Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So hopes to further distance himself from his opponents when play resumes in the 73rd Tata Steel-Corus Group B chess championship in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands.

After taking part in a day-long cultural tour in the picturesque town of North Holland’s province, So will face GM Li Chao of China in the ninth round at the de Morianne Community Center on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old Filipino will play white, hoping to earn his fifth straight win. He grabbed the lead after a 34-move win over GM Wouter Spoelman of the Netherlands in Sunday’s eighth round.

So, who topped Group C in 2009 and finished in a share of fourth place in Group B last year, drew his first four assignments before winning the next four, against GMs Surya Ganguly of India, Laurent Fressinet of France, David Navara of Czech Republic, and Spoelman.

So holds a half-point lead over former leader GM Luke McShane of England with still five rounds left in this prestigious 14-player, category 17 tournament. – JVP, KY, GMANews.TV