Lausanne: Indian Grandmaster Dronavalli Harika was held to a draw by Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan in the seventh round of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess tournament here.
She remained on four points, half a point behind two Russians. The India No. 2 (Elo rating 2518) could not overcome the challenge posed by her lower rated opponent Abdumalik (Elo 2471) in 30 moves in a game late on Monday. She was in fourth place.
The world No. 9 faces Bulgarian Antoneta Stefanova in the eighth round later on Tuesday. Russia’s Alexandra Goryachkina and her compatriot Alena Kashlinskaya remained in joint lead after seven rounds, following draws against former world champion Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine and Stefanova respectively. World champion Ju Wenjun’s search for her first win in the tournament continued as she settled for her sixth draw against Frenchwoman Marie Sebag, at 2443, the lowest-rated player in the field.
She had lost to Harika in the third round. The Chinese world No. 3 had three points and was lying in 9th place. The tournament featuring 12 players, including world champion Wenjun, 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 7: Dronavalli Harika (IND) 4 drew with Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) 4; Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) 2 lost to Anna Muzychuk (UKR) 4; Alexandra Goryachkina (RUS) 4.5 drew with Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) 3.5; Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) 4 drew with Pia Cramling (SWE) 3.5 Ju Wenjun (CHN) 3 drew with Marie Sebag (FRA) 2.5; Alena Kashlinskaya (RUS) 4.5 drew with Antoneta Stefanova (BUL) 2.5.