Twelve-year-old R Praggnanandhaa claimed a scalp of his second successive Grandmaster to stay on the tail of leader Kirill Alekseenko of Russia after five rounds in the world junior (Under-20) chess championship in Travisio, Italy, on Friday.
Praggnanandhaa, who upset top seeded Dutch GM Jorden van Foreest in the earlier round, found a winning combination in the middle game and handled the time pressure brilliantly to defeat compatriot GM Sunilduth Lyan Narayanan with black pieces to take his point tally to 4.5 and share the joint second spot with two others.
The 12-year-old will now face Chinese IM Xu Xiangyu, who defeated overnight joint second Karthikeyan Murali in the fifth round.
It was also a productive day for Aravindh Chithambaram as he registered his fourth victory on the trot by beating IM Luigi Basso Pier of Italy to take his points tally to four and jump into joint third position.
In the girls’ section, WIM Aakanksha Hagawane and R Vaishali registered comfortable wins to stay on course for a top-10 finish with six rounds still left to play in the championship.