Filipino-American chess Grandmaster Wesley So keeps his lead in the 2020 US Chess Championship by defeating GM Jeffery Xiong in the ninth round on Thursday (Manila time). He has a full-point lead going into the final two rounds.

With eight points going to the 10th round, he is pitted against fellow Olympian GM Ray Robson before facing defending champion GM Hikaru Nakamura. Both games are scheduled tonight.

"Ray Robson has white pieces. He is doing well in this tournament." So said of his tenth round opponent. Robson has seven points as that of Xiong's.

So enthralled American chess fans by scoring five straight wins and two draws in rounds 6 and 7 before notching two straight wins.

So is looking forward to getting his second US Chess Championship title. He first won it in 2017. The 2020 championship has started on October 26 and will finish in October 29. It has a total prize pot of $150,000 with $40,000 going to the champion.

The tournament is using a 12-player round-robin format played online at rapid time control. Aside from So, Nakamura, Xiong, and Robson, other GMs playing are Leineir Dominguez, Sam Shankland, Sam Sevian, Awonder Liang, Dariuz Swiercz, Alex Lenderman, Alejandro Ramirez, and Elshan Moradiabadi.

So is a member of Saint Louis Chess Club based in St, Louis, Missouri.