Grandmaster Wesley So drew all his four games including one against recent tormentor and fellow United States bet Hikaru Nakamura in the fifth round to keep his grip of the lead with five others and stay in quarterfinal contention in the Airthings Masters of the Champions Chess Tour Monday.

The 27-year-old So’s standoff with Nakamura, who beat him in the semifinals of the Speed Chess Championship early this month, kept him at the helm alongside the latter, as well as world champion Magnus Carlsen, Armenia’s Levon Aronian, Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov and Russia’s Daniil Dubov with 4.5 points each.

It was one of his four draws in Day Two as the Fischer Random king and two-time US titlist also split the point with Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi, Aronian and France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

The Cavite-born player is looking at finishing in the top eight and making it to the knockout playoff round.

He is scheduled to clash with Radjabov, Dubov and India’s Pentala Harikrishna in the last three rounds Tuesday.

So is also eyeing to duplicate his performance in last month’s Skillings Open where he shocked Carlsen to emerge champion of the season-opening leg of the tour.

So far, So has a total of seven draws including one with Carlsen and a victory to show.

His lone win came at the expense of Dutch Anish Giri in Day One.

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Source: Manila Bulletin (