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Chengdu FIDE Grand Prix: Indian success in round 2

Harika Dronavalli scored her second consecutive victory to maintain the lead in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix in Chengdu.

Humpy Koneru defeated Zhao Xue and is currently second behind her compatriot.

The remaining four games were drawn. Olga Girya was so close to winning against Anna Muzychuk, but the Ukrainian found escape in the bishops ending.

Round 2 standings are here, and games are available for replay.

Cramling Pia - Tan Zhongyi ½-½

After several transposition in the opening the players reached the Nimzo-Indian defence.

With 12.Qh4 white avoided the exchange of the queens because she disliked to play a simplified position where her opponent has pair of bishops.

After black took the knight on c3, white thought that she was forced to recapture with the pawn. But 14.Rxc3 was also possible, resulting with an unbalanced ending.

Cramling proposed several improvements for her play, namely 16.Qa4 with idea 17.Nh4, and 18.Bxf5 Qxf5 19.Nd2-e4-g3.

After black managed to put Be4 in, the game ended with moves repetition.

R2 1

Stefanova Antoaneta - Khotenashvili Bela ½-½

White repeated the opening from the previous round and black answered with natural development of the pieces.

Khotenashvili proposed 10...Nb4 as a serious alternative to game move, while Stefanova explained that she disliked 12. Bb1 b5!?.

White opted for the principled pawn sacrifice 16.d5, where she ruined opponent's pawn structure and obtained some attacking prospects.

R2 2

Stefanova highlighted move 26 as the critical moment in the game, and had she been black in this position, she would have taken the pawn on a3. White would have time to rearrange pieces for attack, but apparently there is no checkmate, "only" compensation.

After white secured the a-pawn, the game was drawn shortly before the time control.

Muzychuk Mariya - Ju Wenjun ½-½

In the Petroff defence white surprised her opponent with 12.c4!?. Black responded with an interesting 13...b5!?. There were many nice variations with 14.Rxb5, but Mariya opted for a different line and temporary pawn sacrifice.

R2 3

Ju marked 21...Rb8 as critical alternative, but she didn't like the look of 22.Bd7 Nf8 23.Be8. On several occasions black thought that f4-advance was very strong, but white replied that her king would be weakened too much.

Ju believes that 30.Bxc5 was to hasty and something slower, like 30.Bc4, would maintain tension to white's favour. In mutual time trouble Mariya missed that black is winning the pawn back and therefore when the time control was reached the game was drawn.

IMG 0047

Koneru Humpy - Zhao Xue 1-0

In Ragozin Queen's Gambit white parted with bishops pair in order to get greater space and maneuvering liberty.

Zhao proposed 12...f5 with idea Qf6 and g5 as a very entertaining idea. In turn, Koneru showed 22...c4 23.b3 b5!? 24. Nc6 Qxa3 as a line where black can complicate matters.

In a complex middlegame black all of a sudden gave up the exchange. White found the most precise 29.Nd3 and proceeded to push the enemy pieces on all fronts, eventually winning the game.

R2 4

(Updating in progress)

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