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Wesley So

wesley so-02 Wesley So is a Filipino chess grandmaster. A chess prodigy, he achieved the GM title at the age of 14 years, 1 month and 28 days, making him the 7th youngest person to achieve the Grandmaster title in the history of chess. Before becoming a Grandmaster, So had become the youngest Filipino International Master at the age of 12 years and 10 months. He is the recent winner of the prestigious 2009 Corus chess tournament for the Grandmaster C group.

Wesley So’s world ranking is 67th. He previously was the strongest Under-16 player in the world. He is currently ranked 6th highest junior (Under-20) in the world. His current FIDE rating is 2665. In January 2005, So raised his rating from 2165 to 2216 the following year. In January 2007, he improved his mark to 2451 before reaching 2526 exactly a year later. In October 2008, he was at 2610 and by doing so, he became the youngest player ever in the history of the game to break the 2600 Elo barrier, breaking the record previously held by Magnus Carlsen. In January 2009, he achieved a rating of 2627, a Philippine national record, surpassing the Elo 2621 rating of GM Mark Paragua in April 2006.

Wesley So was born in Bacoor, Cavite in 1993 to William and Eleanor So, who are both accountants. He was aged 6 when his father taught him to play chess and was 9 when he started to compete in junior active chess tournaments where his aggressive and tactical style of play caught the attention of former Philippine chess champion IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso. Cardoso said, "The young lad… would sacrifice a queen or any other pieces in his arsenal to get a winning attack." Also according to Cardoso, So did not have the full sponsorships enjoyed by the other chess prodigies, saying "He cannot afford decent training given by well known GM-coaches and has to rely on his pure talent, diligence and, of course, the Fritz programs before competing." Wesley formerly attended the Jesus Good Shepherd School and currently goes to school at St. Francis of Assisi College in Bacoor, Cavite, a province south of Manila.

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