Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand beat Jeffery Xiong of the United States to notch up his first victory in the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament on Friday.
Anand was struggling for form but roared back to notch a win after one loss and three draws.
The Indian was very good in the round four match, playing some brilliant chess.
It was a French Defence Winawer variation where none of the players castled throughout the game.
Anand fired a kingside attack early with his white pieces and enjoyed a spatial advantage in the middle game.
Xiong tried to keep him at bay but in the end, Anand found a crucial central breakthrough after which the resulting rook and pawns endgame was a walk in the park.
Anand moved to joint sixth spot with 2.5 points on a day.
Firouzja Alireza also scored a victory over Anish Giri of Holland.
Anish Giri dropped to 11th spot along with Nikita Vituigov of Russia on two points, Yu Yangyi of China is in 13th spot on 1.5 points and Kovalev stands last with just one point in his bag. Eight rounds still remain in the marathon event among 14 players.
Magnus Carlsen's form was not too good even though he played his 112th game without a defeat.