World champion Viswanathan Anand outsmarted Loek Van Wely of Holland to come back in joint lead after the seventh round of the 75th Tata Steel Chess tournament here.
After two draws against Magnus Carlsen of Norway and compatriot P Harikrishna post the first rest day, Anand broke through the defences of Van Wely in style showing fine technique to take his points tally to five.
Magnus Carlsen played out a draw with Hungarian Peter Leko to match Anand on points and the two leaders are now followed by Hikaru Nakamura of United States and Sergey Karjakin of Russia a half point behind.
With six rounds still to come in the 14-players round-robin tournament, Harikrishna shares the fifth spot with Levon Aronian of Armenia on four points.
Left with some catching up to do is Fabiano Caruana of Italy on three points sharing the eighth spot with Van Wely and Chinese Wang Hao while Dutch duo of Anish Giri and Erwin L'Ami along side Yifan Hou of China are in 11th spot with 2.5 points apiece.
Ivan Sokolov of Holland, who drew with Harikrishna in seventh round, is at the bottom of the tables on just two points from his seven games.
After two days of many decisive games, the lull was back and as only Anand and Nakamura scored victories. The American was quite happy to beat his nemesis Wang Hao.
Aronian came close to winning his third game in a row but Sergey Karjakin got off the hook in the final hour. Yifan Hou pressed but could only share the point with Caruana while L'Ami and Giri played an easy draw between themselves. Anand was surprised early as Van Wely went for the Scandinavian defence and apparently equalised in the early stages of the middle game.
However, on his 18th turn, the Dutch GM missed the thread of the position and went for a breakthrough that seriously weakened key squares.
Anand knocked down a pawn in quick time thereafter and entered a rook and minor piece endgame. Another error by Van Wely sealed the game in Anand's favour in 37 moves.
Harikrishna played out a draw with Sokolov from a Nimzo Indian defence where the latter played white. Sokolov secured advantage but could not go beyond that as Harikrishna's position remained solid.
The rook and minor piece endgame had no chance for either players and the draw was a just result in 45 moves.
Results round 7: V Anand (Ind, 5) beat Loek Van Wely (Ned, 3); Ivan Sokolov (Ned, 2) drew with P Harikrishna (Ind, 4); Peter Leko (Hun, 4) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 5); Wang Hao (Chn, 3.5) lost to Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 4.5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 4.5) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 4); Erwin L'Ami (Ned, 2.5) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 2.5); Yifan Hou (Chn, 2.5) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita, 3).
The moves: V Anand - Loek Van Wely
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Bd2 Bg4 6. f3 Bd7 7. Bc4 Qb6 8. Nge2 e6 9. Bb3 Nc6 10. Be3 Na5 11. O-O Nxb3 12. axb3 Be7 13. Nf4 O-O 14. Re1 Rfd8 15. Nd3 Qd6 16. Bf2 Bc6 17. Ne4 Nxe4 18. fxe4 f5 19. exf5 exf5 20. c4 Be4 21. Nc5 Qg6 22. Nxe4 fxe4 23. Qb1 Bf6 24. Qxe4 Qxe4 25. Rxe4 c6 26. Kf1 Rd7 27. Ke2 a6 28. Kd3 Rad8 29. Rae1 Kf7 30. Be3 h5 31. Rf1 Kg6 32. b4 Rd6 33. h3 R6d7 34. g4 hxg4 35. hxg4 Rf8 36. g5 Bxd4 37. Re6+ black resigned.