose the Queen's gambit declined, an opening that worked as his trusted aid a few times before in important clashes.
Playing with white, Giri held a miniscule advantage that could have been neutralised by Anand easily. However, the Indian ace erred a little and missed out on an intermezzo that gave Giri a chance to play on for a long time.
Anand had to find accurate counter play to keep white pieces in check and he achieved the draw in 56 moves.
Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia was the lone winner in the first round of the super tournament that carries a total prize fund of US$ 200000. Nepomniachtchi defeated compatriot Evgeny Tomashevsky in a beautiful miniature lasting a mere 23 moves out of a Scotch opening.
Nepomniachtchi became the early leader on one point with eight rounds still remaining in the tournament.
Earlier in the day, the players paid homage to Mark Dvoretsky -- the legendry Russian trainer who breathed his last on Sunday.
The best game of the day was another all-Russian duel between Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik. Svidler, who beat Kramnik in the blitz tournament earlier, nearly made it 2-0 in as many days against the second highest rated player in the world.
Kramnik survived thanks to some extra vigil on his king side and once he was back in the game, it was Svidler's turn to look for a safe shelter for his own king. The position looked lost but Svidler hung in there and got rewarded when his two rooks proved enough against Kramnik's queen and bishop.
In other games of the day, Levon Aronian of Armenia was pretty displeased with himself for not making a game of it against Boris Gelfand of Israel. It became a tame draw pretty early from the middle game and neither player could do anything.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan also could not find much with his white pieces against Li Chao of China and had to settle for the half point.
Results (Round 1): Anish Giri (Ned) drew with V Anand (Ind); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) drew with Li Chao (Chn); Levon Aronian (Arm) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr); Peter Svidler (Rus) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus); Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) beat Evgeny Tomashevsky (Rus).
Image: Viswanathan Anand