SEA Games: Two silvers for Singapore in rapid chess

Gong Qianyun (left) and Tin Jingyao with their silvers from the women's and men's rapid chess respectively. PHOTO: KEVINGOHWM/INSTAGRAM
Tin Jingyao lost to Vietnam's Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son in the men's final. PHOTO: SPORT SINGAPORE

HANOI - Losing two gold medals in Armageddon tiebreakers might seem like a catastrophic event for Tin Jingyao and defending champion Gong Qianyun, but the Singaporean duo were happy to pick up two silvers in the men’s and women’s rapid chess respectively on Tuesday (May 17).

Competing at the Quang Ninh Exhibition Centre in Quang Ninh, the SEA Games finals went down to the wire for 21-year-old debutant Tin and defending champion Gong, 37, after their respective matches against married couple Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Pham Le Thao Nguyen ended 1-1 after two rounds of play. 

Both matches were settled by an Armageddon tiebreaker, where players first draw lots to determine their colour.

The player with white pieces has more thinking time on the clock than the black, but the player with black pieces has the advantage of winning the game if they can hold their opponent to a draw. 

Despite missing out on gold, Tin, an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, was delighted to pick up his second medal after winning a bronze in the men’s standard individual last Sunday. 

He said: “I was happy enough just to have reached the final. The level (at the Games) has been quite strong so it’s a bonus to be getting a medal.” 

While Gong, who was the first Singaporean to win a SEA Games gold in the sport in 2019 – was not able to defeat her fellow Woman Grandmaster in the final, she was happy to be on the podium after a poor outing in the women’s standard individual. 

The 37-year-old said: “I was disappointed after the first day so even before the final, I was happy to be able to get a medal. 

“I could have done better today as well but it is a good learning experience for me.”

Both chess exponents will look to go one better in their final event, the men’s and women’s blitz, on Friday. 

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