*Wesley Barbasa So* (born October 9, 1993) is a Filipino-American chess grandmaster. He is a three-time Filipino Chess Champion and was U.S. Chess Champion in 2017. On the March 2017 FIDE rating list, he was ranked number two in the world and had an Elo rating of 2822, making him the fifth highest rated player in history .
A former chess prodigy, So became the youngest player to pass a 2600 Elo rating in October 2008, breaking the record previously held by Magnus Carlsen . This record has since been broken by John M. Burke.
In early 2013, So passed 2700 and in January 2017 he became the 11th player to pass 2800 Elo.
So represented the Philippines until transferring to the United States in 2014. He won the 2015 Bilbao Chess Masters, the 2016 Grand Chess Tour title after claiming victory in the Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Classic, and the 2017 Tata Steel Masters. He represented the US on board 3 at the 42nd Chess Olympiad, winning team and individual gold.
So was born in the Philippines in 1993 to parents William and Eleanor So; he has one older sister (by 1 year), Wendelle So, and has one younger sister (by 13 years), Wilma So. So attended the Jesus Good Shepherd School and went on to Saint Francis of Assisi College in Bacoor .
He was nine years old when he began competing in junior tournaments. So took first place at the 2003 Philippine National Chess Championships in the U-10s section. As a junior player, he also competed in various sections of World Youth Chess Championships, finishing 19th in the U-10s in 2003,13th in the U-12s in 2004 and fourth place in the U-12s in 2005. He also took part in the ASEAN Open U-10s in 2004, securing individual golds in the standard and rapid sections along with team silver medals in the standard and rapid along with winning individual golds in the standard, rapid and blitz sections in the U-12s in 2005.
According to SAJCC’s facebook page….. SAJCC – South African Junior Chess Championship
The South African Junior Team Championship ended on 20 December. The Team Championship is the main tournament making up the SAJCC. The other events are the SA Inter Regionals, SA Wild Card and Players with Disabilities events.
Tshwane Chess won the best region award overall for their performance in the SA Team Championship. The region had more winners than any other region. The top regions overall by medal count were: Tshwane Chess (49), Western Province (46), Johannesburg Metro (16), Ekurhuleni (9), Capricorn (9), Bojanala Platina (5), Lejweleputswa (5). The following regions were tied on 4: Sedibeng (4), Nelson Mandela Bay (4), Ehlanzeni (4), Ilembe (4) and Western Rand (4).
In the A section of every age category, which had the strongest players in the Tournament, Tshwane Chess had a medal count of 19, followed by Western Province on 14 and Johannnesburg Metro on 6. Tshwane Chess and Western Province dominated the A section.
The SA Junior Team Championship team event is the largest of the tournaments making up the SAJCC. It is a team event that offers junior players an opportunity to qualify for the South African Junior Closed Chess Championship (SAJCCC) which will take place in March. The SAJCC started with the Team Championship event. The event had the following categories: Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16, Under 18, Under 20.
The SAJCC is the largest chess tournament in South Africa and one of the biggest chess events in Africa. The event has has seen at least 2300 players and 300 coaches and team managers attending from all over the country.
The team event ran from 16 to 20 December. It was a 7 round Swiss event. Super chess grandmaster Wesley So officially opened the South African Junior Chess Championship (SAJCC) on Sunday, 16 December. The event, which is the largest chess tournament in South Africa and one of the biggest chess events in Africa, has seen at least 2300 players and 300 coaches and team managers attending from all over the country.