Women's Grand Prix: Koneru Humpy in second spot

The other Indian in the tournament, Dronavalli Harika, is placed sixth with four points. Three rounds remain.

Elisabeth Paehtz and Koneru Humpy during their eighth-round battle.   -  FIDE

Koneru Humpy is placed second at the end of the eighth round of the first leg of the Women’s Grand Prix chess at Skolkovo, Russia. The Vijayawada player has six points from, half-a-point behind leader Ju Wenjun of China.

The other Indian in the tournament, Dronavalli Harika, is placed sixth with four points. Three rounds remain.

In the ninth round, Humpy defeated Germany’s Elisabeth Paehtz to record her third successive win. Harika had to settle for a draw with former World champion Antonaeta Stefanova of Bulgaria.

The Grand Prix is a series of four tournaments. The top two finishers from the series will qualify for the Candidates match which will determine the challenger for the current World champion.

A player will get to play three Grand Prix tournaments. The other legs will be held in Monaco (December 2 to 15), Lausanne (March 1 to 14) and Sardinia (May 2 to 15).

The standings:

1. Ju Wenjun (Chn) 6.5; 2. Koneru Humpy (Ind) 6; 3. Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus) 5; 4-5. Valentina Gunina (Rus) and Kateryna Lagno (Rus) 4.5; 6-7. Dronavalli Harika (Ind) and Elisabeth Paehtz (Ger) 4; 8. Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus) 3.5; 9-12. Pia Cramling (Swe), Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus), Antonaeta Stefanova (Bul) and Marie Sebag (Fra) 2.5.