Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa held highly-rated Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the first game of the two-game mini-match in the men’s fourth round of the FIDE chess World Cup on Thursday.
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi took a huge step towards securing a berth in round five, by winning the first game against Jeffery Xiong (US) in 49 moves.
The 15-year-old Praggnanandhaa (Elo rating 2608), playing in his maiden World Cup, did not seem overawed by the reputation and superior rating (Elo 2760) of his opponent and held him to a 29-move draw in a Grunfeld Burille Variation opening.
The duo will play the second game on Friday.
In the Gujrathi-Xiong match, the latter made a mistake under time pressure and allowed the Indian to work his way to a win and head into Friday’s game with a big advantage.
Russia’s Vladimir Fedoseev posted a win over Vladislav Kovalev in the first game to gain the advantage.
Meanwhile, Radosław Wojtaszek (Poland) held tournament favourite and world No.1 Magnus Carlsen to a 35-move draw in game 1.