So improves to No. 19 in FIDE rankings; Sodorra now super-GM
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - April 1, 2014 - 3:58pm

MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So continued his ascent in the world's pecking order while countryman Julio Catalino Sadorra became the third Filipino to reach super-Grandmaster status in the recent International Chess Federation (FIDE) rankings.

So, 20, has jumped one notched higher from his No. 19 ranking last month to No. 20 this April with a 2738 rating to become the second highest Asian player in the world, next only to world No. 3 and former world champion Vishwanathan Anand of India with 2785.

Now based in the US where he has a chess scholarship at Pan American champion Webster U, So has also closed in on his target of breaching the 2750-mark this year and perhaps crash into the Top 10 in the world.

But So is not rushing things.

"I still have so many things to learn and I'm taking it a step at a time," So told The STAR on Tuesday.

Sadorra, 27, has also surpassed the 2600-plateau to join So and Mark Paragua as the only three Filipinos who reach the super-GM level with a current rating of 2605 while moving up the rankings as the second highest-rated woodpusher in the country today.

Paragua reached the super-GM first after emerging with a rating of 2618 in January 2006 before So duplicated it by getting a rating of 2610 in October 2008.

Sadorra, who has completed his studies at University of Texas-Dallas, topped two events in the last two months, the Lone Star Open in Texas and the Western Class Championship in Agoura Hills, California.

For Oliver Barbosa, he remained at No. 3 in the Phl rankings with 2580, thanks mainly to his victory in the in the 19th International Open Grandmaster chess tournament in Kolkata, India last month.

All three are seeking slots in the 41st World Chess Olympiad slated Aug. 1 to 15 in Tromso, Norway.

Like So and Barbosa, Sadorra is expected to get included into the Phl Sports Commission monthly payroll to boost his training as he has always represented the country in tournaments abroad.

"I was told I will be getting a PSC allowance next month, which is encouraging and will be helpful for my future training and plans to compete here," said Sadorra.

AGOURA HILLS BUT SO FOR OLIVER BARBOSA INTERNATIONAL CHESS FEDERATION INTERNATIONAL OPEN GRANDMASTER JULIO CATALINO SADORRA LIKE SO AND BARBOSA LONE STAR OPEN PAN AMERICAN PHL SPORTS COMMISSION SADORRA
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