Joint leaders Hou Yifan and Nguyen Anh Dung clashed on board 1 in Round 1. There was no quick Grandmaster draw. In fact their game was the last one to conclude for that round. It was a hard fought game with Hou leading with one pawn advantage for a long time. However, an ending was reached with opposite colour bishops with Hou’s B+2P vs Anh Dung’s B+1P. Anh Dung even gave up his lone pawn to play with a two pawn deficit. Hou tried hard and in the end Anh Dung was in severe time trouble with only less than a minute to play vs Hou’s 3 minutes. An impasse was reached with the player’s frantically shuffling pieces to keep pace with the dwindling clock time. Chief Arbiter Luxman rightly stepped in and declared the game drawn. Anh DUng had 21 seconds on the clock vs Hou’s 2minutes at that point.
First seed Mchedishvili was held to a draw by Ashwin Jayaram on board two. With the leaders drawing, 13 other players have closed the gap following closely with just a point behind.