Kruttika Nadig chose the right moment to move towards glory, as she stunned favourite, International Woman Master Dronavalli Harika in the third round of the Asian Junior girls' chess championship in Negombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday.
The victory enabled Krutika to move in a two-way lead with Luong Phong Hanh of Vietnam, both tallying 3 points from as many games.
The Indian trio of defending champion Tania Sachdev, Y Pratibha and J Rajasurya, who have 2.5 points each, follow the leaders.
In the 26th edition of the Open section, defending champion International Master Deepan Chakravarthy maintained his clean slate with a clinical disposal of Khamzim Olzha of Kazakhstan.
Deepan shares the lead with Akbarnia Seyed Arash of Iran on 3 points and close on the heels of these two are top seed Nguyen Ngoc Trong Son of Vietnam and Indians Akshayraj Kore, P Magesh Chandran and S Poobesh Anand, on 2.5 points each.
Krutika stole the show while the top two boards in the other section witnessed draws yesterday. The Pune-based girl was at her attacking best in toppling Harika, who played black.
An attack against Sicilian Sveshnikov is not an usual happening but Krutika was determined to carry it out after Harika went haywire in the middlegame.
Coming with a blazing rook sacrifice that looked totally unconventional and following it up with another rook sacrifice that forced resignation, Kruttika made it look simple.
In a cat and mouse encounter, IM Magesh Chandran drew with his state mate S Poobesh Anand. Refusing an early draw offer from Poobesh, Magesh found his position oscillating a bit on the downside and offered the draw himself to take his tally to 2.5 points.
Rohit added to the woes of National Junior champion Arun Prasad, outwitting the youngster in a complicated middlegame.
Arun had lost the previous round to the top seed Nguyen Ngoc Son and now finds himself in an unenviable position of 1/3 score.