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Chengdu FIDE Grand Prix: Koneru joins Harika on top

Humpy Koneru defeated Olga Girya with black pieces in the third round of FIDE Grand Prix in Chengdu to join her compatriot Harika Dronavalli on the top of the crosstable.

Bela Khotenashvili won against Mariya Muzychuk after the Ukrainian mishandled the opening, while Antoaneta Stefanova outplayed Zhao Xue in the sharp middlegame.

Pia Cramling narrowly escaped a loss against Lela Javakishvili and the remaining two games were also drawn.

Photo gallery and round 3 standings are updated. Games are available for replay.

Girya Olga - Koneru Humpy 0-1

After the regular Nimzo-Indian opening white got into certain trouble with two pawn weaknesses. She got that covered but at the cost of weakening the complex of light squares.

With opposite-colored bishops and all heavy pieces on the board black was able to combine threats all over the board. White could not sustain the pressure and her position collapsed before the time control.

R3 1

Khotenashvili Bela - Muzychuk Mariya 1-0

Former world champion misplayed the opening, missing the pretty tactics with 14.b4, which effectively handed a strong initiative to white.

R3 2

Black had no other choice but to give up an exchange. Muzychuk pointed that 21.Na4 was even better than trading the dark-squared bishop for the rook.

In the game, black tried to play against the weak light-squared bishop, but after white forced the queen's exchange it was only a matter of time before she would convert into win.

R3 3

Zhao Xue - Stefanova Antoaneta 0-1

True to her style, Zhao Xue found a way to turn the Chebanenko Slav into a wild affair. Antoaneta Stefanova did not shy away, grabbing a pawn and opening up the center.

Both kings were slightly compromised, but white jumped off the cliff by placing her monarch under the x-ray of light-sqaured bishop.

Black seized the opportunity and quickly destroyed the opponent by utilizing tactical means.

R3 4

Javakhishvili Lela - Cramling Pia ½-½

Cramling repeated the opening from round 1, but Javakishvili prepared the surprising 4.Na3. Black's reaction was principled at first, but then she committed a grave mistake by jumping to g4, as established during the post-mortem.

The black knight was totally misplaced and white gained huge positional advantage after the strong 15.b4.

Cramling was forced to ruin her pawn structure, but from then on she defended tenaciously and eventually found sufficient counterplay to hold the rook ending.

R3 5

The two players agreed later that by transferring the rook to the 4th rank white would have had excellent winning chances.

Ju Wenjun - Harika Dronavalli ½-½

In the Chebanenko Slav white seized a space advantage, but she didn't make much of it, and after black managed to push 21...a5 the play was roughly equal.

R3 6

In the later stage white even run into some trouble with the hanging central pawns, but she wisely sought escape in the rook ending with 3 vs 4 pawns on the same flank.

Harika tried to extend her winning streak but Ju successfully defended the position.

Tan Zhongyi - Muzychuk Anna ½-½

The two players engaged in a Dutch opening that establishes a very unbalanced position from the early stages of the game.

White had a rook and two pawns against two minor pieces. Muzychuk was stunned by 19.Bxc6, which "was a very good move".

R3 7

Tan enjoyed certain advantage until she allowed black to jump Ne4. From then on Muzychuk was well coordinated and had no trouble in holding the draw.

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