Humpy, Harika lead at Grand Prix

Humpy had drawn her first-round encounter, with Georgian Bela Khotenashvili, before beating Zhao Xue of China. With another eight rounds remaining in this 12-player event, Khotenashvili and Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria are in the second place.

The following contestants at Chengdu.

Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika have taken an early lead in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess at Chengdu, China. The two Telugu-speaking ladies have 2.5 points, at the end of the third round on Monday. While the top-seeded Humpy defeated Russia’s Olga Girya with black pieces, Harika, seeded fifth, drew with second seed Ju Wenjun of China. Harika had posted consecutive wins, over Tang Zhongyi of China and Lela Javakhishvili of Georgia.

Humpy had drawn her first-round encounter, with Georgian Bela Khotenashvili, before beating Zhao Xue of China. With another eight rounds remaining in this 12-player event, Khotenashvili and former World champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria are in the second place, with two points each, half-a-point behind the Indian duo. Harika has 45 points, but unlike the leading players, she has played only one Grand Prix tournament (a contestant could play three).

The Chengdu Grand Prix is the fourth of the five legs for the 2015-16 cycle. Following the withdrawal of the World champion Hou Yifan of China at the end of the third leg in Georgia because of FIDE’s refusal to agree to a change of format for the women’s World championship, Russia’s Valentina Gunina and Nana Dzanigdze are on top of the table, with 205 Grand Prix points apiece. Alexander Kosteniuk of Russia is placed third with 195 points, followed by Humpy and Zhao Xue, with 190 points each.

The results (third round): Bela Khotenashvili (Geo) 2 bt Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) 1; Zhao Xue (Chn) 0.5 lost to Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul) 2; Olga Girya (Rus) 1 lost to Koneru Humpy (Ind) 2.5; Tan Zhongyi (Chn) 1 drew with Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) 1.5; Lela Javakhishvili (Geo) 1 drew with Pia Cramling (Ned) 1.5; Ju Wenjun (Chn) 1.5 drew with Dronavalli Harika (Ind) 2.5.



caption: The contestants at Chengdu.

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