Wesley So begs off from PH chess tournament
MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So, the Cavite-born grandmaster ranked in the world’s top 10, sent his regrets to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) which invited him to play in the Battle of the Grandmasters online tournament on Sunday, June 28.
So, who transferred to the United States Chess Federation in 2014, “will be unable to play because of the Wi-Fi situation in his present situation,” according to a source close to the 26-year-old World Fischer Random Chess champion. (READ: Upset complete: Wesley So stuns No. 1 Carlsen, bags world title)
But So, who just last month ruled the online Clutch Chess Champions Showdown pitting top US players, still thanked NCFP president Rep. Prospero Pichay for the invite. (READ: Wesley So clinches Clutch Chess title, P1.5M)
In 2014, So pulled off a shock move when he decided to join the United States chess federation after getting frustrated with local sports politics. (FAST FACTS: Who is Wesley So?)
But the NCFP's move marks the first time it extended an invitation to So, ranked No. 8 in the world by the World Chess Federation as of June, to play in a Philippine event.
The NCFP had hoped So would play in the Battle of the Grandmasters, which he won 9 years ago.
So's last tournament in the Philippines was in the 2013 Asian Zonal 3.3 championship in Tagaytay, where he finished 2nd but still qualified for the World Cup.
The NCFP waited for So's response Wednesday evening but having received no reply, its executive director Cliburn Orbe announced the 16-player cast for the tournament.
Ten grandmasters, led by the country's top player Julio Catalino Sadorra, will join 6 qualifiers from last Sunday's event.
The top two qualifiers, however, wouldn’t be able to play. The winner, Nelson Mariano III, was disqualified by chess portal Lichess, where the tournament was held, for using computer assistance.
Mariano was unable to make Lichess reconsider its decision, which means he cannot join NCFP-sanctioned tournaments for 3 months.
Zulfikar Sali, a 4th placer in the national juniors in the early 1993, placed 2nd but could not play due to his work as a nurse in Canada, the NCFP said. – Rappler.com