Chess player to become Singapore’s youngest grandmaster at 21

SINGAPORE — After winning three medals at the SEA Games in Vietnam earlier this month, Singapore’s top chess player Tin Jingyao is set to become the country’s fifth and youngest grandmaster after more outstanding performances at the Singaporean tournament. Hanoi GM chess.

The 21-year-old won seven and drew two of his nine sets to win the event on Sunday May 29, but with a round 8 draw with Filipino Paulo Bersamina on Saturday, Tin had already fulfilled the criteria to become a grandmaster – awaiting ratification by the International Chess Federation (Fide).

He told the Straits Times: “I’m very happy and relieved because I’ve been working there for two years, and the events have been hard to come by due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I intend to continue playing chess seriously and aim to increase my Fide rating to 2,600. Learning and improving is a very fun process – when I am able to show results in tournaments, c is a good feeling.

Tin, who is a first year undergraduate in computer science at the National University of Singapore, added: “The SEA Games was a first for me and a very fun experience that I want to relive, so I hope chess will be able to continue to be a part of the big games and Singapore can send a bigger chess team.

To score the three standards to become a grandmaster, the sport’s highest rank, a player must compete in standard tournaments that have at least three grandmasters, nine rounds, and a time control of at least 120 minutes.

The player must also have an Elo performance rating of 2,600 for these tournaments and cross the Fide rating of 2,500.

Tin’s first grandmaster standard came in 2015 when he won the Asean Under-20 tournament which also earned him the direct title of international master. He earned his second grandmaster at the recently concluded SEA Games.

“I’m really happy with my performance… I didn’t expect to win six out of the first seven games and a lot even with the black pieces,” Tin said in an Instagram post from Chess Federation vice president of Singapore, Kevin Goh, who is the fourth Grand Master of the Republic.

“This event gave me good confidence in my own abilities, calculations and openings. I think in terms of level of play, this is probably my best event yet.

Ranked 705th among global active players, Tin is known for his ability to defend well and outsmart his opponents.

The five-time national champion will then take part in the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Prof Lim Kok Ann Grandmaster Invitational at the Singapore Chess Festival from June 12-19 before leading the national team to the World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, Malaysia. India, from July 28 to August 10.

Tin’s impending promotion is another milestone in his meteoric rise since learning chess aged eight after discovering the game online while using the computer at his aunt’s house.

He was just 10 when he and 21 other enthusiasts simultaneously played (and lost to) Russian chess legend and former world champion Garry Kasparov at an event at Serangoon Gardens Country Club, where he received high praise of the former world number 1 for his moves and being the last player standing.

At the SEA Games in Hanoi, Tin won silver in men’s rapid chess and two bronzes in men’s individual standard and blitz.

Goh said: “It’s an amazing achievement but in many ways it’s no surprise to us because of his dedication to chess. During training we also saw his ability to take it to the next level. .

“Even when he faced difficult scenarios, like when he lost in the third round at the SEA Games with the white pieces (starting first), he showed good resilience and tenacity to win a medal. .”

Singapore’s other three grandmasters are Zhang Zhong, Wu Shaobin and Wong Meng Kong, while SEA Games medalist Gong Qianyun is a female grandmaster.

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