Anand played safe in the dying stages to settle for a draw after 37 moves. The scores now stand level at 1.5-1.5 in the 12-game series in progress at the Tretyakova Gallery here.
The position was complex and it was one of those rare times that Anand found himself in time trouble and impending checkmate with Gelfand's both rooks patrolling his seventh rank and the Israeli had the Indian settling for a draw with repetition of moves.
The third game was the sharpest and fluid so far in the series where the player reaching 6.5 will be crowned champion. The game lasted 37 moves and literally had the followers on the edge of their seats for the most part.
Unlike the first two games, the third game was razor sharp, needing both players to play precisely to maintain some semblance of balance.
Gelfand's Grunfeld was met with a new move on the third turn by Anand but the 43-year-old Israeli GM had more than done his homework, the speed with which he belted out the moves giving a strong indication that he was all along on the home turf.
Anand castled on the queen side but it was Gelfand who was on the attacking side in the initial stages. His queen and rooks along with the knight kept the pressure on Anand's King. Anand's pieces on the Kingside were undeveloped for which Gelfand had sacrificed a pawn.
Anand, however, exchanged off the queens, bishops and knights and appeared better to try and probe for victory.
However, a cautious 35th rook move by Anand had the game petering into a draw.