ZAGREB: India's Viswanathan Anand drew his sixth straight game in the Grand Chess tour while Magnus Carlsen of Norway shot to sole lead after the end of the seventh round of the first Classical tournament here Thursday.
It was a rather tame draw by Anand and probably the Indian ace did not expect the opening that Ding Liren played.
The Ruy Lopez opening led to a fairly equal middle game once Anand decided to trade the central pawns in the opening and even though it was a fairly high quality opening debate, neither side could actually achieve anything out of it.
The game was drawn in quick time - a mere 27 moves.
The day belonged to Carlsen as he outclassed Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia in what was the first win by the Norwegian against the Russian number one.
"Basically all I can say is that it looks worse for Black than it is. There's something nice about being positioned worse out of the opening - that at least in this case all the holes are already there, so you don't have to worry about concessions because you already made concessions. It's about me trying to get counterplay," Carlsen said after the game.
All the other remaining four games in the 12-player round robin tournament were drawn.
Carlsen, on five points, is in sole lead from seven rounds, and he is followed by Wesley So, who survived a real scare against Sergey Karjakin before getting half point.
Fabiano Caruana of the United States, Ding Liren of China, Levon Aronian of Armenia and Nepomniachtchi share the third spot on four points each.