Indian chess Grandmaster Gukesh Dommaraju moved to the top spot of the standings in the open section of the 2024 Candidates event, on Tuesday in Toronto, Canada.

The 17-year-old from Chennai – the youngest player competing at the prestigious tournament this year – came up with a win over Azerbaijani Grandmaster Nijat Abasov in a match that lasted almost six hours and saw them make 87 moves.

Gukesh, who is the second youngest player to compete at the event, after the legendary Bobby Fisher (who was 16 at the 1959 edition), is now level on points with two-time Candidates winner Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia at 3.5.

There was a chance that Gukesh may not have been the only Indian winner on the night, however. Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu and Vidit Gujrathi were in strong positions against Nepomniachtchi and world No 2 Fabiano Caruana respectively. The veterans eventually managed to hold their Indian opponents to draws.

In Gujrathi’s case, he managed to end a streak of two consecutive losses – to Praggnanandhaa and Nepomniachtchi – which came after his stunning win over world No 3 Hikaru Nakamura in the second round of the contest.

There were no winners in the women’s section on Tuesday as all four matches ended in a draw.

Vaishali Rameshbabu was held by Anna Muzychuk while Konery Humpy drew with Aleksandra Goryachkina.

Vaishali is now in fourth position in the eight-player event while Humpy is sixth. In the men’s section, Gukesh is the joint-leader while Praggnanandhaa and Gujrathi are in fourth and sixth respectively. The winners of each section qualify for the World Championship match.