Wesley So

FIDE Rating (August 2012) :  2652

Peak Rating :   2674 (Jul 2010)

Live Rating 

World Rank  (active players):     99

Wesley So, is Philippines’ top ranked Chess Grandmaster (GM), the son of William So and Eleanor Barbasa (an Ilongga from Negros Occ.) who are both accountants and formerly lives in Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines but now had migrated in Canada.

A Filipino chess prodigy, born on October 9, 1993 in Perpetual Help Hospital at Las Piñas City, Metro Manila and was raised up in Bacoor, Cavite.

He became the Philippines’ youngest and 8th Grandmaster  when he completed his 3rd and final GM norm on December 7, 2007 at the 3rd  Prospero Pichay, Jr. Cup,   an International Open Chess tournament in Manila.   This he achieved at age 14years-1 month-28 days  and currently listed as the 9th youngest Grandmaster to achieve the title in the history of chess [1].

On October 2008 FIDE rating, Wesley So registered 2610 rating officially at age 14yrs-11mos-22days,  making him the youngest GM to breached the 2600+ mark  ahead  of  Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov, the 2nd youngest, who made it at age 15yrs & 19days  and  Norway’s Magnus Carlsen who came in 3rd youngest at age 15yrs & 31days.

Additionally, he is the Philippines’ youngest International Master (IM) at age 12yrs-10mos-19days   when he completed his 3rd and final IM norm on 28 Aug 2006 at the 3rd IGB Dato Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship.

Also, the youngest  National Champion when he won the 2nd Battle of Grandmasters (BOGM) recognized by FIDE as the 2009 Philippine Championship   at  age  15yrs-5mos-22days  on  31 March 2009 [2][3].

Moreover, he is the youngest member of the National Men’s Team as well as the youngest player in the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy on  20 May to 6 June 2006  at age 12yrs-07mos-11days.

Chess career

CY 2003-2004

CY-2003 was a breakthrough in Wesley So’s young, promising and illustrious chess career when he won the National Age Group U10 Championship.

This he followed up with qualifications and participations in the World Youth Chess Championship (2003 & 2004) [4][5] as well as the ASEAN ‘Age-Group’ Chess  Championship (2004) [6]  with outstanding results.

In CY-2004,  he acquired his  FIDE Master (FM) qualification when he emerged joint 1st placers/Gold medallist in U12 division at the 5th ASEAN ‘Age-Group’ Chess Championship in Vun Tau, Vietnam at age 10years-11months-3days. [7][8]

CY 2005

CY- 2005  was the banner year for Wesley So since this was the year when his name first appeared officially in FIDE’s rating list with an initial rating of 2165 (Jan 2005).

In  11-20 June,  he defended and retained his U12 title at the 6th ASEAN ‘Age-Group’ Chess Championship in Pattaya, Thailand [9] [10].

In 18-28 July,  he tied for first  along with three others scoring 8.5/11 and 4th overall after tiebreak in the World Youth U12 Chess Championship in Belfort, France [11] .

This was also the year when he started campaigning in the Open division Internationally at the “12 Open d’Ete de Nice – France”  in August 1-6, 2005 placing a laudable 9th overall  with a score of  5/7  and gained a +35.5  FIDE rating.

He ended CY-2005 campaigning at Singapore International Master Open  (Dec 26-30), placing 32nd overall scoring 3.5/8 and gained a +37.5 FIDE rating. As a consolation he won the best U12 award.


Wesley started the year with a FIDE rating of 2216 (Jan 2006),  a  +51 rating gain from his previous  2165 (Jan 2005) rating.

In the 2006 Men’s National Open (April 6-12)  won by Darwin Laylo and 2nd placer Oliver Dimakiling,  he earned the last slot for the Philippines Men’s Team to the37th Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy after a 6-man playoffs for third place.

In May 1, 2006, he earned his 1st International Master norm at the  8th Dubai Open 2006 Shiekh Rashid Bin Hamdan Cup (Apr 23 – May 1) when he scored 5/9. [12]

He participated in the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy (20 May–6 June 2006) as the youngest ever member of a Philippines National Men’s Team  at age  12years and 7 months.  He too was the youngest player in the 2006 Chess Olympiad.  He scored a respectable 3/5 (2wins-2draws-1loss) as an alternate.

Wesley earned his 2nd  IM norm at the  2nd San Marino Open Internationale de Scacchi – San Marino Republic (5-11 Jun 2006) right after the end of the Turin World Chess Olympiad placing 29th overall with 5.5/9 and a performance rating of 2522. [13]   Additionally, he also was adjudged the Best U16 player.  He too earned a + 46.35 FIDE rating. [14]

At the 3rd IGB Dato Arthur Tan Malaysia Open Chess Championship (20-28 Aug), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia he completed his 3rd and final IM norm on 28 Aug 2006 at at age 12yrs-10mos-19days making him the Philippines’ youngest International Master (IM).  He scored 6.5/11, placed 19th overall, earned a +34.65 FIDE rating and was awarded the “Best Under 16 (U16) player”.  [14]

UNDER CONSTRUCTION to be continued

:::   :::   :::

Major references:
A.   http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=95915
B.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wesley_So
C.   http://www.fide.com

 Additional references:
[1].  World’s Youngest To Attain GM, 2600, 2700, 2800 and WC

 [2].  Wesley So leads Philippine Championship

[3].  2nd Battle of Grandmasters (BOGM)

[4]    World Youth Chess Championship 2003 – Boys-10

[5]    World Youth Chess Championships 2004 Boys U12


 [7]   Wesley So  FIDE Chess Profile

[8]  1.0. Requirements for the titles designated in 0.31 [1.2 Titles achieved from International Championships (FIDE Master: ASEAN or Arab U-18,16,14, 12,10, 8)]

[9]   ASEAN Age Group Under – 12 Open : 11-20 June 2005

[10]   6th ASEAN Age Group Championships  (Pattaya, Thailand : 11th-20th June 2005]

[11]  World Youth Chess Championship 2005 B12 Belfort, France

[12]  8th Dubai Open Chess Championship 2006

[13]   2nd San Marino International Chess Open : June 5th-11th 2006

 [14] Wesley So FIDE Ind’l  Calculation – 2nd San Marino & 3rd IGB Dato Arthur Tan 2006   

2 thoughts on “Wesley So

  1. I’ve been a chess fanatic since E. Torre but when I saw some of your games, I was not only impressed but I thought you are very brilliant player. With your so young age, I know you will go places and you will bring honors to our country. I live here in the states(NJ) for more than 20 years now and I haven’t seen any filipino player with your caliber. I see to it that I can see some of your games at chessgames.com. I hope I will have a chance to meet you when I go vacation to ythe Phil. Again good luck and keep on playing good chess and I hope you will be a world champion in the near future.

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