So keeps lead despite another draw

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Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So posted another draw in the seventh round to stay on top in the 2017 US Chess Championship being held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in St. Louis, Missouri.

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The 22-year-old So scored his fifth draw, this time against GM Ray Robson.

He now has a total of 4.5 points to remain on top in the tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation.

GM Yaroslav Zherebukh shared the top spot with 4.5 points following his impressive seventh-round victory over former world champion GM Fabiano Caruana.

GM Varuzhan Akobian and GM Hikaru Nakamura are in a two-way tie for third with identical four points while Caruana dropped to fifth along with Robson, GM Daniel Naroditsky, GM Alexander Onischuk and GM Samuel Shankland with 3.5 points each.

GM Gata Kamsky is 10th with three points followed by GM Jeffrey Xiong (2.5) and GM Alexander Shabalov (two points).

Kamsky toppled Narodistky and Shabalov nipped Xiong while Nakamura and Shankland, and Akobian and Onischuk opted to split the point in their respective seventh-round matches.

In the eighth round, So faces Nakamura, Caruana battles Naro­ditsky, Shabalov takes on Kamsky, Shankland meets Xiong, Onischuk tackles Robson and Zherebukh goes up against Akobian.

The remaining matches of So are against Xiong in the ninth, Kamsky in 10th and Naroditsky in final round of the tournament which offers a total prize fund of $194,000 with the winner pocketing $50,000 and the runner-up getting $35,000.

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