Humpy shocked, Harika keeps lead

With just two rounds remaining in this 12-player round-robin tournament, Antoaneta Stefanova has thus emerged as Harika’s strongest challenger.

Dronavalli Harika has reasons to smile as she is in the pole position with just two rounds remaining in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix chess at Chengdu, China.

On a day when top seed Koneru Humpy was shocked by Ukraine’s Anna Muzychuk, Dronavalli Harika maintained her sole lead at the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess at Chengdu, China. The fifth seed from Hyderabad is on six points after drawing with Bela Khotenashvili of Georgia in the ninth round on Tuesday.

With her second defeat in the tournament after being in the lead for most of the tournament, Humpy also lost her joint second position. With five points, the Vijayawada player is now tied for the third to fifth slots, along with second seed Ju Wenjun, who also suffered a loss at the hands of fellow-Chinese Zhao Xue, and Mariya Muzychuk, the younger sister of Anna.

With just two rounds remaining in this 12-player round-robin tournament, Antoaneta Stefanova has thus emerged as Harika’s strongest challenger. The former World champion from Bulgaria is in the sole second position with 5.5 points, just half-a-point behind the Indian, following her draw with Pia Cramling of Sweden.

In the tenth round on Wednesday, Humpy takes on Mariya, while Harika meets Zhao Xue. In another important clash, Stefanova faces Zhao Xue.

The results (ninth round): Pia Cramling (Swe) 3.5 drew with Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul) 5.5; Lela Javakhishvili (Geo) 4 bt Olga Girya (Rus) 4; Ju Wenjun (Chn) 5 lost to Zhao Xue (Chn) 4; Dronavalli Harika (Ind) 6 drew with Bela Khotenashvili (Geo) 4.5; Tan Zhongyi (Chn) 3 lost to Mariya Muzychuk (Ukr) 5; Anna Muzychuk (Ukr) 4.5 Koneru Humpy (Ind) 5.