Grandmaster Wesley So is pleading to National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President Prospero Pichay, to release him so he could join high-level tournaments in the United States and other FIDE-sanctioned events.
In an interview by Chessdom, a respected and popular chess blog, So said he decided to transfer to the United States Chess Federation because he wanted to improve his career.
The interview was also published in the blog of Grandmaster Susan Polgar, his coach at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.
The 20-year-old So, the Philippines’ rising chess star, lamented that the absence of high-level events in the country was stunting the careers of promising Filipino players. He cited the cases of fellow grandmasters Julio Sadorra, Oliver Barbosa and Mark Paragua who are now campaigning in the US and are doing well.
“I will give you my personal example. At this stage of my career, I need to have serious training, and have the opportunity to compete in level appropriate events (category 19-20-21 or higher) in order to improve,” So said. “I train very hard every day at Webster University, with the help of my coach Susan Polgar. I went from around No.100 in the world before I came to Webster University less than two years ago, to No.15 right now. I hope to be invited to many strong events in the near future.”
The Philippines has no serious training system for chess talents, he said.
So denied reports that he made an agreement with US chess federation and has been promised financial support.
“I receive no [financial]support from the US for switching,” he said.
So said Pichay had promised him his full support so he could achieve his dream of reaching the top level of world chess. “I hope that he will keep his promise and grant me the opportunity to reach my dreams without losing more valuable time. He is the only one who can make the decision to help me.