West Indies, at lunch, were 131 for four in their second innings - a lead of just 18 runs - with England still to bat again in a match where a minimum of 81 overs remained.
Left-hander Chanderpaul, who has now batted for nearly 16 hours since last being dismissed, for 74 in the first Test at Lord's, was 32 not out and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo 19 not out.
Swing bowler Matthew Hoggard, who now had innings figures of three for 28 in 11 overs, took the only wicket to fall in the session when he dismissed opener Chris Gayle under overcast skies assisting England's quicks.
It now seemed as if the most West Indies, seeking a first win in 20 Tests, could hope for from this match was a draw.
England, at 2-0 ahead, had already secured the series but, with rain forceast for later on Tuesday, prospects for another win threatened to be as dependent on the weather as their ability to end the fifth-wicket partnership.
West Indies resumed on 83 for three, still 30 runs behind, after light rain had delayed the start by half-an-hour.
Gayle was 52 not out and fellow left-hander Chanderpaul, who'd frustrated England in the first innings with 136 not out, was unbeaten on 16.
However, they lost Gayle for his overnight score, the opener's best of the series, when he drove loosely outside off-stump against Hoggard and edged to wicket-keeper Matthew Prior.
That left West Indies 94 for four.
Stephen Harmison bowled at sharp pace on his Durham home ground after the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Tuesday he would have to undergo surgery for a "non-serious hernia".
The fast bowler had a close lbw appeal against Chanderpaul, on 32, turned down by umpire Aleem Dar and then struck Bravo a painful blow on the right thumb.
England, in trouble at 165 for six saw Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood, score 128 in their first innings 400.
Together with Prior (62), he put on 169 for the seventh wicket.
West Indies' first innings had also featured a lower-order recovery after they'd collapsed to 55 for four. Chanderpaul and Bravo (44) added 86 for the fifth wicket in a total of 287.
West Indies 287&131 for 4 (Gayle 52, Chanderpaul 32 n o, Bravo 19 n o) Vs England 400 all out.