Grandmaster Wesley So drew with Sam Shankland to stay at the helm with two others after eight rounds of the 2021 US Chess Championships Thursday.
The defending champion So split the point after 42 moves of a Ruy Lopez duel to slightly hike his tally to 5 points with three rounds left in the tournament.
He has two wins and six draws and is currently tied with Samuel Sevian and Aleksandr Lenderman, who also drew their respective matches.
Sevian halved the point with Leiner Dominguez Perez in 40 moves of a Scotch Game while Lenderman agreed to a draw with Dariusz Swiercz in 69 moves of a Sicilian Defense.
So next clashes with Daniel Naroditsky, who also drew his eighth-round match with John Burke for a share of seventh to 10th places with 3.5 points.
Meanwhile, Dominguez Perez and Ray Robson trail at fourth to fifth places with 4.5 points, while Fabiano Caruana is at sixth with 4 points.
Jeffery Xiong and Burke are at the bottom standings with identical 3 points.