Sao Paulo: World Champion Viswanathan Anand could not break the ice for the third day running and drew with Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the third round of fifth Final Chess Masters here.
Anand, in fact, had to defend for a long time against the youngest participant here and it was only after a stubborn defense that the Indian ace could force a draw. Draws were the order of the day as Levon Aronian of Armenia did not find a way to break through the defenses of Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain while Norwegian world number one Magnus Carlsen was held to a draw by Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine.
As a result, the lead positions remained unchanged and Caruana continues to top the tables on seven points under the soccer-like scoring system in place here. Aronian, with five points, comes second with seven rounds still to come while Carlsen is a point behind. Anand, with three points earned from three draws, is in fourth spot, a point ahead of Vallejo Pons while Karjakin remains at the bottom of the tables with just one draw so far.
Anand did not get any chances against Caruana. The Italian’s success in this tournament can be easily attributed to some excellent planning in the opening and pre-game preparation thanks to which he has excelled. The only time Caruana was seen in troubles was in round one when Carlsen had let him off the hook. Going for the Sokolsky variation against the Sicilian and
avoiding any serious opening discussion as white turned out to be a good strategy against Anand as Caruana maintained a slightly better position going in to the middle game