Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So scored a pair of draws and a win in the first three rounds to share the second spot with four other players in the 2017 Tata Steel Masters Chess Tournament being held in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands.
So, currently ranked fourth in the world, split the point with defending champion GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the opening round and GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands in the second round then outclass GM Richard Rapport of Hungary in the third round.
The Filipino wizard, who represents the United States Chess Federation in international level, has so far earned two points, just half a point behind solo leader GM Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine (2.5 points).
Eljanov posted early victories against Rapport (first round) and GM Loek Van Wely of the Netherlands (second round) before settling for a draw against GM Pentala Karikrishna of India (third round).
Joining So in the second place are Carlsen, Harikrishna, GM Wei Yi of China and GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia while Giri, GM Levon Aronian of Armenia and GM Dmitry Andreikin of Russia are in a three-way tie for seventh with 1.5 points each.
GM Ian Nepomniatchtchi of Russia, GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland and GM Baskaran Adhiban of India scored one point apiece for share of 10th place while Rapport and Van Wely got 0.5 each at the bottom of the standings.
In the fourth round, So goes up against Van Wely, Eljanov meets Adhiban, Aronian faces Nepomniatchtchi, Carlsen takes on Wei, Giri tackles Andreikin, Rapport fights Wojtaszek, and Harikrishna battles Karjakin.
So is looking to surpass his fourth-place finish last year behind Carlsen, GM Fabiano Caruana of the US and GM Ding Liren of China.