Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi remains at the top of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Candidates Tournament standings after a second successive victory in Yekaterinburg.
Nepomniachtchi headed into the sixth round of matches with a narrow half-point lead over France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Victory over China’s Ding Liren ensured Nepomniachtchi would stay as the tournament leader.
He was handed a further boost when Vachier-Lagrave was only able to draw against China’s Wang Hao.
The Netherlands’ Anish Giri was the only other player to win as he overcame Russia’s Kirill Alekseenko.
The United States’ Fabiano Caruana and Russia’s Alexander Grischuk saw their contest end in a stalemate.
Nepomniachtchi now tops the standings alone on 4.5 points, with Vachier-Lagrave second on 3.5.
#FIDECandidates Round 6:— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) March 23, 2020
Grischuk (RUS) – Caruana (USA) 1/2
Alekseenko (RUS) – Giri (NED) 0:1
Nepomniachtchi (RUS) – Ding Liren (CHN) 1:0
Wang Hao (CHN) – MVL (FRA) 1/2
1.Nepo - 4.5
2.MVL - 3.5
3-6.Giri, Caruana, Wang Hao, Grischuk - 3
7-8.Ding Liren, Alekseenko - 2 pic.twitter.com/JYiAF1Y7CF
Giri, Caruana, Wang and Grischuk each have three points, while Ding and Alekseenko have two.
Matches continue tomorrow.
The final round of games is scheduled to conclude the tournament on April 3.
Participants are competing for the largest amount of money ever at a Candidates Tournament, with the prize pot standing at €500,000 (£453,000/$556,000).
The tournament will decide who will face Norway's Magnus Carlsen at the World Chess Championship later this year.
It is one of the few events taking place amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has largely decimated the sporting calendar.