Favourite K. Humpy emerged as the leader, followed by teammate D. Harika, after an eventful third round of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix chess tournament at Tashkent on Friday.

Humpy coasted to her third straight victory by routing former World champion Alexandra Kosteniuk in 36 moves for an aggregate of three points.

Second seed and joint overnight leader Chinese Zhao Xue suffered a shock loss to Georgian Bela Khotenshvili in 70 moves.

Harika moved to the second spot with 2.5 points after stopping Russia’s Olga Girya in 69 moves.

The results (third round): K. Humpy (3) bt Alexandra Kosteniuk (Rus, 0.5); Kateryna Lagno (Ukr, 1) bt Elina Danielian (Arm, 0.5); Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul, 1.5) lost to Ju Wenjun (Chn, 1.5); D. Harika (2.5) bt Olga Girya (Rus, 1).

Nafisa Muminova (Uzb, 1) bt Guliskhan Nakhbayeva (Kaz, 0.5); Zhao Xue (Chn, 2) lost to Bela Khotenashvili (Geo, 2).

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