Arjun Erigiasi and R. Praggnanandhaa stayed on course of their much-awaited clash following their third straight victory that made them part of a eight-man leading pack in the Dubai Open chess tournament in Dubai on Monday.
On a day when N. R. Vignesh surprisingly held top seeded Russian Alexandr Predke and V. S. Rathnavel exceeded expectations by proving equal to Germany's Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Arjun defeated Raja Rithvik in 32 moves and Praggnanandhaa stopped P. Shyaamnikhil in just 25 to be among the leaders.
Sahaj Grover was the third Indian to maintain an all-win record after racing past Ritviz Parab in 23 moves.
Other leaders were Vladimir Akopian (USA), Rinat Jumabayev (Kazakhstan), Aram Hakobyan (Armenia), Mahammad Muradli (Azerbaijan) and Alexander Indjic (Serbia).
Leading results (Indians unless stated):
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