MANILA, Philippines—After the Middle East, Europe beckons for Grandmaster Wesley So.
The Filipino teen sensation leaves on Thursday to compete in the 2009 Corus Chess Tournament slated Jan. 16 to Feb. 1 in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, hoping to start the year with a bang.
So, currently the world’s youngest Grandmaster at 15, is fresh off a brilliant stint in the recent 1st Asia Club Cup held in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, where he emerged best Board One performer after leading Tagaytay City-Philippines to a fourth place finish among 30 teams.
With his ELO rating soaring to 2627, So will be the top seed in Group C of the three-division tournament where the Philippines will be represented for the first time.
According to Wesley’s father William, his son should have been in the tougher Group B, but organizers of the event issued the invitation six months ago, when Wesley’s rating was just 2577.
Bracketed with So in the Category 11 (average rating 2521) tournament were British GM David Howell (2622), Swedish GM Tiger Hillarp Persson (2586), Indian GM Abhijeet Gupta (2569), Danish GM Frisco Nibjoer (2560), Mexican GM Manuel Leon Hoyos (2542), Ukrainian GM Oleg Romanishin (2533), Venezuelan GM Eduardo Iturrizaga (2528), German GM Frank Holzke (2524), Indian WGM Dronavalli Harika (2473), Russian Fide Master Anish Giri (2469) and Danish International Masters Roeland Pruijssers (2444), Manuel Bosboom (2418) and Ali Bitalzadeh (2400).
At stake in Group C is the champion’s purse of 1,000 euros ($1,322).
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– GM Susan Polgar