The Norway Chess 2015 tournament has moved into the business end of the competition with Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov still in the lead after the completion of seventh round.
The five matches that took place between the top chess players at Norway all finished in a draw in the seventh round. Topalov did admit that he had planned for a draw against Fabiano Caruana and one does not see much logic for Topalov going all out, with a lead of 1.5 points at the top of the table.
Out of the possible seven points, Topalov has six points to his name, and with just two more rounds to go, he is favourite to win the competition.
Viswanathan Anand, who registered a victory against Carlsen earlier in the Norway Chess 2015, played his match against Levon Aronianin to a draw. Anand is just 1.5 points away from the top spot and he has to register victories in the next two rounds if he is to challenge Topalov.
Anand defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the sixth round of the competition.
Magnus Carlsen, who has been less impressive in the tournament, was more suited to take risks, for he lies in the lower half of the table. During his match against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Carlsen went for a risky opening, which took Lagrave by surprise, and the game finished in a quick draw.
"The score suggests that the losses are still there. In that sense there's nothing I can do. It's about finishing with some positive experiences. Any hope of playing a good tournament is gone," chess.com quoted Carlsen as saying.
"At least since the misery was at its worst, I have plus one. About the two draws there wasn't so much I could to. It's looking normal. There isn't any reason why I should be playing particularly badly.
Carlsen has not enjoyed a good run in the tournament, especially in the first few matches, where he suffered losses, as a result of which he has just 2.5 points.
"Even when I'm not in a great shape I still manage to get something from the tournament. This hasn't been the case. The start has been very unfortunate. Everything went wrong in my two white games," added Carlsen.
Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Grischuk also played out a draw in their seventh round clash.
Standings After Round 7
Veselin Topalov – 6 points
Hikaru Nakamura – 4.5 points
Viswanathan Anand – 4.5 points
Anish Giri – 4 points
Fabiano Caruana – 3 points
Levon Aronian – 3 points
Maxime Lagrave – 3 points
Magnus Carlsen – 2.5 points
Alexander Grischuk – 2.5 points
Jon Ludvig Hammer- 2 points