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Wesley So the Philippines' New Chess Sensation

Updated on July 1, 2012

The New Brightest Filipino Hope in Chess

Philippines chess has something to be proud of, GM Wesley So, the latest chess wunderkind continues to reap honors for his country and his growing lists of achievements continues to spellbound and amaze the chess community. A work in progress, the seventh youngest chess grandmaster ever and the youngest to reach the dizzying heights of 2600 ELO rating, Wesley So, added another feather in his cap, by nailing the tough and prestigious Corus Chess Tournament (Section C) held last January 15 to February 1, 2009, topping the field with an impressive score of 9.5/13, scoring 7 wins 5 draws and a loss. So’s win earned him a ticket to the Group B section for next year’s edition of Corus Chess Tournament.

Now the country’s newest chess sensation, Wesley So now totes a 2646 ELO rating and is expected to rise even further as he was entered in tough competitions in the months ahead, like the World Junior Chess Championship B/G 2009 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, this coming October 16-29, 2009. He breaks the previous Philippine record of 2624 ELO rating record set by his countryman GM Mark Paragua. He is performing above 2700 in the tournament he participated recently. At the tender age of 15, he already scalped many seasoned and strong GMs. His recent victim includes GMs Tiger Hillarp Persson, Friso Nijboer and Eduardo Iturrizaga. His remarkable win thus far is his conquest of Chinese Super GM Ni Hua which has an ELO rating of 2709, and secured draws over Hydra Grandmasters (a chess players with Elo Ratings above 2700) Alexei Shirov and Sergey Karjakin.

Wesley So also emerged as the best junior finisher in the very tough Aerofloat Chess Open in Moscow, Russia held last February 16 to 27, 2009 and captured the Phoenix Petroleum & Dapitan City Battle of GMs held last March 24 to 31, 2009 in Dapitan City, Philippines.

Let’s hope that Wesley So will continue to impress the world with his exciting and truly brilliant games in the months ahead, or perhaps even years to come. As of July 2009 with his FIDE Elo ratings, So made it to the elite top 100 barrier by ranking 92nd in the world, 7th in the world juniors, 1st in Under 16 Category and 9th in Asia. Many pundits are expecting him to breach the 2700 ELO rating and break the top 30 in the world rankings soon. I hope that this blog will follow the transformation of a gentle cub into a feisty lion that is capable of whipping out tactical plays that would surely give even the well experienced chess grandmaster a run for his king’s life.

Chess Prodigy Wesley So flashes his Gentle Mauler Form.

Wesley So captured one of the two berths in this year's World Cup in Russia this year by finishing strong second in 3.3 Zonal Chess Championships in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Wesley So captured one of the two berths in this year's World Cup in Russia this year by finishing strong second in 3.3 Zonal Chess Championships in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Updates of Wesley So's Chess Campaigns

Top seed Super GM Wesley So placed second behind compatriot GM Darwin Laylo, in the 3.3 Zonal Championship in Ho Chi Minh as they both snared the much coveted two berths in this year's World Cup to be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia slated this November 20 to December 15. GM Darwin Laylo collected 8 points and Wesley So amassed 6.5 points after the penultimate 9th round, Laylo trounced Viet bet IM Duong The Anh and second seed GM Zhang Zhong of Singapore and even as So toppled Vienamese IM Nguyen Huynh Minh in the last two rounds to ensure them stint in the World Cup. The duo surely gave pride to the Philippines as they staved off the strong challenge posted by the top Vietnamese and Indonesian grandmasters. Another Filipino GM Rogelio Antonio earlier qualified in the big tournament in Russia by placing a strong 5th place in the recently concluded Asian Continental Individual Chess in Subic, Olongapo City, Philippines, held last May 13 to 23, 2009.

Here is a game played by Wesley So, be on a lookout to his blind moves.

Friso Nijboer - Wesley So

Round 1
Corus 2009
Wijk Aan Zee

Sicilian Defense


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 So here favored the solid Paulsen System. 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.O-O-O Bb4 9.f3 Ne5 10.Nb3 b5 11.Qd4 Nc6 12.Qb6 Qe5 13.Bd2 Rb8 14.Qf2 O-O 15.f4 Qc7 16.Bd3 d6 17.Qh4 Bxc3 18.Bxc3 e5 19.Rhf1 b4 20.Bd2 a5 21.Kb1 a4 22.Nc1 Bg4 23.Rde1 Rfc8 24.Rf2 Bd7 25.f5 Nd4 26.Bh6 Ne8 27.Bxg7 Nxg7 28.f6 b3 29.axb3 axb3 30.Qg3 Nde6 31.cxb3 Qa5 32.Rc2 Rxc2 33.Kxc2 Rc8+ 34.Kb1 Bb5 35.Rd1 Bxd3+ 36.Rxd3 Qb4 37.fxg7 Qxe4 38.Qe3 Qg6 39.Qg3 Qe4 40.Qe3 Qg6 41.Qg3 Qf5 42.Qh3 Qxh3 43.Rxh3 Nd4 44.b4 Rb8 45.Nb3 Ne6 46.Na5 Rxb4 47.Nc6 Rb6 48.Ne7+ Kxg7 49.Nf5+ Kg6 50.Ne7+ Kg7 51.Nf5+ Kf6 52.g4 e4 53.Rxh7 Nc5 54.Kc2 Na4 55.b4 Rxb4 56.Nxd6 Ke5 57.Nxf7+ Kd4 58.g5 Rb2+ 59.Kc1 Rg2 60.Rh8 Nc5 61.Rd8+ Kc3 62.Kd1 Nd3 63.Rc8+ Kd4 64.Nd6 Rg1+ 65.Kc2 Rc1+ 66.Kb3 Rxc8 67.Nxc8 e3 an impressive win by the Filipino over an experienced opponent 0-1

This is my second entry to the Hub Challenge.


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    • profile image

      mtsi1098 7 years ago

      I absolutely love the game of chess and taught my son to play...I think it is a great way to learn to think ahead...thanks

    • GeneralHowitzer profile image

      Gener Geminiano 8 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      yeah it is. according to american study conducted, chess can be vital to kid's learning in school too. in fact the collective grades of those kids playing chess is better than those who doesn't play. thanks for dropping by.

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 8 years ago from Canada

      Teaching my sons chess was a joy and pleasure and now they teach their younger cousins, lol. It's great for setting them up for their educational future too. Great article. :)

    • GeneralHowitzer profile image

      Gener Geminiano 8 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Yeah he is a chesss prodigy and conisitently whipping his older countryman here including Asia's first grandmaster Eugene. I followed his games and he is up to a good future. Thanks po ma'm for the comment...

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 8 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      magaling daw ang batang ito...