Wesley So will miss shot at world championship
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Filipino chess grandmaster Wesley So will not participate in the FIDE Grand Prix tournaments that will determine the world’s two top players who will compete for the world championship.
So is sitting out for two years after the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) denied his request to transfer to the US chess federation.
FIDE, or the international chess federation, has announced the calendar and participants for the FIDE Grand Prix Series for 2014-2015.
The top two tournament placers will compete in the Candidates Tournament to determine the World Champion, the title now held by Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
The Grand Prix Series consists of four tournaments to be held over two years (2014-2015).
The world’s top 16 top players, who are selected in accordance to the Regulations, will participate in three of these four tournaments.
Each tournament will have 12 players playing over a schedule of 14 days, according to the FIDE rules.
So, the world’s 14th ranked player, is barred from competing because the NCFP prevented him from changing federations. That denies him a shot at the world championship.
Baku, 1-15th October 2014
Tashkent, 20th October to 3rd November 2014
Teheran, 14-28th February 2015
Khanty-Mansiysk, 13-27th May 2015
Paul Truong, one of his coaches at Webster University said So lost precious opportunities to compete at the highest level at the peak of his career.
After losing perhaps three years, “(he) lose (s) another two to three years. How can any player give up five to six years in the most important development stage of their career and expect to compete with players like Carlsen and Caruana, etc.”
“This is why chess politicians need to do the right thing. I understand why the rules were put in place. But in this case, the NCFP could have made the exception,” said Truong in a Facebook posting.
“I know of numerous cases where their federations simply waived the fees and wished the players good luck. This is the right thing to do if the player has no ability to pay. What do they gain for punishing this kid?”
The NCFP could not be immediately reached for comments but has been in consultations with the Philippine Sports Commission to resolve the So issue.