Anna Iwanow of Poland, Chumpitaz Ann of Peru and Goryachkina Aleksandra from Russia are jointly leading the 77-player event with 6.5 points each after eight rounds.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh was trailing the leaders by half a point while Padmini remained on 5.5 points after her loss to Aleksandra.

In the Open section, sole leader Jorge Cori was upset by Karen Grigoryan of Armenia while Lu Shanglei of China defeated higher rated Benjamin Bok of Netherland.

S.L. Narayanan, who had been going great guns, ended on the losing side against third seed Wei Yi of China after maintaining a balance for most part of the game.

Karen, Wei and Shanglei have emerged joint leaders with 6.5 points each while Cori, Vladimir Fedoseev, Mikhail Antipov, Diptayan Ghosh and Bai Jinshi were trailing just half a point behind the leaders.

Padmini mishandled the Stonewall variation of the Dutch Defence against Goryachkina and the Russian's rooks, queen and knight were soon threatening a major offensive on the King-side, right from the early middle-game stages.

Padmini's queen and rook were virtually out of play stranded on the queenside and her castle was broken. A wrong central pawn push on the 25th turn by Padmini suddenly opened up the gates towards her king and Goryachkina crashed through to pocket the point after 34 moves.

Narayanan opted for the Caro-Kann Defence against Wei Yi and played solidly to keep the position even in the middle-game. After the transposition to the ending where each player had a knight and rook, a draw loomed large but Narayanan lost a couple of pawns on the way and ended on the losing side after 79 moves.

Vidit Gujrathi was one of the early finishers scoring a rapid 34-move victory over Matej Blazeka of Croatia.

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