Little-known R. Abinandhan is busy making a mockery of international rating which reflects the playing-strength of a player.

Owing to a modest rating of 1830, the youngster started his campaign in the under-14 section of the World Youth Chess Championship here in the 55th place. With three rounds to go, Abinandhan is the surprise leader with seven points from eight rounds.

Conqueror of two Russian contenders, seeded second and fourth, Abinandhan completed a hat-trick of wins after accounting for fellow overnight leader L. R. Srihari, the 12th seed with a rating of 2283. Having already gained 211 rating points from the first seven rounds, Abinandhan has a rating-performance of over 2550.

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With Azerbaijan’s Aydin Suleymanli, the other leader, held on the second board, Abinandhan established a half-point lead.

In the under-18 section, R. Praggnanandhaa (6.5) overpowered fellow Grandmaster P. Iniyan to join Iranian Aryan Gholami in the lead at 6.5 points. In fact, Mitrabha Guha helped Praggnanandhaa’s cause by holding Gholami.

In girls’ under-18, Vantika Agarwal moved to six points after holding top-seeded Russian leader Polina Shuvalova (6.5), rated 129 points higher.

In the girls’ under-14 section, V. Sarayu (6) stunned team-mate and top seed Divya Deshmukh while second seed Rakshitta Ravi, Russia’s Ekaterina Nasyrova and Dutch Eline Roebers stayed ahead at 6.5 points.