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Meteoric Rise

In a span of a few years, he has catapulted himself to the forefront of the Philippines’ brightest chess stars in the new millennium.

Wesley So held the distinction of being the world’s youngest grandmaster for about a year, a status he achieved in late 2007.

He unofficially breached past 2600 ELO after the seventh round of the 2008 World Junior Championships in Turkey (could not have picked a better date for it: 08/08/08) at the age of 14 years and 10 months.

Two weeks later, he would unofficially become the Philippines’ highest ever FIDE rated player.

His performance dipped somewhat in the 3rd PGMA Cup after absorbing losses from two local GM aspirants. He has yet to win a locally staged multi-nation event so far in his young chess career. Nevertheless, Wesley’s official ELO for October 2008 stood at 2610, the highest rating ever achieved by a fourteen year old.

He improved to 2627 on January 2009 and officially became the highest ever FIDE-rated Filipino.

At the age of 12, he became the country’s youngest ever chess Olympian (Turin). In just his second Olympiad stint in Dresden, his 2689 TPR surpassed the highest performance rating ever by a Filipino at the Olympiad.

From his breakthrough win in Dubai 2008 up to his most recent triumph at Corus C 2009, all his performances when playing on foreign soil have hovered above 2613.

For 2009 alone, he has garnered invites to the following events: CORUS Chess (where he convincingly won group C in a determined bid), the upcoming 2009 SPICE Cup tournament, and a slot in the Chinese ‘A’ League.

His rather subpar performance at the 2009 Aeroflot Open was good enough earn top junior honors. Upon his return home, he participated in the 2009 Battle of GMs staged in Dapitan where the widening strength gap between him and the next best local player became clearly evident with his smashing +7 performance.


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