Mumbai: Top seed Aleksej Aleksandrov of Belarus kept the sole lead with seven points after the eighth round of the 4th Mayor's Cup International Chess Tournament at the Goregaon Sports Club on Wednesday.

Grand Master Aleksandrov (ELO 2618) drew with GM Martyn Kravtsiv (ELO 2538) of Ukraine after the two competitors signed the peace treaty in 53 moves in the Venus Chess Academy-organised tournament.

The result helped the Belarussian to hold half a point lead over six other players.

Aleksandrov opted for Spanish Berlin defence against his Ukrainian rival on the top board.

The game was tantalisingly poised after the exchange of queens. Both the players played some superb moves with their rooks and both promoted their pawns to queen before settling for a draw.

On the second table, IM K Rathnakaran (ELO 2386) and GM Abhijit Kunte(ELO 2528) settled for a quick draw in just 13 moves in an all-India contest while their compatriot, GM S P Sethuraman (ELO 2529) drew with GM Heberla Bartlomiej (ELO 2539) of Poland after 20 moves.

The game between IM Prasanna Rao (ELO 2418) and IM Sahaj Grover (ELO 2514) lasted for more than four hours.

Playing with black, Sahaj opted for French defence. Sahaj castled on the queenside and started a solid attack of pawns on the Prasanna's king.

In the middle game Prasanna got a central passed pawn but it was captured by Sahaj with exchange of rooks, which helped him gain a clear advantage, but he failed to capitalise on it.

In the end, with opposite coloured bishops on the board, the game headed towards a draw before Prasanna sacrificed his bishop for a passed pawn, getting two passed pawns against the bishop, and winning in 76 moves. He now needs another half point for a GM norm.

The top 10 results:

GM Martyn Kravtsiv (2583, Ukr) 6.5 drew GM Aleksej Aleksandrov (2618, Blr) 7; IM K Rathnakaran (2386, Ind) 6.5 drew GM Abhijit Kunte (2528, Ind) 6.5; GM S P Sethuraman (2529, Ind) 6.5 drew GM Heberla Bartlomiej (2539, Pol) 6; IM Shyam Nikil (2418, Ind) 6 drew GM Andrei Deviatkin (2580, Rus) 6; IM Prasanna Raghuram Rao (2418, Ind) 6.5 beat IM Sahaj Grover (2514, Ind) 5.5. Ankit Rajpara (2281, Ind) 6 drew GM Neelotpal Das (2458, Ind) 6; IM Anwesh Upadhyaya (2408, Ind) 5.5 lost to IM M Thejkumar M (2450, Ind) 6.5; GM Murshed Niaz (2442, Ban) 6 drew WGM Padmini Rout (2356, Ind) 6; GM Deep Sengupta (2572, Ind) 6 beat T Navin Kanna T (2342, Ind) 5.5; IM B Shivananda (2381, Ind) 5.5 drew GM Nikolai Chadaev (2564, Rus) 5.5.

(Agencies)