World champion Viswanathan Anand [ Images ] continued his fine performance and retained a full point lead over challenger Vaselin Topalov of Bulgaria after drawing the fifth game of the ongoing World Championship now underway in Sofia, Bulgaria on Friday.
Anand, who had won the fourth game quite convincingly with white pieces to go one up in the 12-game series now also has the advantage of an extra white game in the remaining seven that puts Topalov under tremendous pressure.
Having learnt his lessons quite well after the disastrous loss in the first game when he played the sharp gruenfeld with black pieces, Anand stuck to the basics and yet again played the Slav defence in which Topalov could not find a defect for the second time running.
The game followed on the same title as in third game till the 15th move when Anand was yet again the first to deviate and Topalov had a new position on the board.
This tactic of finding new ideas was the hallmark of Anand's success in the match against Vladmir Kramnik of Russia [ Images ] in 2008 and it seems to be working quite well this time around.
As was the case in the third game the queen got traded quite early in the opening, leaving Topalov to remain in hunt for the elusive complications in which the Bulgarian finds himself comfortable and rearing to have a go.
Topalov apparently got the space advantage as well as his pieces were looking better coordinated. Anand was under pressure and had to find some precise defensive manoeuvre to keep the Bulgarian at bay.
As it happened in the game, Anand managed to trade pieces at regular intervals and eventually reached a rook and minor piece endgame where in Topalov tried but could not find a decisive breakthrough.
The game was eventually drawn with repetition of moves after white's 44th turn.
There was darkness for almost 15 minutes because of power failure. However, it did not have any affect the players' concentration as Anand craftily exchanged pieces at every possible opportunity.
Both the players had a rook and minor piece each with identical number of pawns when they decided to sign piece after 44 moves.
"I took some extra time after the electricity supply was resumed just to make sure of my next moves and then executed it," Anand said after the game.