Wesley So reaches new heights in FIDE ratings
07/01/2009 06:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Grandmaster Wesley So continued his meteoric rise in the chess world by achieving the highest-ever rating for a Filipino player in the latest FIDE quarterly ratings released on July 1.

The 15-year-old So gained five points from April to June to hike his ELO rating to 2646, topping his previous personal best of 2641.

So’s 2646 enabled him to maintain seventh place overall in the list of the world’s top junior players.

Only GMs Magnus Carlsen (ELO 2772) of Norway; Sergey Karjakin (ELO 2717) of Ukraine; Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (ELO 2703) of France; Wang Hao (ELO 2690) of China; Fabiano Caruana (ELO 2670) of Italy; and Dmitry Andreikin (ELO 2648) of Russia are ahead of So in the elite list of top junior players.

Overall, the high school student of St. Francis (Bacoor) is ranked 92nd in the world in a tie with GM Yasser Seirawan of the United States.
The Filipino whiz kid is even two points ahead of former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov of Russia (ELO 2644).

In Asia, So is currently ranked No. 9 overall and he ranks first in the world among players under-16.

So’s three-month campaign included his successful title-retention bid in the Phoenix Petroleum Battle of GMs in Dapitan City and a 16th-22nd place finish in the Asian Individual Chess Championships in Subic .

In the Philippines, So remains way, way ahead of GMs Eugene Torre and Rogelio Antonio Jr. in the roster of top players.

Torre, the “Ageless Warrior” of local chess, retained his No. 2 spot with ELO 2550.

Antonio, who rediscovered his old brilliance by becoming the lone Filipino qualifier to the World Chess Cup after a strong performance in the Asian Individual Championships in Subic, made the biggest jump from fifth (ELO 2518) to third (ELO 2559).

A mainstay of Philippine Army, the 47-year-old Antonio finished in a tie for third place in the Asian championship with 7.5 points on five wins, five draws and only one loss.

Another notable achiever is former Asian junior champion and GM-elect Rogelio Barcenilla Jr., who jumped to fourth place with 2518, dislodging GM John Paul Gomez (ELO 2515).

Barcenilla, who is now based in Arizona, Texas, boosted his stock by garnering an additional 15 points on the strength of his triumph in the Copper State international tournament in Arizona.

The victory also enabled Barcenilla to earn his third and final GM norm. The Filipino, however, will have to wait for the next FIDE Congress to officially earn his title.

Gomez, who earned his GM title during the 38th World Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany, is fifth overall with 2515.

Completing the Top 10 Filipino players are IM Richard Bitoon at sixth with ELO of 2495; GM Darwin Laylo; seventh with 2494; Italy-based GM Joseph Sanchez, eighth with 2491; GM Mark Paragua, ninth with 2487; and IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, 10th with 2468.

Also within striking distance are IM Rolando Nolte (ELO 2458); GM Jayson Gonzales (ELO 2456); IM Roland Salvador (ELO 2447); IM Oliver Dimakiling (ELO 2434); and IM Oliver Barbosa (ELO 2433). GM Bong Villamayor is ranked No. 16 with ELO 2426.

Singapore-based Filipino GM Nelson Mariano, however, is not listed although he has an active ELO of 2447.

The highest-ranked player among the RP ladies is Cheradee Chardine Camacho in 94th place with ELO 2196.

Sherily Cua is second with 2174, followed by Shercila Cua with 2167, Catherine Perena with 2092, Daisy Rivera with 2087 and Beverly Mendoza with 2060. – GMANews.TV

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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