|Full name||Wesley Barbasa So|
October 9, 1993 |
Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines
|FIDE rating||2738 (March 2014) (No. 18 in the FIDE World Rankings)|
|Peak rating||2719 (since November 2013)|
Wesley So (born October 9, 1993) is a Filipino chess grandmaster. So achieved the GM title at the age of 14 years, 1 month and 28 days, making him the 8th youngest chess grandmaster in history. Before becoming a grandmaster, So had become the youngest Filipino International Master at the age of 12 years and 10 months. He won the 2009 Corus chess tournament in the Grandmaster C group.
As of January 2014, So is ranked No. 1 in the Philippines, No. 2 among juniors and No. 28 in the world. He previously was the strongest Under-16 player in the world. In October 2008, So was rated 2610 and thus became the youngest player ever in the history of the game to break the 2600 Elo barrier, breaking the record previously held by Magnus Carlsen. (His record was subsequently broken by Wei Yi.) In January 2009, he achieved a rating of 2627, a Philippine national record, surpassing the Elo 2621 rating of GM Mark Paragua achieved in April 2006.
So was born in Bacoor, Cavite in 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, International Master 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 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." So formerly attended the Jesus Good Shepherd School and went on to St. Francis of Assisi College in Bacoor.
In August 2012, So began his full-time study at Webster University in St. Louis under the SPICE program, which was founded by former women's world champion Susan Polgar. So is of Chinese Filipino descent.
So claims his first major tournament win was taking 1st place at the 2003 Philippine National Chess Championships for the under 10 age group.
In 2006, So became the youngest member of the national men's team to participate at the 37th Chess Olympiad in 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. So won the gold medal on board one at the 2007 World Under 16 Team Championship with a score of 9½/10.
He 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. He also became the seventh youngest to achieve the Grandmaster title in the history of chess, edging out French GM Étienne Bacrot from 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 Championship in Yerevan, Armenia. Since December 2007, So has been considered to be the world's youngest grandmaster at the age of 14.
On April 16, 2008, So won the title in the $45,000 Dubai Open Chess Championships, "The Sheikh Rashed Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup", at the Dubai Chess Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and 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. 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.
On 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 Eugenio 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.
On the January 2009 FIDE rating list, So's Elo rating was 2627, 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 was rated the world's strongest chess player for his age level (players born in 1993 and later) with an Elo rating of 2627 ahead of Chinese GM Hou Yifan (born 1994, Elo 2557) and Russian GM Sanan Sjugirov (born 1993, Elo 2545). The latest ratings put So on the 9th spot of the world top 20 juniors list. He won the Corus Group C 2009 championship besting his nearest rival by one point.
So won the Top Junior Prize during Aeroflot 2009, with 5/9. His wins included one against then-IM Tatiana Kosintseva, who won the tournament's Top Woman Prize.
In November–December at the 2009 Chess World Cup he defeated Gadir Guseinov and scored victories over former world championship contenders Vassily Ivanchuk (Elo 2739) and Gata Kamsky (Elo 2695) before being knocked out by Vladimir Malakhov in round 4.
On January 28, 2014, So finished in a tie for 4th–6th places at the 2014 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, finishing 6th according to the tiebreak rules. He registered three victories, two losses and six draws, finishing with six points out of 11 games.
|October 2013||17th Unive Chess Tournament 2013||Hoogeveen, The Netherlands||1st||4½||6||Hoogeveen Crown Group|
|August 2013||World University Championship 2013||Russia, Kazan||1st||6½||9||tied for first with Andriasian Zaven, ahead of GMs Li Chao, Evgeny Alekseev and Dmitry Andreikin|
|June 2013||2013 Las Vegas International Chess Festival 2013||Las Vegas, USA||1st||7||8||Also won the G/10 Championship and the G/5 Blitz Championship. A Triple Crown!|
|May 2013||Calgary International Chess Classic 2013||Calgary, Canada||1st||8||8||Winning two chess championships (Standard & Blitz)|
|February 2013||Reykjavik Open 2013||Reykjavík, Iceland||1st||8||10||3-way tie for first with Pavel Eljanov and Amin Baseem|
|February 2011||Aeroflot Open 2011||Moscow, Russia||N/A||2½||6||Withdrew after sixth round.|
|January 2010||Corus Group B||Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands||4th||7½||13|
|November 2009||2009 Chess World Cup||Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia||4th round|
|September (November) 2009||2009 SPICE Cup International Chess Tournament||Texas, USA||6th||4½||10|
|May 2009||Asian Chess Championship||Subic, Philippines||21st||6½||11|
|February 2009||Aeroflot Open 2009||Moscow, Russia||1st - Junior||5||9||Grabbed the Top Junior Prize. His wins included one against IM Tatiana Kosintseva, who won the tournament's Top Woman Prize.|
|January 2009||71st Corus Chess Tournament||Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands||1st||9½||13||Award: 1st Place in Group C|
|December 2008||First Asian Club Cup||Al Ain, UAE||1st - Board 1 / Team - 4th||5½||7||Award: So won the 1st Board Prize (ahead of Sergey Karjakin); Tagaytay Chess Club players: Wesley So (Board 1), John Paul Gomez (Board 2), Mark Paragua (Board 3), & Darwin Laylo (Board 4)|
|November 2008||38th Chess Olympiad||Dresden, Germany||7||10||Players: Wesley So (Board 2), Buenaventura Villamayor, Jayson Gonzales, Paul John Gomez, Darwin Laylo; Captain: Eugene Torre; So played 10 games - 4 Wins and 6 Draws|
|July 2008||2008 World Chess Olympiad Qualifier||Mandaluyong, Philippines||2nd||12½||17|
|May 2008||1st Subic Bay International Open Chess Championship||Subic, Philippines||2nd||6½||9|
|May 2008||2nd Philippine Open International Chess Tournament||Subic, Philippines||10th / 73||7½||11|
|Apr/May 2008||2008 Philippine "Battle of Grandmasters"||Manila, Philippines||1||8½||11|
|Apr 2008||2008 Japfa Chess Festival 2008 vs GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia||Jakarta, Indonesia||1||4||6||Six games Fide rated one-on-one duel|
|Apr 2008||2008 Dubai Open Blitz Tournament||Dubai, UAE||3||7||9|
|Apr 2008||10th Dubai Open Chess Championship||Dubai, UAE||1st||7||9||The championship ended in a four way tie, and So clinched the championship title on superior technical counts.|
|Mar 2008||Mayor Allen Singson Open Chess Tourney||Candon City, Philippines||1||6||7|
|Jan 2008||"GM Tournament A" ASEAN Masters Chess Circuit||Tarakan, Indonesia||4|
|Dec 2007||Fianchetto Realty/Gold Edge Assets Christmas Invitational Tournament||Prince Gregory Condominium, Cubao, Quezon City||1||(GM-IM blitz category)|
|Dec 2007||2007 Pichay Cup International Chess Tournament||Earned his final GM norm, became the 7th youngest grandmaster in world history and the youngest ever Filipino grandmaster.|
|Nov 2007||2007 GMA Cup International Chess Tournament||6th / 64|
|Oct 2007||World Junior Chess Championship||Earned his 2nd GM norm|
|18-20 Jun 2007||Shell Battle of Champions, 15th Anniversary||SM Megamall, Philippines||1|
|06-9 May 2007||National Juniors Open Chess Championship||Marketplace, Kalentong||1|
|25-31 Dec 2006||3rd Singapore Masters International Open||Singapore||Tied for 4th place||Rank 14 (99 players)|
|Dec 2006||National Open Chess Championship||Manila, Philippines||1|
|2006 Nov 17-23||1st President GMA Cup International Chess Tournament||Parañaque, Philippines||Tied for 6th place||Award: Top Juniors, 3rd|
|2006 Nov 04-12||Offene Internationale Bayerische Schaha Meisterschaft||Bad Wiessee, Germany||Tied for 2nd place||Award: Earned first GM norm. Creativity Award: chosen by Russian website e3e5.|
|2006 Oct 20-28||III Festival de Ajedrez Open Internacionale||Calvià, Spain||Award: Best Under-16, Blitz.|
|2006 Oct 08||Title awarded by FIDE: International Master|
|2006 Aug 20-28||3rd IGB Dato Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Award: Best Under 16 player. Earned 3rd IM norm.|
|2006 Jun 05-11||2nd San Marino Open Internationale de Scacchi||San Marino Republic||Award: Best Under 16 player. Earned 2nd IM norm.|
|2006 May20-Jun04||37th Chess Olympiad||Torino, Italy||Youngest RP Olympian.|
|2006 Apr22-May02||8th Dubai Open Chess Championship, Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamadan Ak Maktoum Cup||Dubai, UAE||Earned 1st IM norm.|
|2005 Dec 26-30||Masters/Challengers Intl Open||Singapore||32nd individual||Award: Best Under 12 player.|
|2005 Aug 01-06||Nice Open International||Nice, France||9th|
|2005 Jul 18-29||World Youth Chess Championship||Belfort, France||Equal first|
|2005 June 14–20||7th Asean Age-Group Chess Championship||Pattaya, Thailand||Individual Awards: Gold Medalist, Standard Chess; Gold Medalist, Rapid Chess; Gold Medalist, Blitz Chess.|
|2004 Dec 01-08||World Youth Chess Championship||Crete, Greece||13th|
|2004 Sep 02-12||6th Asean Age-Group Chess Championship||Vung Tau, Vietnam||Individual Awards: Gold Medalist, Standard Chess; Gold Medalist, Rapid Chess.
Team Awards: Silver Medalist, Standard Chess, Silver Medalist Rapid Chess.
|2003 Nov 03-10||World Youth Chess Championship||Heraklio, Greece||19th|
- GmaNews.Tv, So is now RP's youngest GM, world's 7th youngest
- FIDE Online. FIDE Top players - Top 100 Players January 2014
- von Kietz, Michael (12 February 2013). "Carlsen's Conquests – at 22 he has broken all records". ChessBase News. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- Wei Yi – youngest 2600+ GM ever | Chess News
- Luarca, Roy (2008-04-16). "Brilliant Wesley So tops tough Dubai Open - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos". Inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-05-14. "So, an incoming junior at St. Francis of Assisi College -Bacoor, swept his first five foes..."
- Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information: Wesley So arriving at Webster University
- Index | Webster University
- Interview with Wesley So
- So newest, youngest GM from Manila Standard Today
- manilastandardtoday.com, So wins Dubai Open, $4.5k
- gulfnews.com, World's youngest GM So wins Dubai Open
- The chess games of Wesley So
- ABS-CBN Interactive, So wins ‘Battle of GMs’ title
- "Wesley So Wins Philippines National Chess Championship". Chessdom. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- So bags first-ever PH gold in Universiade | Inquirer Sports
- Aeroflot Open 2009
- Grabbed the Top Junior Prize
- Aeroflot Festival 2009 Tournament A1
- 71st Corus Chess Tournament
- GM Wesley So Wins 2009 Corus C
- First Asian Club Cup
- 2nd Philippine Open International Chess Tournament
- Clash of Philippines' best chess players
- 10th Dubai Open Chess Championship
- GM Wesley So to join and hold simul games - Allen Singson Chess
- World's Youngest GM – GM Wesley So, age 14
- Chess prodigies and mini-grandmasters
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wesley So.|
- Wesley So player profile and games at Chessgames.com Latest updates at chessgames.com
- Interview with Wesley So and Game Review from 2009 World Cup August 2011 Text Interview with Game Review
- Wesley So: The Next Pinoy Superstar Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club
- World's Youngest GM – GM Wesley So, age 14 ChessBase.com by IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso (10.12.2007)
- Pinoy Chess
- Latest News and Forum about Wesley So
- Private Blog about GM Wesley So
- Chess champ Wesley So, world's youngest GM, comes home, 04/22/2008
- So compared to Fischer by GM Torre
- Interview with Wesley So Chessdom
- Interview at the 2009 World Cup website