Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So strengthened his hold of the solo lead with four more rounds left in the 2017 Tata Steel Masters Chess Tournament being held in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.
The 23-year-old So, who represents the United States Chess Federation in international events, scored another draw, this time against GM Levon Aronian of Armenia in their ninth-round match.
So far, So has six points on three wins and six draws.
Defending champion GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway reclaimed the No. 2 spot with GM Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine and GM Wei Yi of China – all holding 5.5 points.
Carlsen, who suffered an eight-round loss, bounced back with a solid victory over GM Loek Van Wely of the Netherlands.
Eljanov and Wei, on the other hand, settled for a draw against GM Baskaran Adhiban of India and GM Dmitry Andreikin of Russia, respectively.
Aronian, Adhiban and GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia are in a three-way tie for fifth with five points each while GM Pentala Harikrishna of India and GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands are sharing the eighth spot with 4.5 points apiece.
In 10th place are Andrekin and GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland (4.0 points) followed by GM Richard Rapport of Hungary and GM Ian Nepomniatchtchi of Russia in 12th (3.5 points), and Van Wely in last (1.5 points).
Seeing action in the 10th round are So and Wojtaszek, Aronian and Rapport, Van Wely and Giri, Harikrishna and Carlsen, Adhiban and Nepomniatchtchi, Eljanov and Wei, and Karjakin and Andreikin.
To secure the title and the €10,000 to purse, So must score a win or a draw against Andreikin (11th), Wei (12th) and Nepomniatchtchi (13th) in the remaining rounds.