CHESS

Wesley So officially a US citizen

By: Bong Lozada - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ - Inquirer.net | March 05,2021 - 03:17 PM

Norwegian chess Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen (R) and Filipino-American chess grandmaster Wesley So play in the World Fischer Random Championship Chess final, at Henie Onstad Art Center in Baerum, Norway, on October 31, 2019. (Photo by Berit Roald / NTB Scanpix / AFP) / Norway OUT

MANILA, Philippines—Super Grandmaster Wesley So has officially become a United States citizen, the US Chess Federation announced Friday.

So, who now resides in Excelsior, Minnesota, received his documents on February 26 in what can be seen as an end to the saga between Philippine sporting authorities and the chess Super Grandmaster.

The 27-year-old, who originally hails from Bacoor, Cavite, said that his reason for becoming an American citizen was to have a better future for himself, getting  presented with opportunities that he can’t get in the Philippines.

“I love that anyone can strive to succeed. You are not held back by your color, lack of connections or the amount of money you have. If you work hard, you have a better chance of making it here than anywhere else in the world. I came here ready to work hard, and it turned out just as I dreamed,” said So in an interview with the US Chess Federation.

“That does not mean I don’t love the Philippines. I have good memories from there. But I did not have the connections needed to succeed in that culture. I was from the province, not a city boy. Had no money etc. I wanted to go further, and there was only one country a nobody can make it. The USA!”

So had been representing the Philippines in the past but ultimately moved to the United States in 2014, two years after his first visit to the country when he was Webstar University’s freshman recruit.

“I want to give back to a country that has been so good to me. From the moment I landed here I was encouraged and enabled to become better than I was. I like this attitude and the tremendous generosity of American culture,” said So.

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TAGS: Grandmaster, Minnesota, super grandmaster, United States citizen, US Chess Federation, Wesley So

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