World’s second youngest Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi defeated Grandmaster Arun Prasad in the 12th and penultimate round to extend his sole lead to a full point in the REC National Premier Chess Championship on Tuesday. With this crucial victory, Negi took his point tally to nine points from a possible 12 and he just need half a point from the final round tomorrow to win title.

Playing with black pieces in Semi-Slav opening, Negi took the control early in the game and not allowed his opponent any breathing space to seal the match in just 31 moves. Top seed G N Gopal agreed to split points with former national champion Abhijit Kunte after the mandatory 25 moves. Gopal along with former world under-14 champion Vidit Santosh Gujrathi and defending champion Grandmaster B Adbhian are now at joint second position with eight points. Playing white side of Fianchetto variation of King’s Indian Defence, Vidit got better off seven time national champion Grandmaster Praveen Thipsay in 39 moves.