March 21, 2017
It is now official. Based on the FIDE March Rating list Wesley So is the no. 2 chessplayer in the world.
I was at the Awards Night of the Philippine Sportswriters Association last Feb. 13 and wondered why Wesley So was not one of the honorees. Shouldn’t he be at the very least the major awardee for chess? Maybe even Athlete of the Year? Admittedly Hidilyn Diaz won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics and that would be a tough act to beat for the coveted award, but shouldn’t he at least get nominated? For being no. 2 in the world for chess is one heck of an achievement -- even Eugene Torre at the very height of his powers only reached no. 17. If Oliver Barbosa could be given the award for chess in 2011 when he picked up the grandmaster title and breached FIDE 2600, shouldn’t Wesley whose rating breached FIDE 2800 be given an award too?
Wesley So wasn’t nominated for any award because he is now representing the United States? He still is a Filipino citizen, grew up and got to be a very strong grandmaster while still in the Philippines, and shifted his Federation to the USA only when the tournaments dried up in the Philippines. You can’t blame him for that, right?Can somebody representing another country be an awardee in the Philippine Sportswriters Association?
The answer is yes. One of my friends, Mr. Joey Jereos, did some research and points out some precedents:Dorothy Delasin
(golf), PSA Athlete of the Year 2001 was the first-ever PSA award bestowed on a Fil-Am talent. She is a US citizen.Brian Viloria
(pro boxing) PSA awardee 2011, the “Hawaiian Punch” is an American professional boxer of Filipino descent, born and raised in the United StatesAna Julaton
(pro boxing) PSA awardee 2011, a Fil-Am boxer, US born representing USABrandon Michael Vera
received a citation for Mixed Martial Arts this year. He is an American of Filipino descent, born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia.
I submit that there really is no reason why Wesley So should not be a PSA Awardee. I move that we correct this injustice soon, for we really should all be proud of him.
An excerpt Read more: http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Sports&title=stunning-victory&id=142459