United States’ Fabiano Caruana triumphed in his second match at the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg.
The American drew with France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in his opening round-robin match yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Caruana, who won the tournament back in 2018, earned victory over Russia’s Kirill Alekseenko in his second match.
The result moved Caruana to the joint top of the standings at the early stage of the competition.
Alekseenko joined the American after beating China’s Ding Liren.
China’s Wang Hao and Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi won their matches yesterday, but were left settling for draws today.
Wang drew with The Netherlands’ Anish Giri, with the outcome replicated when Nepomniachtchi faced Russia’s Alexander Grischuk.
Wang Hao (China) missed a win in a game against Anish Giri. After a draw in the last game of Round 2 there are 4 leaders in the Candidates 2020 including tournament favorite Fabiano Caruana (USA). They have 1.5 points after 2 games. pic.twitter.com/8H5u5MNiyS— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) March 18, 2020
It leaves four players at the top of the standings heading into the third day of competition tomorrow.
A rest day will then follow.
The tournament will decide who will face Norway's Magnus Carlsen at the World Chess Championship later this year.
The final round of games is scheduled to conclude the tournament on April 3.
Participants are competing for the largest amount of money ever at a Candidates Tournament with the prize pot standing at €500,000 (£453,000/$556,000).
The tournament is one of the few events taking place amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has largely decimated the sporting calendar.