Wesley So the Latest World Chess Sensation

Tipped to be the next Magnus Carlsen, So provided fireworks in the World Chess Cup.

The world chess community is indeed dazzled and in awe with the recent exploits of GM Wesly So of the Philippines. The 16 year-old So, which totes an Elo rating of 2640, the highest in his country and his age bracket in the world, pulled out two stunning reversals in the 2009 World Chess Cup at the Khanty-Mansiysk Centre of Arts here in Russia. So carved out a scintillating upset victory over seasoned veteran and one of the most feared player in the world chess circuit, Vassily Ivanchuk in the second round 1.5-0.5, and then returned in the third round to oust the tournament's defending champion Gata Kamsky 1.5-0.5. These twin victories posted by So sends great cheers to his native country and to his fans worldwide.

So Amazing Wesley So.

Wesley So having a nice conversation with the tournament's officials. Is the last Asian standing in the tournament. - Photo from ugra-chess.ru
Wesley So having a nice conversation with the tournament's officials. Is the last Asian standing in the tournament. - Photo from ugra-chess.ru
Wesley So's last 32 victim, Gata Kamsky. Photo from ugra-chess.ru
Wesley So's last 32 victim, Gata Kamsky. Photo from ugra-chess.ru
The exasperated Ivanchuk who got eliminated in the second round by Wesley So. Photo from ugra-chess.ru
The exasperated Ivanchuk who got eliminated in the second round by Wesley So. Photo from ugra-chess.ru

Playing the black pieces So extracted a win over Kamsky (has an Elo rating of 2695) in 53 moves of the French Defense on their first of two games in their much anticipated match-up, and cruised to a draw in their second game after 42 moves of the Dutch Defense to clinch a berth to the fourth round (16 players are left to slug it out for a place in the quarterfinals).
In the deciding second game, So needing just a draw to knock out Kamsky, got what he hoped for. The draw came when he initiated an exchange of major pieces and dashed Kamsky's any chance of winning the game. Position wise So has the slight edge and Kamsky ended his suffering by offering draw which So accepted.

So said “I’m really happy to have played well against Kamsky. But I really spend a lot of time preparing for my opponents. I know that even if they are already super GMs, they can also make mistakes,”

"I realize that you should do your best in the classical games of each round. If you win one game, you are almost there. Besides, I spend a lot of time for preparations to every single opponent. I train chess for 5-6 hours per day watching the previous games of my opponents. I understand that they are people who can also make mistakes," when asked how can he cope up with the magic of the big chess names by the official website of the tournament, ugra-chess.ru.
Kamsky who plays board one for the United States in the last World Chess Olympiad held at Turin said, “It is clear that my opponent was better prepared. I was thinking that I could win against this player with my experience. But sadly, my opponent was not that easy to beat, as I was expecting. He turned out to be a very serious player.”

On the second round it was So who provided the biggest shocker of the tournament as he humbled former world championship finalist and the sixth-seeded GM Vassily Ivanchuk.

The superb performance of So in this prestigious tournament will help him propel his current world rankings and boosts his rating to the dizzying 2700 rating by the year ends. The reigning Filipino champion will next face 22nd seeded Russian GM Vladimir Malakhov winner over 11th seeded GM Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine in the round of 16.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President Butch Pichay and secretary-general Tagaytay City Mayor Bambol Tolentino was so ecstatic with So's impressive performance in the event. The NCFP's inexhaustible leader Pichay was responsible for the attainment of the Grand Master status of several Filipino woodpushers.

“Clearly, Wesley is the newest chess superstar in the world,” remarked Pichay.

Also marching to the Last 16 round in this chess star-studded tournament were Alexei Shirov of Spain, Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine, Nikita Vitiugov of Russia, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.

The world chess community is all eyes on So, who is tipped to be the next big thing in world chess after Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.

Win or lose Filipinos are already elated with So's impressive showing and surely becomes happier if he advances further in the succeeding rounds.


Wesley So continue to make your country proud and try your best to bring home the bacon.


My 23rd Hub in the November HubChallenge...

Comments 10 comments

onlinecashdigest profile image

onlinecashdigest 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Wesley So should sustain his momentum...play only in strong tournaments and avoid so-so tournaments.

He should rest in between tournaments but after that join a World Class tournament that would showcase and improve his talent at the same time.


MrsKnowledge profile image

MrsKnowledge 6 years ago from Spanaway

Amazing how such a young kid can be better than all those guys with years of experience.


onlinecashdigest profile image

onlinecashdigest 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Wesley has made more successes after this. I wish him more success. I was an active chess player too during my college days playing for San Beda College.


JJ_Mason profile image

JJ_Mason 6 years ago

Very impressive, defeating Ivanchuk especially, looks like Magnus Carlsen may have a challenge on his hands.


jewelsngemsbygin profile image

jewelsngemsbygin 6 years ago

Very impressive young man. It will be fun to watch him continue to soar like an eagle.


GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 6 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines Author

@pdh - the moment Wesley defeated Kamsky, is a big development and no doubt it. It is wise to invest time in this wonderful chess prodigy. BTW I also made earlier tribute to Wesley. Chess is one of my favorite game.

@dohn- he is hehehe so young yet had beaten strong super grandmasters already... I hope he'll keep on rolling in the tournament...


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Wow. I don't really follow Chess, but this was a great tribute and report. Thanks for sharing this with us, GH. He certainly is a strong competitor.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

great hub GH, Thanks for featuring the pride, Salamat, Maita


GeneralHowitzer profile image

GeneralHowitzer 6 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines Author

Yeah thanks a lot for the visit me too I am fascinated with this game too it requires a lot of strategy and tactics... :)


shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 6 years ago

Though I'm not a good chess player, but this royal game has always fascinated me.

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