Viswanathan Anand drew against Ruslan Pnomoariov in Round 5 of the Bilbao Masters Final, securing his position at the top with 11 points (3 wins, 2 draws).
This time handling the black pieces, Anand employed the Ragozin defense in the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Ponomariov was unsuccessful in trying to penetrate Anand’s kingside and, when the rooks from both sides come off the board, Anand was content to perpetually check white’s king and draw.
Levon Aronian and Francisco Vallejo Pons also drew their game. Starting from the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Tarrasch variation, it seemed that Aronian was waiting for Vallejo to make a mistake. However, after 59 moves which resulted in a Rook and Pawn endgame, it was apparent that the Italian-American GM would not go down in defeat.
Anand will be facing Aronian in the last and final Round of the event.