Indian players had mixed fortunes in the fifth round of the Cairns Cup Chess tournament in St Louis, USA, with Koneru Humpy posting a win and D Harika suffering a defeat.
Humpy returned to winning ways with a superb victory against overnight leader Nana Dzagnidze with black pieces on Tuesday.
She had suffered a defeat in the second round and shared points in the third and fourth rounds after opening with a crushing win over Carissa Yip.
Humpy is now on three points after five rounds, half a point behind the leaders – Wenjun Ju and Alexandra Kosteniuk.
Humpy, the world rapid champion, outlasted her rival in 83 moves in a Lady Gambit game as the Indian ace capitalised after gaining a pawn.
World champion Wenjun Ju posted a win over Katernya Lagno, despite making errors which her Russian opponent could not capitalise on.
Harika was beaten by Valentina Gunina in a Sicilian Closed game in 38 moves. It was Harika’s first defeat in the 10-player tournament.
Meanwhile, former world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk outplayed Mariya Muzychuk to join Ju at the top.
Young American Carissa Yip, who had faced four straight defeats, opened her account with a win over compatriot Irina Krush.
In the sixth round, Humpy faces Kosteniuk while Harika comes up against the current world champ Wenjun Ju.
Results: Fifth round: Koneru Humpy (3) beat Nana Dzagnidze (3), Wenjun Ju (3.5) beat Katernya Lagno (2.5), Alexandra Kosteniuk (3.5) beat Mariya Muzychuk (2.5), Valentina Gunina (2) beat Dronavalli Harika (2.5), Carissa Yip (1) beat Irina Krush (1.5).