World Championship challenger D Gukesh bounced back from a sedate start to defeat R Praggnanandhaa and Vincent Keymer before holding world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen after round six of the Rapid and blitz tournament here on Friday.

However, Praggnanandhaa remained in form, after a win in the fifth round, beating Keymer in the sixth round.

Norway’s Carlsen shares the lead with Wei Yi of China with eight points apiece while Praggnanandhaaa and Shevchenko share the third spot with seven points each.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan, Gukesh and Arjun Erigaisi are joint fifth on six points, a full point ahead of local star Duda Jan-Kryzstof.

With four points, Keymer is in ninth spot in the USD 1,75,000 prize money tournament, a point clear of Giri.

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Arjun was on the receiving end in the day’s opener against Duda but then came up with an exemplary game to outplay Shevchenko. In the last game of the day, Arjun played out a draw with Abdusattorov, keeping himself within striking distance of the leader’s pack.

Carlsen remained solid to score one win and two draws for the second day running, The victory over Abdusattorov in the fifth round reminded everyone of Carlsen’s superior skills in grinding down a rival while against Gukesh he missed a promising continuation before signing peace.

Wei Yi was the star of the day scoring three victories on the trot to join Carlsen in the lead.

Starting with a win against Giri, the Chinese wrapped it up against Duda before handing Shevchenko his second defeat of the day.

Standings after round 6 Rapid:

1-2. Carlsen, Wei Yi 8 points each; 3-4. Shevchenko, Praggnanandhaa 7 points each; 5-7: Abdusattorov, Gukesh, Arjun 6 points each; 8. Duda 5 points; 9. Keymer 4 points; 10. Giri 3 points.