Now that he is No. 10 top world chess player, Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So is slated to join a tournament wherein world No.1 player Magnus Carlsen of Norway is also entered.
So’s mettle will be tested against world top chess players at 77th Tata Steel Chess Tournament on January 9 to 25 next year.
The Filipino chess wizard had just won the Millionaire Chess held in Las Vegas, Nevada wherein he pocketed a whopping $100,000 first prize.
Also joining the Tata Steel tourney are current world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana of Italy, defending champion Levon Aronian of Armenia, women’s world champion Hou Yifan of China, and Dutch players Anish Giri and Loek van Wely.
So is currently forbidden to join tournaments sanctioned by the World Chess Federation, FIDE, pending the completion of his two-year sanction after the National Chess Federation of the Philippines had not acted to his request for release or transfer to the United States Federation.
However, in the blog of Susan Polgar, his coach at Webster University, the US was listed as the country being represented by the Filipino.
A check at NCFP website revealed that So is still affiliated with the Philippine federation and even in the official FIDE website.
So is currently No.10 in world ranking with 2762 live rating. However, since he has no lined up tournaments until the end of the year, he might slide down, two or four spots in ranking.
At the start of the year, the Philippines No.1 chess player is aiming to join tournaments wherein Carlsen, Caruana and Levron are playing. So believes that it is only in these tournaments wherein his skills and attitude would be tested and honed in his bid to become a world champion.