If you take a look at the live rating(yes, live rating!) chess website: 2700chess.com,  Wesley is at the top 10 among the elite chess Grand Masters as of date and time this blog posted.  Possibly by 3rd Qtr 2015, he is already on the top 5 rankings.  Who knows, he is a very talented chess species discovered in the Philippines!

Top 10 as of 19 December 2014 (c) 2700chess.com

Top 10 as of 19 December 2014 (c) 2700chess.com

First encounter:

Wesley So Simul exhibition game vs ABIS students, 25 August 2007

As an active member of our company’s Interest Club, particularly chess, we got the opportunity to invite Wesley to one of our club activities and this one was the “Wesley So Simul vs. ABIS” (Andres Bonifacio Integrated School) grade school students in Mandaluyong City. This was my very first encounter with Wesley that i got the opportunity to have some talk. A very quiet person but has a lot of ambition in life.

Young Wesley So pondering his moves vs ABIS grade students

Young Wesley So pondering his moves vs ABIS grade students

Later on that year also, Wesley, declared as the newest World Youngest Grand Master at the age of 14.

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Group picture with the ABIS grade students

 

Second encounter

Blue Wave DAVIS Chess Cup at Blue Wave Mall along Macapagal Avenue near Mall of Asia in Pasay City, 28 March 2010

The second encounter was through Davis Chess Cup at Blue Wave Mall along Macapagal Avenue. This time, i wasn’t able to talk to him personally but got the chance again to take photos of him during the tournament. This is a very good times that you always prepared bringing your camera.

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So vs Dableo during Davis Cup finals at Blue Wave Macapagal

 

He is currently at world’s no. 64 that time with FIDE Rating of 2665.  Much to say, Wesley won this tournament finals by besting GM-elect Ronald Dableo (1.5-0.5).  But before that he scalped NM Rudy Ibanez (1.5-0.5) in the round-of-32, FM David Elorta (1.5-0.5) in the round-of-16, IM Oliver Dimakiling (2-1) in the round-of-8 and IM Richard Bitoon (1.5-0.5) in the round-of-4, respectively.

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Wesley So with future Grand Master kid photo op during the event

 

There was a side event happened on that tournament which the champion has to battle Pocket Fritz 4, a chess engine of Hiarc 13 for a 2 exhibition games match.  But Wesley bowed to the engine on 0.5-1.5 outings.  An extra price amounting of $100 USD courtesy of Mr. Reginald Tee only if Wesley won.

Final encounter

Wesley So vs JP Gomez Rapid Match, Robinson’s Place, Manila, 5 September 2010

Have you heard the group Barangay Wesley? This group are avid supporters of Wesley on which they followed every games of our prodigy. They also conduct chess tournaments that Wesley of course is invited. This group also was actively participating on group discussions and live games annotation on chessgames.com using some of amazing code names everytime Wesley has big tournaments.

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Barangay Wesley cyber names that competes the tournament

 

Being one of the constant follower, I was invited to the event. Of course Wesley was there to battle JP Gomez via Rapid games. This event was being organized by Capt. Norlito Sepulvida (aka Sugardom), the main man behind this great project and founder of Barangay Wesley. And of course Wesley won on the Wesley vs JP rapid match 2.5-0.5.

Federation shift

These three rare encounters with GM Wesley So will be cherished. As he already migrated to the USA and finally shifted federation to that country. Being a follower most of his tournaments, having late night sleeps due to time zone differences, but still Wesley’s games really excite us.

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