2016 Samford Fellowship Awarded to Grandmaster Wesley So

wesleyso The FRANK P. SAMFORD, JR. CHESS FELLOWSHIP, marking its thirtieth annual award, has selected Grandmaster Wesley So of Minnetonka Minnesota, as its 2016 Fellow. The Samford is the richest and most important chess fellowship in the United States having awarded over two million dollars the past three decades. It identifies and assists the best young American chess masters by providing top-level coaching, strong competition and access to study materials. The Fellowship also supplies a monthly stipend for living expenses so that the winners may devote themselves to chess without having financial worries. The total value of the Fellowship has been increased several times over the years and is now $42,000 annually. The prize is awarded for one year and can be renewed for a second year. The winners’ term begins July 1, 2016. 22-year-old Wesley So is currently the 10th rated player in the world at 2773 on the March 2016 FIDE rating list. He won the Bilbao Masters last fall ahead of Anish Giri, Viswanathan Anand and Ding Liren and tied for second in the Tata Steel tournament held earlier in 2015. So also won the inaugural Millionaire Open in October 2014. The winners were chosen by the Samford Fellowship Committee, consisting of Frank P. Samford III (son of Samford Fellowship founder Frank P. Samford, Jr.), former U.S. Chess Champion Grandmaster Yury Shulman and International Master John Donaldson. The winners’ potential was determined based on their chess talent, work ethic, dedication and accomplishments. The Fellowship is administered by the U.S. Chess Trust with particularly valuable services provided by Al Lawrence. The Samford Chess Fellowship was created by the late Frank P. Samford, Jr. of Birmingham Alabama. Mr. Samford was a distinguished attorney and CEO of Liberty National Life Insurance Company (now Torchmark). He was active in civic, business, political, educational and cultural affairs. Mr. Samford was also an enthusiastic competitor in chess tournaments. After providing financial support for several chess projects he decided to do something significant for American chess. The result was the Samford Fellowship. Since its inception the Fellowship has proven very successful. Many Samford Fellows have become strong Grandmasters, members of the United States Olympiad team and US Champions Hikaru Nakamura, currently rated number five in the world, is a former Samford Fellow. Generous contributions from the late Mrs. Virginia Samford and the Torchmark Corporation support the Fellowship. The Samford Fellowship is a fitting memorial to an extraordinary man. The dedication, creativity and achievement that marked Mr. Frank P. Samford, Jr.'s life are examples for all chess players to admire and emulate. Samford Winners:
So Second ever Samford winner GM Max Dlugy, Lotis Key, 30th Samford fellow Wesley So, Renato Kabigting, and US Chess Trust Managing Director Al Lawrence, Photo Eric Rosen 
  1987 Joel Benjamin 1988 Maxim Dlugy 1989 Patrick Wolff 1990 Alex Fishbein 1991 Ilya Gurevich 1992 Alex Sherzer 1993 Ben Finegold 1994 Gata Kamsky 1995 Josh Waitzkin 1996 Tal Shaked 1997 Boris Kreiman 1998 Dean Ippolito 1999 Greg Shahade 2000 Michael Mulyar 2001 Eugene Perelshteyn 2002 Varuzhan Akobian 2003 Dmitry Schneider 2004 Rusudan Goletiani 2005 Hikaru Nakamura 2006 David Pruess 2007 Josh Friedel 2008 Vinay Bhat 2008 Irina Krush 2009 Ray Robson 2010 Robert Hess 2011 Alex Lenderman 2012 Timur Gareev 2012 Alejandro Ramirez 2013 Sam Shankland 2014 Daniel Naroditsky 2015 Samuel Sevian 2015 Kayden Troff 2016 Wesley So  

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Well Done Samford John Donaldson and All. You showed St Louis how to treat a talented player who will bring honor to US Chess.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The Samford should be given to a player who is not yet a GM who is going to aspire into a great one. So is already an amazing player and does not deserve this award. Also this should be only given to true american born players.

In reply to by john random (not verified)

That the committee does not share your xenophobia is good for American chess.

In reply to by Brennan Price (not verified)

I agree with John. The Samford should not be awarded to GM So. He is already a world class player and secondly not an American .

In reply to by Dee Jackson (not verified)

please look and review list of previous awardees, are they all true blooded americans. majority of them are emigrees!

In reply to by Brennan Price (not verified)

Indeed! Mr. Price. America is a land of great immigrants. It should not be confined to Native American Indians. Chess, like other discipline, is not barricaded by race, creed, sex among others. It is nice to see great Americans reading their constitution and upholding its ideals. Greater thanks to Mr. Frank S. And to the committee. From a chess-lover from planet earth.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Brennan Price...i agree with you. The more i love USA! Chess enthusiast from the Philippines.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

He's already a strong GM who's, I believe, pursuing a career as a chess pro. What happened to the intent of the Samford that it go to players who are NOT professionals in an attempt to get them to follow that path?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Samford has chosen someone who is destined to become a world chess champion: Wesley So. The way Wesley wore his Barong Tagalog was so elegant. Bagay na bagay, pare.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

wag kayong komontra proud ng us same sa mga pinoy

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] So won the prestigious Samford Fellowship, which is awarded annually to the nation’s most promising young […]

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Stop hating on people and enjoy life.Look at the beautiful chess games!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The Samford Fellowship is awarded to those promising young ones who needed help and used it to most advantage.

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