Another chess prodigy (Part 5): Wesley So

Wesley So is a Filipino chess grandmaster. 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.

Wesley So was born in Bacoor, Cavite on October 9, 1993. 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. In 2006, Wesley So became the youngest member of the national men's team to participate at the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy at the age of 12. In December of the same year, he also became the youngest National Open Chess Champion. In May 2007, he went on to become the youngest National Junior Open Chess Champion. Wesley won the gold medal on board one at the 2007 World Under 16 Team Championship with a score of 9½/10. He achieved his third and final Grandmaster norm on December 8, 2007 at the third Pichay Cup International Open (Manila, Philippines), thus becoming the youngest Filipino Grandmaster at the age of 14. He also became the seventh youngest to achieve the Grandmaster title in the history of chess, edging out French GM Etienne Bacrot from that spot by a few days. So got his first GM norm in the Offene Internationale Bayerische Schach Meisterschaft in Bad Wiessee, Germany and his second GM norm in the 2007 U-20 World Junior Chess Championship in Yerevan, Armenia. Since December 2007, Wesley So has been considered to be the world's youngest Grandmaster at the age of fourteen. On the January 2009 FIDE rating list, GM So's ELO rating is 2627 making him the highest ranked chess player in the Philippines ahead of other notable Filipino Grandmasters such as Mark Paragua, Rogelio Antonio, Jr. and Eugenio Torre (who is second with 2560 ELO rating). The latest ratings put Wesley So on the 9th spot of the world top 20 juniors list. He won and is currently the Corus Group C 2009 champion besting his nearest rival by 1 point. Clinched his ticket to the prestigious World Cup by placing 2nd during Zone 3.3 Chess Championship which was held on 23-29th July 2009 in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. In November-December at the 2009 Chess World Cup he defeated Gadir Guseinov and had shocking victories over former world championship contenders Vassily Ivanchuk (ELO 2739) and Gata Kamsky (ELO 2695) before being knocked out by Vladimir Malakhov in Round Four.

He is now playing in Corus B and scored 5 out of 8 with 2 wins and 6 draws. There are still 5 more rounds to play, we wait for good news from The Whizkid