Local favourite Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk of Russia knocked out Ukraine's Vassily Ivanchuk in the semi-rapid tie-breaker to move into the final of the World Chess Cup now underway in Khanty Mansiysk (Russia).
It will be an all-Russian final, as Peter Svidler earlier booked his place the summit clash at the expense of former World champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine.
It turned out to be a very tense affair for Grischuk but in the end his steely nerves prevailed over Ivanchuk's slightly weaker play in faster version of the game.
The Ukrainian was left ruing the fact that he had a nearly drawn endgame on board in the first game of the tie-breaker. A draw might have been enough to take him to the final as he won the second game to extend the match further.
The all-Russian final means that both Grischuk and Svidler are now part of the next candidates tournament as part of the World Championship cycle. The other player will be the winner of the third place classification match between Ivanchuk and Ponomariov.
The day started with a victory for Grischuk after Ivanchuk erred from a complicated rook and pawns endgame.
Ivanchuk missed the thread of the position towards the end of the game when he failed to find the right moves to stay in the endgame wherein he was a pawn less.
Grischuk seized the initiative and was on the verge of winning another pawn when Ivanchuk resigned.
The second tie-break game, however, saw Ivanchuk at his best as he outplayed Grischuk in the middle game arising out of an English opening. The Ukrainian raised visions of a great fight-back with this victory that saw well-timed tactics.
However, it was not to be as Grischuk regained composure pretty quickly to win the first game in the second set of semi-rapid played with 10 minutes on each clock.
Grischuk unleashed a Kingside attack in the middle game that came good after 35 moves.
Ivanchuk still needed to win to equalise but this time he faltered and fell in a worse position in which Grischuk calmly repeated the moves to take a draw. The official score-line of this contest was 3.5-2.5 in favour of the Russian.
The final will resume after a day's break in the marathon knockout event that started with 128 players. There will be four games in the title clash instead of standard two.
Semi-final results: Peter Svidler (RUS) beat Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) 1.5-0.5; Alexander Grischuk (RUS) beat Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) 3.5-2.5.