National junior champion G N Gopal crashed through the defenses of Matthieu Cornette of France to secure his maiden International Master norm in the World Junior Chess Championship in Istanbul.
The victory also helped Gopal to emerge as the best performing Indian in the fray and the Kerala lad is now on 5.5 points in the boys' section.
Meanwhile, the juggernaut of 2003 champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov rolled on mercilessly and claimed another victim in form of Dutch Daniel Stellwagen.
With just four more rounds remaining, Mamedyarov, on 8.5 points out of a possible 9, is set to run away with the title with his two points lead.
In the girls' championship, Indian prospects of a medal suffered a setback as hopefuls -- Woman Grandmasters Tania Sachdev and D Harika -- were held to draws.
Tania (5.5) drew with Liu Pei of China while Harika (6) was held by Polish Beata Kadziolka.
Chinese Gu Xiaobing took a massive stride forward for the girls' title after beating Turkan Mamedjarova of Azerbaijan, who failed to keep the momentum ticking like her brother Shakhriyar.
Xiaobing moved to 7.5 points out of a possible nine and now enjoys a slender half point lead over Irina Vasilevich of Russia, who ground Anna Ushenina of Ukraine.
An Indian winner in this section was Eesha Karavade, who accounted for Anna Sharevich of Belarus, while Kruttika Nadig and N Raghavi went down fighting against Maka Purtseladze of Georgia and Anya Corke of Hong Kong respectively.
Important and Indian results (Indians unless specified): (Round 9)
Boys: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 8.5) beat Daniel Stellwagen (Ned, 6); Ildar Khairullin (Rus, 6) drew with Vugar Gashimov (Aze, 6); Wang Hao(Chn, 6) drew with Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Pol, 6); Ferenc Berkes (Hun, 6.5) beat Evgeny Romanov (Rus, 5.5); Bartlomiej Heberla (POL, 6) drew with Wang Yue (Chn , 6); Tomi Nyback (Fin, 6.5) beat Li Chao (Chn, 5.5); Alexander Kharitonov (Rus, 5.5) lost to Erwin L'ami (Ned, 6.5); Evgeny Tomashevsky (Rus, 5.5) drew with Jan Smeets (Ned, 5.5); Hannes Rau (Ger, 5.5) drew with Evgeny Alekseev (Rus,5.5); Kalin Karakehajov (Bul, 5.5) drew with Borki Predojevic (B&H, 5.5); S Poobesh Anand (5) drew Viktor Laznicka (Cze, 5); Matthieu Cornette (Fra, 4.5) lost to G N Gopal (5.5); Andrey Kvon (Uzb, 5) drew with Deep Sengupta (5); G Rohit (4.5) drew with Roderick Nava (Phi, 4.5); Parimarjan Negi (Ind, 4) lost to Malkhaz Sulashvili (Geo, 4.5); Akshat Khamparia (3) lost to Faik Aleskerov (Aze, 4).
Girls: Gu Xiaobing (Chn, 7.5) beat Turkan Mamedjarova (Aze, 6.5); Natalija Natalija (Rus, 6.5) drew with Elisabeth Paehtz (Ger, 6.5); Anna Ushenina (Ukr, 5.5) lost to Irina Vasilevich (Rus, 7); Beata Kadziolka (Pol, 6) drew with D Harika (6); Jolanta Zawadzka (Pol, 6.5) beat Alina Motoc (Rom, 5.5); Nana Dzagnidze (Geo, 6) beat Dana Aketaeva (Kaz, 5); Tania Sachdev (5.5) drew with Liu Pei (Chn, 5.5); Anna Sharevich (Blr, 5) lost to Eesha Karavade (6); Vera Nebolsina (Rus, 5.5) drew with Marina Guseva (Rus, 5); Mongontuul Bathuyag (Mgl, 4.5) lost to Andriasian Siranush (Arm, 5.5); Maka Purtse ladze (Geo, 5.5) beat Kruttika Nadig (4.5); Zhang Jilin (Chn, 5.5) beat Elitsa Raeva (Bul, 4.5); Melia Salome (Geo, 5) drew with Bianca Muhren (Ned, 5); N Raghavi (3.5) lost to Anya Corke (Hkg, 4.5).