SGChess Blog #4 – A half asleep Gong Qianyun snoozes her way to winning the best women’s prize at this week’s Titled Tuesday event!

November 30, 2023

Share this article:

Contributed by Junior Tay

WGM Gong Qianyun is the first Singaporean to win a Titled Tuesday prize.’s early Titled Tuesday event (November 29, 2023) attracted the second biggest field ever in its all-master iteration with 617 participants (only surpassed by the September 5 2023 event which had 640 masters).

For Singaporeans, it’s a big struggle to even stay awake or complete the event because 12am (Early Titled Tuesday) and 6am (Late Titled Tuesday) aren’t exactly conducive for good chess since we’re close to dozing off on the board. Moreover, the field comprises many world class Grandmasters vying for the top prize of USD$1000 (2nd $750, 3rd $500, 4th-5th and top lady $100 each).

Following 7 hours of chess coaching, Qianyun decided to compete for the first time in months but after 2 hours with 4/7, she was ready to call it a night and get some shut-eye. But after some nagging and reminding that since she had already finished so many rounds and shouldn’t give up, she decided to plug on. Her reward for not closing shop was to face a GM opponent in Round 8.

Highly motivated by the thumping win, Qianyun closed out the event with a 2.5/3 finish and ended with 7.5/11 result. This allowed her to clinch the top women prize of USD$100. Her closest rivals were the current World Cup Champion GM Aleksandra Goryachkina (6.5 points) and IM Meri Arabidze (6 points). The winner of the event was GM Alexander Grischuk whose 10/11 was a point clear of 9 other GMs.

As far as I could research, this is the first time a Singaporean had made the prize list of a Titled Tuesday event since it was started in 2014. GM Tin Jingyao had come very close on 20th July 2021 when he finished with 8.5/11. He needed to beat none other than GM Hikaru Nakamura in the final round to reach 2nd placing but it was not to be.

Here’s a sneaky finish from the event where Black had missed the point of White’s central buildup and a flurry of line opening blows did him in.