Former world champion Viswanathan Anand pushed yet again but could not break the solid defences of Anish Giri of Holland and had to settle for a second straight draw in the Norway chess tournament, a part of the Grand Chess tour.
After allowing an easy draw as white, it was Anand's turn to fight with the black pieces and the Indian ace took his chances when Giri ventured into troubled waters.
It was a double Fianchetto by Giri in the opening and the Dutchman allowed Anand to come up with an exchange sacrifice to get dangerous passed pawns on the queen side.
Giri gave his extra material back in time but landed in further troubles in the ensuing rook and pawns endgame. On the 44th turn, Anand had a better try than in the game as his extra pawn did not prove enough. The game was drawn in 53 moves.
"Today I played a horrible game," said Giri. "I did everything to lose, but may be just not enough."
It turned out to be another tough day for world champion Magnus Carlsen as he lost his second straight game in a row against Fabiano Caruana of Italy.
After losing on time against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov from a winning position, Carlsen could not match the deep preparation and dominating play of Caruana out of a Berlin defense game. The Italian was at his best in finding just the right resources and cruised home in the endgame.
The other three games of the second round ended in draws albeit after interesting fights.
Veselin Topalov thought he was "pushing for more" against Hikaru Nakamura of United States but the latter wriggled out with his trademark counter-active chess. Russia's Alexander Grischuk and Levon Aronian of Armenia opened their accounts in the nine-round event with a crazy game that resulted in a peaceful result while in the other game of the day local star Jon Ludvig Hammer had France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on the ropes but couldn't post a win.
Vachier-Lagrave, Topalov, Nakamura, Giri and Caruana share the lead on 1.5 points with seven rounds still remaining in the USD 305000 prize money tournament.
Anand, on one point, is occupying the sole sixth spot while Grischuk, Aronian and Hammer have an identical half a point. Carlsen is yet to open his account in the tournament and is currently on the last spot.
Results round 2: Anish Giri (Ned, 1.5) drew with V Anand (Ind, 1); Jon Ludvig Hammer (Nor, 0.5) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 1.5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 1.5) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 1.5); Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 1.5) beat Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 0); Alexander Grischuk (Rus, 0.5) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 0.5).