Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rate Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So

At the Rate Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So is playing, 2010 could be his year too.

At 16 and already the country's highest-rated chess player ever, So continued to raise his level of excellence with an Elo of 2656 based on the Jan. 1 ratings released by the World Chess Federation (Fide).

Buoyed by his strong showing in the recent World Chess Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia where he eliminated former world championship finalists Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Gata Kamsky of the United States, So earned 16 points to boost his old Elo of 2640 in November.

The Elo 2656the highest-ever achieved by a Filipino player in historylifted the world rating of the high school student of St. Francis College to No. 76 in a tie with GM Boris Avrukh of Israel.

So also moved up to No. 6 among the world's top junior players, two notches higher than his previous position in the September quarterly rating of Fide.
The Filipino trails only junior GMs Magnus Carlssen (Elo 2810) of Norway, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2730) of France, Sergey Karjakin (2720) of Russia, Fabiano Caruana (2675) of Italy and Ian Nepomniactchi (2658 ) of Russia.

The multi-awarded campaigner from Bacoor, Cavite also moved up to No. 8 overall in Asia and retained No. 1 in the world under-16 category.

More importantly, So's dramatic rise also enabled the Philippines to move up to No. 29 among chess-playing nation in the worldup by five notches from 34th in the previous quarterly list.

"I'm very happy for my achievements in the previous year. I hope 2010 will be just as good to me," said So, who is scheduled to leave for Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands on Jan. 13 to compete in Group B in the Corus (formerly Hoogovens) tournament.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president and chair Prospero "Butch" Pichay lauded So for his newest achievement, saying his success a welcome gift to the country and the Filipino people for the new year.

So's World Cup teammates, GMs Rogelio Antonio, Jr. and Darwin Laylo, kept second and third places, respectively, in the country's list of top players.

Antonio, who lost to Kamsky in the first round of the World Cup, has an Elo of 2572two points down from his all-time best of 2574 in the November rating list. He is listed No. 34 in Asia and No. 311 in the world.

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