Viswanathan Anand's incredible winless streak continues unabated as the World Champion played out yet another draw with Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan to slip to the joint fifth spot in the Bilbao Grand Slam final in Bilbao, Spain.
In a dramatic turn of events in the highest prize money tournament, overnight leader Magnus Carlsen of Norway was beaten by Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine while Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria too found his nemesis in Levon Aronian of Armenia.
With two of the highest ranked players in the standings going down, the field was thrown open but it was of no help to Anand who is still looking for his first victory here.
As things stand, despite the loss, Carlsen remained atop the tables on 11 points and Topalov is still on his heels a full point behind in the soccer-like scoring system that gives three points for a win and one for a draw.
Aronian also came within striking distance of Carlsen on nine points while Ivanchuk elevated himself to the sole fourth spot on eight points.
Anand and Radjabov share the fifth spot with six points apiece and three rounds to go. Both are winless and have had six draws and a loss each.
The game against Radjabov did not require too much effort from Anand once the position reached a kind of deadlock wherein playing for a win for either player was quite risky.
Anand's Sicilian Taimanov gave Radjabov a slight advantage but the Indian caught the important central squares to thwart any further progress by his opponent.
Radjabov played on till move 29 before signing the peace through repetition of moves.
The Carlsen-Ivanchuk match was a very interesting battle where the Norwegian played white and faced the Queen's gambit declined. Famous these days to play highly complicated variations, Carlsen went for a dubious 13th move and later criticised it himself in the post match conference.
Slowly but steadily thereafter, Ivanchuk build a dangerous attack against white's king and it was curtains for Carlsen in just 32 moves.
Levon Aronian did well as white against Topalov in a Nimzo Indian defence game. The Armenian won a pawn in the middle game and slowly grinded his opponent in the ensuing queen and minor pieces endgame.
Topalov resigned on the 58th move giving a new twist to the sage of biggest tournament ever in terms of prize money and average rating of participants.
In the post-game conference Aronian was jovial and when asked how he recovered so soon after losing to Carlsen, the Armenian replied, "I am reading Kafka."
Results (Round 7): Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 6) drew with Viswanathan Anand (6); Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 11) lost to Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr, 8); Levon Aronian (Arm, 9) beat Veselin Topalov (Bul, 10).
Moves (Radjabov - Anand): 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. f4 Bb4 8. Bd3 e5 9. fxe5 Nxe5 10. O-O d6 11. h3 Bxc3 12. bxc3 h6 13. Bf2 Nh7 14. Nf5 O-O 15. Kh1 Bxf5 16. exf5 Rc8 17. Rb1 Qe7 18. Qd2 Nf6 19. Bd4 Rfe8 20. a4 Qd7 21. a5 Re7 22. Qf2 Qa4 23. Ra1 Qc6 24. Qg3 Qd5 25. Qh4 Rce8 26. Qg3 Kf8 27. Qh4 Kg8 28. Qg3 Kf8 29. Qh4 game drawn.