Ding Liren took a 1-0 lead against R. Praggnanandhaa in the two-set final of the Chessables Masters online rapid chess tournament on Wednesday.

The World No. 2 won the best-of-four games first set 2.5-1.5 after emerging stronger with black pieces in the first and third games. Praggnanandhaa levelled the score after winning, with black, in the second game. In the fourth game, Ding held on and easily drew to close out the first set.

Must-win situation

In Thursday’s second set, Praggnanandhaa faces a must-win situation. A victory for Praggnanandhaa will take the match to a two-game blitz tie-breaker.

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In case the deadlock persists, an Armageddon game will be played. Here, the player with white pieces gets five minutes to black’s four, with no increment time added for the moves made. In case of a draw, black is adjudged as the winner.