Former world champion Viswanathan Anand missed a chance to challenge nemesis Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship after bowing out in the second round of the Chess World Cup on Thursday.
Anand, who lost his first game, had to settle for a draw in the second game against Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov of Canada.
The Indian Grandmaster needed to reach the final of the World Cup to qualify for the Candidates tournament, the winner of which goes on to challenge the reigning champion.
Both players decided to settle for a draw after 31 moves. Anand was hoping to clinch a win that would have forced a tie-breaker.
Anand has won the World Cup twice before, in 2000 and later 2002, which was also the last time when he had last been part of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Vidit Gujrathi reached the third round after defeating Le Quang Liem of Vietnam. His compatriots Harikrishna and Sethuraman will play in tie-breaker on Friday.