Wesley So

Wesley So (born October 9, 1993) 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 89th and is the strongest Under-16 player in the world. He is currently ranked 7th highest junior (Under-20) in the world. His current FIDE rating is 2641. 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. 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. In January 2009, he achieved a rating of 2627, a Philippines national record, surpassing the Elo 2621 rating of GM Mark Paragua in April 2006.

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). He is rated the world's strongest chess player for his age level (players born in 1993 and later) with an ELO rating of 2627 ahead of Chinese GM Hou Yifan (born 1994, ELO 2557) and strong-rising Russian GM Sanan Sjugirov (born 1993, ELO 2545). 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.



  • 7 years ago


    Poor kid cannot even speak Chinese.

  • 7 years ago


    Not a 100% Filipino? Are you kidding me? That's like saying Michael Jordan is not 100% American cause he's black. Don't be racial man.

  • 7 years ago


    Hi guys. Nice article. Wesley just recently joined Chess.com, we're just waiting for him to upgrade his profile to add the "GM" title.  Here's the thread about this:



    For more updates on Wesley, please join our group:


  • 7 years ago


    Thank you for your comments rodrigosky and Dozy! A special thank for that link - I hope, Dozy, you're writing several articles on Wesley So.

    In the nineties I visited Metro Manila and found a nice chess park there. Guys were happy to challenge me for a gamble. Played one game there for money, the only one in my life. Too bad I can't remember if it was a draw or a win, probably a draw. The guys at the park came to shake my hands and I did pay for a good game of chess.

    I heard Ernest Hemingway used stay in Hotel Manila. When I was there it was Christmas time. Quite a decoration thay'd made; one of the prettiest I've seen.

  • 7 years ago


    Well i'm proud of Wesley So although he is not 100% Filipino i'm proud of being a Filipino.

  • 7 years ago


    A timely piece, Jim, well researched and written. You've also saved me the job of writing it, which I had planned to do following his extraordinary performance in the World Cup.

    I first heard of Wesley four years ago when one of our Filipino chess club members asked me to write about him for the Rooty Hill Chess Club web page. The story was called  The Next Pinoy Superstar.  Of course, at that time I didn't realise just how super he was going to get.

    Wesley's mother, Leny (Eleanor) was kind enough to send me a lot of information including a photograph of herself on Sydney Harbour when she visited Australia. She was part of a team investigating a possible linkage of the De La Salle University's Nursing Course with the Australian  Catholic University.

    So there's some more information about Wesley's early years available at that link should it be of interest.

    Some of Wesley's games in that article are displayed using  ChessGenie, a program written exclusively for the Rooty Hill Club by our webmaster, Robert Ambalong (another Pinoy), and the rest are displayed using the DGT Chess Theatre.

    Thanks for writing this story. He's a young man who has already made an enormous impact on world chess, and who will certainly achieve very much more and it's great to see him getting some more publicity from you.

    I hope you don't mind me adding a link to my earlier story. Please feel free to delete my post (or ask me to edit it) if it's out of place.

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