GM Wesley So
Wesley learned chess from his father at age 6 and was competing in junior tournaments by 9 years old. By earning his Grandmaster title at the age of 14 years, 1 month, and 28 days, So completed the trifecta as the Philippines’ youngest-ever National Champion, International Master and Grandmaster.
So came to the U.S. in August 2012, enrolling at Webster University in Saint Louis. There, he made the jump from top-100 to top-10 in the world, leading the school to back-to-back national titles along the way.
In October 2014, So won the inaugural Millionaire Open in Las Vegas along with its $100,000 prize, then returned to Saint Louis to lead the Arch-Bishops to their first-ever U.S. Chess League championship. So participated in his first world-elite tournament with a fourth-place effort in 2014 at the 77th Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Holland, though returned in January 2015 and tied for second place, just a half-point behind winner World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Wesley also participated in the 2015 Sinquefield Cup as the wildcard selection.
2016 proved to be a great year for the American Grandmaster, who secured the 2016 Grand Chess Tour title by winning the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic. So also played third board for the U.S. team at the 42nd Chess Olympiad. In January of this year he won the Tata Steel Masters and became the eleventh player to surpass an ELO rating of 2800.