Victory eluded Viswanathan Anand for the seventh successive round as he drew with Italian Fabiano Caruana in the elite 'A' group of the Corus Chess Tournament in Wijk Aan Zee.
A five-time winner here, Anand struggled to find his magical touch yet again and cautious play by both sides resulted in a seventh successive draw for the world champion Indian.
Table-topper Alexei Shirov's unbeaten run ended when Hikaru Nakamura of United States won a fine technical game against the Spaniard.
Despite the loss, Shirov remains at the top on 5.5 points and Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who accounted for Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk, and Nakamura now trail him a half point behind.
Vladimir Kramnik of Russia is fourth on 4.5 points and he is followed by Leinier Dominguez of Cuba and Ivanchuk who both have 4 points apiece.
Anand, with Sergey Karjakin of Russia and Hungarian Peter Leko, remained on the joint seventh spot with six rounds to come in this category-19 tournament.
Anand chose the Slav defense against Caruana and a slow beginning turned in to a heated battle as the game progressed.
Caruana won two pieces for a rook at one point but Anand had just the right resources to draw vide repetition of moves.
Meanwhile, former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta was quite lucky in his seventh round win against tailender Sjoerd Plukkel of Holland in the 'C' group.