(Thanks to our Xiangqi friend from Germany sending following interesting article)
THIS YEAR's HAN XIN CUP WILL BE AN AWAY GAME FAR AWAY IN THE WEST
by Dr Rene Gralla
Germany is on its way to become the 2nd stronghold of XiangQi in Europe, just behind (ed.note: even overtaking) the United Kingdom. That fact has been highlighted by the premiere of an international tournament for teams of XiangQi that has been hosted by Berlin: the "1st World Open" took place from August 29th until August 31, 2014, and even Mr. Timothy Fok, the President of the World XiangQi Federation, flew in to the German capital in order to underline the significance of that historic event.
And now there will be one more premiere of a great event of XiangQi in Germany: This year's "6th Han Xin Cup International Masters Invitational Tournament" will not be battled out in China, but at Hamburg (!), Germany (!!), from November 7th until November 11th, 2014, in the Chinese teahouse Yu Garden thus being a kind of away game, from the Chinese point of view.
The German fans of XiangQi are thrilled by the up-coming Han Xin Cup in the big port city of Hamburg, and these days everybody is diligently studying the teachings of the great masters in order to get prepared for the open tournament that will be the accompanying event of the 6th Han Xin Cup at the beginning of November 2014.
One of those teachings that should be memorized is the timeless warning that one has to beware of the treacherous advisors - sometimes there is a palace intrigue, and the ruler of the palace is doomed because of his evil staff.
The commander-in-chief of Red Army, Mr. Martin Berger from Leonberg near Stuttgart (Germany), sadly disregards that warning, thus giving the leader of the beleaguered Black Army, Mr. Rene Gralla from Hamburg (Germany), the chance to save the game that was fought out during the first round of the tournament "The Horse Of Hansa 2013" on August 17th, 2013, at Hamburg's scenic Yu Garden.
[Event "The Horse Of Hansa 2014"]
[Site "Hamburg, Germany"]
[Red "Berger, Martin"]
[Black "Gralla, Rene"]
[ECO/OPENING "Central Cannon versus Screen Horse"] [RedElo "?"] [BlackElo "?"]
26. resigns 0-1
*with regard to Black move 12. ... P7+1 ?!? : that is a speculative sacrifice of that Black pawn with the idea to exert some pressure on Black line 7 (Red line 3) by the help of Black's doubled cannons ...
*with regard to Black move 14 ... C2=7 : here they are, those two doubled Black cannons!
*with regard to Black move 16. ... H2+3?? : Black has no time for that - Black overlooks the menace of the horrible pin 17.C5=2 ! ... , and that is a quite shameful goof ...
*with regard to Red move 17. C5=2 ! ... : that pin seems to be fatal, Black horse on Black line 8 (Red line 2) seems to be doomed!
*with regard to Black move 17. ... FC7+5 : a rather meager compensation for the eventual loss of Black Horse on Black line 8 (Red line 2), that "win" of the right-wing Red elephant ...
*with regard to Red move 19. A4+5?? ... : that is the decisive mistake though that move looks quite natural ... but now the treacherous (or stupid, maybe) Red advisors form that deadly wall that nearly kills Red General since it enables Black to save the game by a great tactical blow just two moves later ...
*with regard to Black move 19. ... C7=8 ! : that rather suspicious looking move keeps the material balance!
*with regard to Red move 21. C5=2 ?!? ... : now Red seems to assume that the pin will force Black to resign but ...
*with regard to Black move 21. ... C8=3 !! : that move exploits the position of the treacherous Red advisors who surround their boss so that he nearly gets killed ...
*with regard to Red move 22. E7+5 ... : Red can not play 22. R2+5 ?? ... nor 22. C2+7 ?? ... because of Black's follow-up 22. ... C3+5 and checkmate in both cases.
*with regard to Black move 23. ... P3+1 : Black thinks that - after he has won Red Chariot - it is more important to kill the Red Over-the-river-pawn rather greedily grabbing Red cannon ...
*with regard to Red move 25. H9+8 ??? ... : a goof in an already hopeless situation