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Where does it end?
2The most awaited game of the day was also the last one to finish. Long after all the other games were over, Hou Yifan defeated her closest rival, Dzagnidze to increase her advantage to one and half points. It was interesting the gradual way the World Champion escaped from the compact group trailing her. For the last three rounds there were three players at only half point behind her, then two, one, none anymore.
Ju Wenjun fought back after her yesterday's loss to the leader by winning against Stefanova and caught up with Dzagnidze in a tie for 2nd-3rd.
Chasing Hou Yifan

12The decisive game rate stays very high in the sixth round of the Lopota Grand Prix tournament: only one game ended in a draw! The black colour took revenge for the yesterday's humiliation with three wins and only two losses.
Hou Yifan keeps winning (against her colleague Ju Wenjun this time) but fails to increase her advantage over Nana Dzagnidze, who defeated Zhao Xue and trails by half a point. Since tomorrow they will face each other, I dare to say that football will have to wait!
Muzychuk continues to advance. Today, she defeated Khotenashvili and ties for third with Ju Wenjun.
Koneru recovered from the yesterday's shock with a win against Harika. Both Indian players are half a point away from the podium.
Danielian's relatively short draw against Stefanova is understandable after her marathon game from the previous round and both players tie for 7th-8th.
Playing with Black against Muminova, Kosteniuk obtained her first win in this tournament, which may mark a favourable turn in her tournament fate.
Who is leading?
9With her new win against Stefanova, Hou Yifan retains her sole lead reiterating the breathtaking pace from Khanty Mansyisk. The situation at the top remains tense, though, as Dzagnidze and Ju Wenjun won against Koneru and Zhao Xue, respectively, and keep trailing the leader by just half a point. Muzychuk defeated Muminova and advances on the fifth position with 3/5, while Dronavalli-Khotenashvili was a correct draw, keeping the Indian half a point away from the podium and allowing the Georgian to escape the last place. Kosteniuk - Danielian reached the same result in a much more dramatic way and established a length record for the Grand Prix circuit with 133 moves! This was a dark day for the black pieces, who scored only two draws.
Home away from home
6It would be too little to say that the long awaited day off was at the height of the players' expectations; it actually surpassed them, since even players who never attended before the organized excursions during tournaments, this time they did! The free day was thoroughly enjoyed by the ladies and I will try sorting our impressions in their step by step succession, which gradually confirmed the bucolic image pictured by the pre-tournament report and photos.
The Usual Suspect
4After four rounds and right before the first free day, Hou Yifan takes back the sole lead, with 3.5/4, half a point ahead of a compact group of players: Ju Wenjun, Harika Dronavalli and Nana Dzagnidze.

There was only one draw in a round when much has been decided by time troubles: the game between Ju Wenjun and Humpy Koneru. The Indian GM skilfullly eschewed getting herself into a stew and applied surgical measures when needed, to salvage the only half a point of today's round. 
No solidarity has been seen in the games between friends and fellow countrymen, as the outcomes in both the Chinese (Zhao Xue vs Hou Yifan) and Georgian (Bella Khotenashvili vs Nana Dzagnidze) head-to-head combats ended peremptorily. 

As for the less fortunate players sharing the same fate, 0.5/4 (Alexandra Kosteniuk, Bella Khotenashvili and Nafisa Muminova), the rest day comes in handy, promptly lending a helping hand to the ladies in reassembling their forces. 
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