Sweden's Rikard Karlberg holds a two-shot lead after carding a second-round 68 in the M2M Russian Open at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club near Moscow.
Karlberg had been one of three overnight leaders at five under par, along with Simon Dyson and Liang Wen-Chong, and four birdies in his opening six holes on Friday saw him open a gap on the rest of the field.
His lead could have been greater had he not dropped shots at the 18th and fifth, having started his round at the 10th.
Karlberg heads a chasing group of four on seven under par.
England's Matthew Baldwin shot a 69 to be three under on the day, with China's Liang carding a round of 70.
Ireland's Michael Hoey (pictured) and Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka were the day's big movers as rounds of 67 moved them into contention. David Higgins, from Cork, was two under in tied 19th place.
But it was a difficult day for Simon Dyson. The Englishman, who has shown an upturn in form in recent weeks, had been level with Karlberg after the opening round.
But a double bogey on the 17th proved costly as he dropped to three under for the tournament after his 74.
Karlberg, seeking his first win on the European Tour, said: "It was a pretty tough day out there because the wind got strong in the middle of the round and caused a few problems.
"But I made a really good start to the round and when the conditions got worse I managed to hang in there and then had a great finish with two birdies in my last few holes which is very satisfying obviously.
"I am in a great position now but there is a long way to go. We are only at the halfway stage and I need to keep doing what I have been doing and making birdies to have a chance.
"I am looking forward to the weekend – this is why we play the game; to get ourselves into these positions so hopefully I can keep playing well and make another good score tomorrow and we will go from there."