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Malaysian Makes History By Winning The First Gold Medal In Chess At 2019 SEA Games

Malaysia had only won bronze medals previously.

Cover image via theSundaily

Yeoh Li Tian has created history by taking home a gold medal for Malaysia in the men's rapid chess event at the 2019 SEA Games

In the event yesterday, 3 December, the 20-year-old international master came out on top at the end of nine rounds of the all-play-all format using rapid time control.

According to Stadium Astro, Yeoh scored 6.5 points, which was also the same amount that Vietnam's Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son scored.

However, he managed to beat the previous SEA Games chess champion thanks to a better tiebreaker score.

Prior to this, Malaysia had only won bronze medals at previous SEA Games

According to The Star, this is the first ever gold medal for Malaysia in chess, with the Malaysian contingent only clinching bronze medals in the 2011 and 2013 SEA Games that were held in Indonesia and Myanmar respectively.

They went home empty-handed in 2005.

According to Yeoh, he wasn't expecting to win the gold, especially since this was his first SEA Games appearance

Li Tian in deep concentration during the competition yesterday, 3 December.

Image via Stadium Astro

He also said that he had only aimed to bag a silver or bronze medal.

"It was very difficult because Vietnamese players won many games, so I also need to win a lot of games," Yeoh said, as quoted by Stadium Astro.

Nevertheless, the young gold medallist definitely made the local chess community proud, as Malaysia has always been overshadowed by defending champions from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Here are the other winners who have made Malaysia proud:

The 2019 SEA Games began on Saturday, 30 November, but faced multiple issues leading up to it:

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