S'porean, 22, topples chess prodigy Hans Niemann at tournament in Barcelona, Spain

Good game, well played.

Belmont Lay | Nixon Tan | December 07, 2022, 03:03 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

Singaporean Tin Jingyao, 22, toppled and one-upped Hans Niemann from the United States after the chess prodigies met in a game.

The two chess prodigies were joint-top with three others in a tournament that will last till Dec. 8.

The five chess players were joint-top in Group A of the III Elllobregat Open Chess tournament in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

When Tin beat Niemann 1-0 after they played each other at Board 1, the Singapore advanced with six points to tie with India’s Aditya Mittal.

Tin and Mittal are on top with two rounds to go.

According to The Straits Times, Singapore Chess Federation chief executive Kevin Goh said: “I believe that Hans was rattled by Jingyao’s direct and confrontational approach and could not find a way to defend the endgame."

Goh added that "it is possible to become a world-class player even if you are not a full time professional” based on what Tin has achieved.

Background on Tin

Tin is currently a second-year student in computing at the National University of Singapore.

He made his SEA Games debut in Hanoi in May 2022 and achieved the feat of becoming Singapore’s fifth and youngest Grandmaster.

He won the Games silver in the men’s rapid chess and two bronzes in the men’s standard individual and blitz.

Background on Niemann

Niemann, who is from San Francisco, beat grandmaster and world chess champion Magnus Carlsen at the Sinquefield Cup tournament on Sep. 5.

Niemann ended Carlsen's 53-game unbeaten streak.

After the match, Carlsen tweeted a cryptic missive, and confirmed his withdrawal from the tournament.

The tweet was accompanied by a video of football manager Jose Mourinho, which has become a meme indicating that the person is hinting at possessing more information, usually controversial, but does not want to spill the beans.

Left to the devices of the internet, the dark parts of the web then postulated that Niemann won with the help of wireless anal beads that vibrate to guide him to the best moves.

But Niemann has vehemently denied any kind of cheating, bead-related or otherwise.

Niemann added that he would strip naked to play if necessary to prove he was not assisted in any way.

However, he later admitted to cheating on Chess.com, the largest online playing but never in a live match

Chess.com released a 72-page report in early October that Niemann had cheated in more than 100 games on its platform.

Niemann then launched a US$100 million (S$136 million) defamation suit against Carlsen and Chess.com.

How Tin became a Grandmaster

To become a Grandmaster, which is the highest rank in the sport, a player has to participate in norm tournaments that have at least three Grandmasters from different countries, nine rounds, and a time control that is at least 120 minutes and claim three norms.

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

Tin claimed his first Grandmaster norm in 2015 when he won the Asean Under-20 tournament, which also gave him the International Master title directly.

He claimed his second at the Hanoi SEA games, where he won three medals, bronze in Men's Standard Individual, joint bronze in Men's Blitz Individual and silver in Men's Rapid Individual.

He then claimed his third and final norm at the Hanoi Grandmaster Chess Tournament in May 2022.

Top photos via Sport Singapore & Chess.com