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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jermuk Chess Grand Prix R8: Ju Wenjun, Hou Yifan in Joint Lead; Humpy Blunders Against Lahno

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The excitement at the Jermuk women's chess Grand Prix is up as the last few rounds come with top players all close to each other in the lead. Women's world chess champion Hou Yifan played a nice game to push Ruan Lufei on the backfoot and won to join Ju Wenjun in the lead. 

India's Koneru Humpy went down to Kateryna Lahno. In the game Koneru – Lahno, the world vice-champion committed a very uncharacteristic blunder and the game was virtually decided on the spot. After the opening, in a rich and equal position, white gave away a key central pawn, allowing black to emerge from the sequence with a decisive position. 

The similar scenario was played out in the game between Zhao Zue – Lilit Mkrtchian. To the chagrin of the hometown fans, Mkrtchian also blundered away a key central pawn in an innocuous position in which white had a nominal advantage but not more.In the Khurtsidze – Kosintseva both players blundered by returning each other's favour and the game ended in a draw. The only quiet draw of the round came between Ju Wenjun and Munguntuul Batkhuyag. 

The clash between Danielian – Kovalevskaya was a most interesting game. A dynamically balanced position arose from the opening, with each side having its relative advantages. In the middle game, white drifted a bit and black was able to generate a certain plus. However, both missed chances in time trouble and the game ended in a draw after several hours.

After eight rounds, both Hou Yifan and Ju Wenjun have 5.5 points. A full point behind at 4.5 are Kateryna Lahno, Zhao Xue and Ruan Lufei. Nadezhda Kosintseva, Elina Danielian and Koneru Humpy are at 4.0. Lilit Mkrtchian is at 3.5. Batkhuyag Munguntuul and Ekaterina Kovalevskaya are at 3.0. Nino Khurtsidze is at 2.0.

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