The sole leader of the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix Levon Aronian made a quick draw with Evgeny Tomashevsky today, inviting the group of rivals to join him at the top. But same as in the previous rounds all games on the top boards finished peacefully and not a single player came close to catching up with him.

Richard Rapport and Dmitry Jakovenko signed peace right after the opening stage. Playing with black pieces Maxime Vachier-Lagrave decided not to take risk in the game against Ernesto Inarkiev. Ding Liren was not familiar with the opening, but managed to equalize against Peter Svidler. Hikaru Nakamura and Pentala Harikrishna played a very sharp and complex game with chances for both sides, but it eventually ended in a draw as well.
 
As in the previous day, three decisive games were played on the lower boards. Li Chao defeated Anish Giri. Giri must have underestimated the strength of White’s position after the opening. The Chinese Grandmaster transferred the game into a slightly better ending and showed good technique while converting his advantage.
 
Two longest games of the round finished in a draw. Francisco Vallejo Pons and Pavel Eljanov were playing for hours the drawish ending, while Ludvig Hammer missed a massive advantage in the game against Alexander Riazantsev.
 
The hero of the day was Teimour Rajabov, who defeated Boris Gelfand. After two consecutive victories the Azerbaijani Grandmaster now shares the second place and has chances to qualify for the Candidates. He needs to win against Richard Rapport in the last round. The Frenchman will play against Dmitry Jakovenko. The leaders of the Grand Prix series Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk can only follow the games and wait for the outcome.
 
The fate of two places in the Candidates will be decided in the ninth round of the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix. The games start at 2 pm local time. 

Photos from day eight by Valeriy Belobeev are here.