India’s Koneru Humpy went down to Mariya Muzychuk in the second round of the Cairns Cup while compatriot Dronavalli Harika drew with Nana Dzagnidze, in St Louis, USA on Sunday.

The Ukrainian Grandmaster and former world champion Muzychuk was arguably the best performer of the day who displayed scintillating chess to outplay India’s top player and the reigning world rapid champion Humpy. Humpy had opened her campaign with a win over Carissa Yip.

The other two victories were clinched by the Russians Kateryna Lagno and Alexandra Kosteniuk who defeated Carissa Yip and Valentina Gunina respectively.

Muzychuk had the white pieces against Humpy and she made her intentions clear right out of the opening by choosing an unusual continuation on move 11 against the Petroff. The position turned quite complex soon after with the Ukrainian launching an attack on the kingside to win in 32 moves.

The 10-payer tournament concludes on February 17.

Results: Second round: Koneru Humpy (India) lost to Mariya Muzychuk, Dronavalli Harika drew with Nana Dzagnidze, Katernya Lagno beat Carissa Yip, Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) beat Valentina Gunina, Ju Wenjun drew Irina Krush.