SEA Games: Gong Qianyun checkmates her rivals to win Singapore's 900th gold

SINGAPORE – Woman Grandmaster Gong Qianyun became not just the first Singaporean SEA Games champion in chess, she is also the winner of the Republic’s 900th gold medal at the biennial multi-sport meet.

On Tuesday (Dec 3), the 34-year-old fended off the challenge of nine other players at the Travelers Hotel in Subic to take the women’s rapid gold ahead of Indonesia’s Ummi Fisabilillah and Irine Sukandar.

Gong, who trains with the Singapore Chess Federation coaches and players two to three hours every day, said: “I am really surprised and honoured to have gotten the 900th gold for Singapore. I want to thank the supporters back home for all their encouragement.

“I’m still surprised that I won the gold medal. I try to focus on every game and on my strategy, instead of thinking about the medal outcome and rankings.”

She is Singapore’s only chess representative at these Games, and will aim to make it a golden double in the women’s blitz event on Sunday.

Chess was introduced at the 2003 Games and was also featured in the 2005, 2011, and 2013 editions. Before Gong’s golden breakthrough, Singapore had one silver and six bronzes.

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