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Humpy held by Shen Yang, slips to joint third place
ISTANBUL: Top seed Koneru Humpy could not get the better of Shen Yang's defence and settled for her second draw on the trot to slip to the joint third place after four rounds in the IS Bank Ataturk Women Grand Prix chess tournament now in progress here.

Yifan Hao of China continued her devastating form and downed veteran Grandmaster Pia Cramling of Sweden to share the top slot with Ecuador's Martha Baquero Fierro who routed local girl Betul Cemre Yildiz to stretch her tally to 3.5 points.

Humpy and Zhao Xue, who was held by Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria, share the third place with three points apiece. Elina Danielian now holds the fifth spot on 2.5 points, half a point ahead of Stefanova and Marie Sebag.

Humpy will now have to work harder in the remaining seven rounds of this 12-players round robin tournament which is a part of the next world championship cycle.

In other games of the day former world champion Maia Chiburdanidze of Georgia found her nemesis in Danielian while Sebag of France scored her first victory in the event against Zeinab Mamedjarova of Azerbaijan.

Humpy played the white side of an irregular opening and did not get much in the early middle game. The Indian went for a routine queen side attack but a timely pawn sacrifice by Shen Yang ensured parity.

The Chinese regained the pawn and transposed to a rook and minor piece endgame wherein Humpy had to rush in with her king to stop the march of black's passed pawn. Once that was done, Humpy was out of danger and the game ended in a draw through repetition of moves.

Results Round 4:

Koneru Humpy (Ind, 3) drew with Shen Yang (Chn, 1.5);
Pia Cramling (Swe, 1) lost to Yifan Hao (Chn, 3.5);
Betul Cemre Yildiz (Tur, 0.5) lost to Martha Baquero Fierro (Ecu, 3.5);
Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul, 2) drew with Zhao Xue (Chn, 3);
Maia Chiburdanidze (Geo, 1.5) lost to Elina Danielian (Arm, 2.5);
Zeinab Mamedjarova (Aze, 0) lost to Marie Sebag (Fra, 2).

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