Indian Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika went down to Bulgaria’s Antoaneta Stefanova slipping to seventh place with only four points after the eighth round in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess tournament.
The lower-rated Stefanova (Elo 2453) outlasted the Indian no.2 (Elo rating 2518) in a 95-move game late on Tuesday to improve to 3.5 points.
The Indian world No. 9 faces Russian Alina Kashlinskaya in the ninth round later on Wednesday. Kashlinskaya, who was the joint leader with compatriot Alexandra Goryachkina after the seventh round, lost to world champion Ju Wenjun to slip to joint second spot.
It was the first win in the tournament for Ju Wenjun, who made the most of a blunder by her opponent on the 22nd move and took her tally to four points.
Georgian Nana Dzagnidze outplayed Frenchwoman Marie Sebag in 34 moves to joint Goryachkina at the top of the standings with five points.
There are three more rounds to go in the strong 12-player tournament including the world champion Wenjun, which is the third in the series of four Grand Prix from which two with the highest points tally would qualify for the next candidates event.
Results: Round 8: Dronavalli Harika (IND) 4 lost to Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) 3.5; Anna Muzychuk (UKR) 4.5 drew with Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) 4.5; Alexandra Goryachkina (RUS) 5 drew with Pia Cramling (SWE) 4; Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) 4.5 beat Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) 2; Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) 5 beat Marie Sebag (FRA) 2.5; Alena Kashlinskaya (RUS) 4.5 lost to Ju Wenjun (CHN) 4.