The Philippine chess team’s stint at the recent 44th World Chess Olympiad would not be complete without this: a chance to catch up with former national team member Wesley So.
Members of the team took to social media their meeting with So, who is now a naturalized American playing for the United States that placed fifth in the said prestigious meet.
Woman Grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna posted pictures of So with the rest of the squad that also include their coaches, Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre and GM Jayson Gonzales.
GM Darwin Laylo even had a lengthy post on his long-time friend, adding that meeting him again provided motivation in his Olympiad stint.
“Kahit gaano pa kataas ang marating mo, alam kong hindi magbabago ang pagkakaibigan natin, Wes,” Laylo wrote.
“Isa sa mga dahilan bakit gusto kong maglaro ng Olympiad. Isang beses na naglalaro ako ng online, nagulat ako na nanonood pala siya at chinat ako. Sinabi nya sakin na magkita kami sa parating na Olympiad. Simula noon, eto na ang hinihintay ko. Salamat Wesley So sa motivation!”
The PH men’s team wound up 32nd to eclipse its 39th-place effort in the last over-the-board edition of the biennial meet in Batumi, Georgia four years ago, while the women’s crew placed 39th to improve from the team’s forgettable 67th place performance also in Georgia.