Playing with white pieces in an English opening game, Gupta drew the game after 24 moves to maintain his one point lead.

Bobir Sattarov of Uzebkistan held Grandmaster Lalith Babu in the eighth round to be joint second with Grandmasters Eldar Gasanov, Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine, John Paul Gomez of Philippines and Russian Grandmaster Alexander Evdokimov and Rajapra with six points each.

In the penultimate round tomorrow Gupta takes on Evdokimov while Lalith paired with Gomez. Sattarov plays with Neverov to complete his nine round GM Norm as he already completed the requirements and just need to play the ninth round to achieve the same.


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