Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand’s troubles at Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz continued well into Thursday, with the first nine round robin games in blitz being played on the day.

Anand, who played white in his opening round robin game against Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, opted for the Scotch Game. Both players eventually agreed to a draw in the 43rd move. The Indian No 1’s next three games respectively against Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Quang Liem Le were also draws.

Anand, however, suffered his first loss of the day against table-topper Levon Aronian of Armenia. Opening with the Spanish Game, Anand fell prey to Aronian’s tactics and conceded defeated in the 41st move.

The next three games, starting with the sixth game against longtime rival Garry Kasparov ended in draws as well. To close off the day’s play, Anand lost to Nepomniachtchi’s fellow Russian Grand Master Sergey Karjakin in the ninth round robin game. Karjakin, who played with white, opted for the Italian game before getting the win in the 37th move.

On Friday, with the last nine round robin games to follow, Anand will take on Nepomniachtchi in the 10th game. Currently, the former world No 1 is joint-eighth with Kasparov with a total of 10.5 points. Aronian and Nakamura lead the points table in the first and second place, with 18.5 and 16.5 points respectively.