Former world champion Viswanathan Anand started with a fluent win over Dutch Grandmaster Jorden van Foreest before faltering against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the second round of rapid event in the Croatia Grand Chess Tour tournament which began in Zagreb on Wednesday.
He drew his third round match against Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia.
The 51-year old Indian maestro, who is playing his first over-the-board event in over one year, defeated Foreest in 54 moves in a Sicilian Defence game.
However, he could not repeat the magic against his French opponent in the second round, going down in 48 moves in a Caro-Kann Defence encounter.
Anand drew his third round match against Russian GM Nepomniachtchi, who will challenge Magnus Carlsen for the World champion title later this year.
The Sicilian Defence game saw Anand and his opponent settle for a draw in 27 moves.
Nepomniachtchi leads the standings after three rounds with two wins and a draw and five points. He beat Anton Korobov (Ukraine) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) in the first and second round respectively.
Anand has three points (two points for a win and one for a draw) after three rounds.
The tourney will see the 10 elite Grandmasters competing over 9 rounds of rapid chess (to be played from July 7 to 9) and 18 rounds of blitz chess (to be played on July 10 and 11) for a total prize fund of US$ 150,000.
In rapid chess, each player will get 25 minutes to complete the game with 10 second increment time added after each move.
In the blitz event, players will get five minutes for the game with two seconds increment time added after each move.
First round: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov beat Lagrave; Nepomniachtchi beat Korobov; Anand beat Van Foreest; Grischuck drew with Giri; Duda drew with Saric.
Second round: Maxime-Vachier Lagrave beat Viswanathan Anand; Anton Korobov beat Ivan Saric; Anish Giri (Holland) drew with Jan-Krzystof Duda (Poland); Ian Nepomniachtchi beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov; Alexander Grischuk (Russia) drew with Van Foreest.