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Grandmaster at 21: Chess player Tin Jingyao set to become Singapore’s fifth and youngest Grandmaster



Grandmaster at 21 Chess player Tin Jingyao set to become Singapores fifth and youngest Grandmaster

Fresh from winning three SEA Games medals in Vietnam earlier this month, Singapore’s top-ranked chess player Tin Jingyao is set to become the nation’s fifth and youngest grandmaster after more sterling performances in the Hanoi GM Chess Tournament.

Tin’s most memorable grandmaster standard came in 2015 when he won the Asian Under-20 competition which likewise gave him the immediate International Master title. He acquired his second grandmaster at the late closed SEA Games.

He told The Straits Times: “I’m extremely cheerful and eased because I have been pursuing this for the most recent few years, and occasions have been difficult to find due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tin, who is a first-year computer science undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, added: “The SEA Games was a first for me and a very fun experience which I want to go through again, so I hope chess can continue to be part of major Games and Singapore can send a bigger chess team.”

“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’m able to show results in tournaments, it is a good feeling.”

To score the three standards to turn into a Grandmaster, the most noteworthy position in the game, a player has to participate in norm tournaments that have at least three Grandmasters from different countries, nine rounds, and time control that is at least 120 minutes.

The player should likewise have a 2,600 Elo execution rating for these competitions and cross the 2,500 Fide ratings.

The 21-year-old won seven and drew two of his nine rounds to win the event on Sunday (May 29), yet with a Round 8 draw with Filipino Paulo Bersamina on Saturday, Tin had previously met the rules to turn into a grandmaster – pending ratification by the International Chess Federation (Fide).

“I’m really happy with my performance… I did not expect to win six out of the first seven games and many even with the black pieces,” said Tin in an Instagram post by Singapore Chess Federation vice-president Kevin Goh, who is the Republic’s fourth grandmaster.

“This event has given me some good confidence in my abilities, calculation, and openings. I think in terms of the level of play, it’s probably my best event yet.”

Goh said: “It is an amazing achievement but in many aspects, it is not a surprise to us because of his dedication to chess. During training, we have also seen his ability to jump to the next level.

“Even when he was facing tough scenarios, such as when he lost in the third round at the SEA Games with the white pieces (starting first), he displayed 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 medallist Gong Qianyun is a woman grandmaster.

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

Ranked 705th among the world’s active players, Tin is known for his capacity to protect well and out-move his opponents.

He was just 10 when he and 21 other enthusiasts simultaneously played (and lost to) Russian chess legend and former world champion Garry Kasparov in an event at the Serangoon Gardens Country Club, where he earned the praise of the former world No. 1 for his moves and for being the last player standing.

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

The five-time national champion will next compete at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Prof Lim Kok Ann Grandmaster invitational during the June 12-19 Singapore Chess Festival before leading the national team at the World Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India from July 28 to Aug 10.

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