- Wesley So
Infobox chess player
playername = Wesley So
birthname = Wesley Barbasa So
country = PHI
datebirth = birth date and age|1993|10|9
title = Grandmaster (GM)
rating = 2610
peakrating = 2610 (October 2008)
Wesley So (born
October 9, 1993) is a Filipino GM-titled chessplayer. He achieved the GM title at the age of 14 years, 1 month and 28 days. This puts him as the 7th youngest person to achieve the Grandmaster title in the history of chess. [ [http://www.gmanews.tv/story/71933/So-is-now-RPs-youngest-GM-worlds-7th-youngest GmaNews.Tv, So is now RP's youngest GM, world's 7th youngest] ] Before becoming a Grandmaster, So had become the youngest Filipino International Masterat the age of 12 years and 10 months.
So was born in
Manilain 1993 to William and Eleanor So, who are both accountants. He was aged 6 when his father taught him to play chess and was 9 when he started to compete in junior active chess tournaments where his aggressive and tactical style of play caught the attention of former Philippine chess champion IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso. Cardoso said, "The young lad... would sacrifice a queen or any other pieces in his arsenal to get a winning attack." Also according to Cardoso, So did not have the full sponsorships enjoyed by the other chess prodigies, saying "He cannot afford a decent training given by well known GM-coaches and has to rely on his pure talent, diligence and, of course, the Fritz programs before competing."
Wesley currently goes to school at St. Francis of Assisi College System in
Bacoor, Cavite, a province south of Manila. [cite web
title= Brilliant Wesley So tops tough Dubai Open - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
author= Roy Luarca
publisher= Philippine Daily Inquirer
quote= So, an incoming junior at St. Francis of Assisi College System-Bacoor, swept his first five foes....]
In 2006, he became the youngest member of the national men's team to participate at the
37th Chess Olympiadin Turin, Italy at the age of 12. In December of the same year, he also became the youngest National Open Chess Champion. In May 2007, he went on to become the youngest National Junior Open Chess Champion. Wesley won the gold medal on board one at the 2007 World Under 16 Team Championship with a score of 9½/10.
Wesley So achieved his third and final Grandmaster norm on December 8, 2007 at the third Pichay Cup International Open (Manila, Philippines), thus becoming the youngest Filipino Grandmaster at the age of 14. [ [http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=sports4_dec8_2007 So newest, youngest GM from Manila Standard Today] ] He also became the seventh youngest to achieve the Grandmaster title in the history of chess, edging out French GM
Etienne Bacrotfrom that spot by a few days. So got his first GM norm in the Offene Internationale Bayerische Schach Meisterschaft in Bad Wiessee, Germany and his second GM norm in the 2007 U-20 World Junior Chess Championshipin Yerevan, Armenia. Since December 2007, Wesley So has been considered to be the world's youngest Grandmaster at the age of fourteen.
April 16, 2008, Wesley So, won the title in the $45,000 DubaiOpen Chess Championships, "The Sheikh Rashed Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup", at the Dubai Chess Club, Dubai, United Arab Emiratesand setting a record as the youngest winner in the 10-year history of the Cup. He finished with 7 points on six wins, one loss and two draws after nine games. He won one-fourth ($4,500) of the combined prize of $18,000. [ [http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=sports1_april16_2008 manilastandardtoday.com, So wins Dubai Open, $4.5k] ] [ [http://www.gulfnews.com/sport/Chess/10205864.html gulfnews.com, World's youngest GM So wins Dubai Open] ] GM So also placed third at the sidelight Blitz Tournament of the Dubai Open Chess Championships held during the rest day of the main open tournament.
The Philippines' top gun then proceeded to Jakarta, Indonesia where he battled Indonesia's Number 1 GM Susanto Megaranto 4-2 (three wins, two draws and one loss) in a six-game match on the occasion of the JAPFA Chess Festival. [ [http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=95915 The chess games of Wesley So ] ]
May 5, 2008, So won the top prize of P 200,000, in the “Battle of GMs” chess competition by notching 8½ points, on six wins and five draws, at the Citystate Hotel, Manila. One point ahead of second placer Eugene Torre, and Richard Bitoon, So agreed to split the point with three-time national junior champion Jon Paul Gomez in 30 moves of the French Defence. [ [http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=117131 ABS-CBN Interactive, So wins ‘Battle of GMs’ title] ]
On the October 2008
FIDErating list, GM So's ELO rating was 2610 making him the highest ranked chess player in the Philippines ahead of other notable Filipino Grandmasters such as Mark Paragua, Rogelio Antonio, Jr. and Eugenio Torre (who is second with 2560 ELO rating). He is rated the world's strongest chess player for his age level (players born in 1993 and later) with an ELO rating of 2610 ahead of Chinese WGM Hou Yifan(born 1994, ELO 2557) and strong-rising Russian IM Sanan Sjugirov(born 1993, ELO 2545). The latest ratings put Wesley So on the 11th spot of the world top 20 juniors list. Another notable junior player will be 1992-born Fabiano Caruana of Italy who is currently ranked 5th in the top juniors with an ELO of 2630.
Wesley So has been performing around 2700 performance rating in his recent tournaments, and that kind of level indicates that he has a potential to be a world chess champion.
In the modern era, computers and internet has made the game global and has spawned incredibly strong young chess players such as 17 year old Magnus Carlsen and Serjey Karjakin. Carlsen of Norway, in particular has been performing over 2850, indicating that he has a chance to surpass Kasparov as strongest ever player.
*chessgames player|id=95915|name=Wesley So Latest updates at chessgames.com
* [http://www.rootyhillchess.org/so.html Wesley So: The Next Pinoy Superstar] Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club
* [http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4313 World's Youngest GM – GM Wesley So, age 14] ChessBase.com
* [http://pinoychess.informe.com Pinoy Chess]
* [http://pinoychess.informe.com/forum/wesley-so-dt16.html Latest News and Forum about Wesley So]
* [http://regin_janice_jana.blogs.friendster.com/r2d2s_blog/2007/12/wesley_so_becom.html Private Blog about GM Wesley So]
* [http://www.gmanews.tv/video/21473/Chess-champ-Wesley-So-world's-youngest-GM-comes-home Chess champ Wesley So, world's youngest GM, comes home, 04/22/2008]
* [http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=117276 So compared to Fischer by GM Torre]
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