Wesley So rises to FIDE World No. 5 at Grand Chess Tour finale

Wesley So Grand Chess Tour finale
Wesley So improved his FIDE Rating by one notch in the September edition. GCT photo.

Wesley So has risen to World No. 5 in the latest International Chess Federation (FIDE) Rating released amid the Filipino American Grandmaster’s steady performance at the Sinquefield Cup, the fifth and final event of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) where he is seeking to defend his championship title.

GM So improved to 5th rank in the FIDE Rating released on September 1, 2022, improving two notches from the August edition when he dropped to No. 7 of the world rating after he opted out of the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz at the 5-event tournament.

Wesley So was previously ranked No. 6 among the Top 100 Players in the June FIDE Rating after his strong start at the Grand Chess Tour.

PHOTO FIDE Rating of GM Wesley So from June-September 2022. Screenshot of FIDE Rating.

It has been a storied journey towards the World Top Rankings for Grandmaster So, who started his chess career in the Philippines before deciding to move to the United States to continue honing his skills and play in global competitions.

He debuted on the World Top 100 before turning 16 years old in 2009. So eventually broke into the Top 10 in 2014 after migrating to the United States in 2012.

Wesley So’s all-time career-high FIDE Rating is at No. 2, a rank he kept for five months in 2017, the year he first won the United States Chess Championship.

Wesley So is the FiDE No. 5 in the September edition of the World Rating. FIDE Rating screenshot.

The 2021 Grand Chess Tour champion is defending his second tour title, a distinction he shares only with World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

The Filipino American chess player was leading the 2022 GCT board after the first three events, placing 2nd at the Superbet Chess Classic Romania in May, a 5th place finish at the Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland also in May, and tied for 4th rank at the Super United Rapid & Blitz Croatia held in July.

So opted out of the Saint Louis event in August following the tour rules to only participate in 2 out of 3 Rapid & Blitz games. After Saint Louis, So dropped to the 4th spot on the GCT leaderboard.

The reigning and three-time United States Chess Champion bounced back on top of the tour leadership upon his return to the series through the Sinquefield Cup.

He has been quietly leading the adjusted 9-round Sinquefield Cup after big wins in Round 3 and his Round 6 victory against hot wildcard Hans Niemann.

So, however, dropped to solo 4th with 4.0 points after a heart-breaking Round 8 loss, and now trails three competitors by half a point in the Sinquefield Cup standings. If GM So wins his match in the last round on Sunday, September 11 (Monday, September 12 Philippine time), and the current leaders draw theirs, he can still be in the playoffs for the Cup winner and, depending on the top players’ standings, may still have a shot at a successful defense of the Grand Chess Tour championship and a historic 3rd title.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD WISHES to Wesley So as he continues his rise in the FIDE chess players’ world ranking and vies to win the 2022 Sinquefield Cup and Grand Chess Tour!

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Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.