FIDE Women's GP: Humpy keeps lead, despite draw

Koneru Humpy’s winning streak came to an end, but she still maintained her lead at the end of the fifth round of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess. Her compatriot Dronavalli Harika is in the joint second position, with 3.5 points.

Koneru Humpy was held to a draw by Lela Javakhishvili.   -  Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

Koneru Humpy’s winning streak came to an end, but she still maintained her lead at the end of the fifth round of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess at Chengdu, China, on Thursday. She was held to a draw by Lela Javakhishvili of Georgia.

The top seed from Hyderabad, who had posted three wins in a row, is now on four points, with six rounds left in this 12-player round robin event, the fourth of five legs in the 2015-16 Grand Prix cycle. Her compatriot Dronavalli Harika is in the joint second position, with 3.5 points. The fifth-seeded Vijayawada girl had drawn with veteran Swedish player Pia Cramling.

She is sharing the second spot with China’s Ju Wenjun, who defeated Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine. Former World champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria is on three points.

Russia’s Valentina Gunina and Nana Dzanigdze are on top of the table in the Grand Prix, with 205 points each. Alexander Kosteniuk of Russia is placed third with 195 points, followed by Humpy and Zhao Xue, with 190 points each. Harika has 45 points, but unlike the leading players, she has played only one Grand Prix tournament (a contestant could play three).

Harika escapes with another draw

India’s Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli had to go through unchartered territory to earn half a point and a well deserved draw against Camling Pia of Sweden.

The young Hyderabadi had to fall back on the defensive as the game got complicated and agreed for a draw after 31 moves.

Harika slipped to the third position with the draw after five games with 3.5 points.

“My opponent surprised me in the opening. I was faced with a variation that I hadn’t played before. I could not get much out of the situation and had to settle for a draw,” Harika said.

India’s other Grandmaster Koneru Humpy also played out a draw against Javakhishvili Lela of Georgia.

Harika will be playing against World No. 5 Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine tomorrow.

The results (fifth round): Ju Wenjun (Chn) 3.5 bt Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) 2; Olga Girya (Rus) 2.5 bt Bela Khotenashvili (Geo) 2.5; Tan Zhongyi (Chn) 1.5 drew with Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul) 3; Zhao Xue (Chn) 1.5 drew with Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) 2; Lela Javakhishvili (Geo) drew with Koneru Humpy (Ind) 4; Dronavalli Harika (Ind) 3.5 drew with Pia Cramling (Swe) 2.