Miami: Indian prodigy R Praggnanandhaa handed world No.6 Levon Aronian a 3-1 thrashing in the fourth round to notch up his fourth consecutive win in the FTX Crypto Cup, the American finale of Champions Chess Tour, on Friday.
The 17-year-old Indian is in joint lead with 12 match points along with world No.1 Magnus Carlsen, who defeated Quang Liem Le of China 3-1.
Praggnanandhaa won the third game with white pieces after the first two in the four-game match ended in a stalemate. First, he won with white pieces to take a 2-1 lead after game three and stormed to victory in 44 moves in the fourth to seal an emphatic win over the acclaimed American star.
Having started his campaign with victory over Alireza Firouzja, the Indian GM has subsequently beaten Anish Giri and Hans Nieman.
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Carlsen, meanwhile, secured a similar result, winning games three and four after the first two were drawn. The duo of Praggnanandhaa and Carslen have a four-point lead over Alireza Firouzja, the world No.4 and the top-ranked junior.
Firouzja edged out Poland’s Jan-Krzystof Duda 2.5-1.5 in another fourth-round clash while Dutchman Anish Giri scored his first win in the tournament, beating Hans Nieman by a similar margin.
Three more rounds remain to be played in the eight-player tournament.
The eight-player all-play-all tournament is the American finale of Champions Chess Tour. There is USD 7,500 at stake for each match win at the event.
Each match will be played over four rapid games, with blitz tiebreaks in case of a 2-2 draw.