Tuesday, June 27, 2023


Twin Brothers of Xiangqi

Art has its own high and noble state of achievement, and the higher mode of Xiangqi apart of honour, that of chess luck, or chess destiny(棋运). Here is the story of two brothers sharing a common hope that Xiangqi will one day be on an equal footing with Chess and Weiqi, and that professional players will appear in the days to come, widening the Xiangqi scene.

Guo Xianbin(郭宪滨)and Guo Xianfeng(郭宪丰)were twins; Guo Xianbin is the older one, and Guo Xianfeng is the younger. The interviewer at first was a little worried that he would confuse the identity of the two. But luckily there was no confusion.

Do twins have same interests in life of everything? The interviewer strongly felt that the two of them had the same degree of dedication and enthusiasm for Xiangqi, and thought that this was more related due to being twins.

Talking about the origin of learning the game, the two brothers have the same background, that of the influence of their eldest brother. "We were influenced by our older brother Xianchuan(宪川), we started playing when in elementary school. We often loved to ride in our bicycles to Ertiaolu's Chun Manyuan(春满园), known as the 'Shaolin Temple of Xiangqi', to get practice. We watched the masters players playing. Sometimes we split up and separated, one played at the Penang Xiangqi Association, the other went to play against people at the Gunpu Tea House, and when we returned home in the evening, the two of us would analyse and review our games." Xianfeng said.

When they were still young, the two often played with each other, because as they were new hands, not many advanced players were willing to play against them. It happened that in Chun Manyuan, where many top players gathered, they were very lucky to have met one veteran master of Xiangqi called Lin Qingmei(林清美), who was known as "Black Zhang Fei". After Lin Qingmei's guidance and help, the two brothers mastered many endgame techniques and skills. There was also their elder brother Guo Xianchuan who worked tirelessly to send the two to participate in competitions in various places, virtually enhanced and hightened the actual combativity experience of the twin brothers.

In 1988, at the age of 14, the elder one won the All Penang Junior Championship. This achievement was an inspiration to both of them and kept them on their path of Xiangqi. Two years later, in 1990, the two brothers began to emerge at the Penang Open Championship, winning second and third place respectively, proving that the first choice of Xiangqi was correct. Since then, their careers have gradually developped, and their steps have also extended to foreign countries, competing with more players and expanding their sphere of skills and knowledge.

The brilliant achievements of Xianbin and Xianfeng are numerous, they themselves have met each other countless of times. As the saying goes, "there is no father and son on the battlefield", will the two brothers put aside their family affection when they face each other in a match? The elder one hesitated for a while and said, "I don't know if it's a coincidence or other factors, if the two of us meet, it will usually end in a draw, maybe it's the family factors." However, because the way Xiangqi is played which is unlike football or other ball games, the key to winning a game of Xiangqi is that the other side is hard pressed so as to commit a mistake, so sometimes a set of drawing positions can be won, which may be the reason why we play games resulting in many draws."

The turning point

It can be said that since 1988, the two brothers really got involved in Xiangqi competitions, winning many prizes and awards in the following few years, such as the national tournament, the Malaysia-Singapore Cup tournament and other interstate or international competitions, the twins were taking off really well. But then things developped the other way, just like in a chess game.

"Later, from 1992 to 1996, we were not in Penang because we were studying abroad, and we rarely appeared in Xiangqi tournaments, we were not so active, we only participated in the national college competition. Partly because of academic study, it was impossible to do both, so we gradually fade out of the Xiangqi scene. However, this pause was also indirectly prompted by some other Xiangqi incidents." Xianfeng said.

In many ways, Xianbin and Xianfeng are doing things together. Xianbin did not play from 1991 to 2001 for ten years. Looking back on the blank decade, he is a little embarrassed, "The Xiangqi incidents deeply distracted me, and my whole person was passive and silent during that period." After a period of reflection, I decided to take a long-term view and set up the Zhongyou Xiangqi Club(钟友象棋队)to promote the game in my way. "

Compared with Xianbin, Xianfeng took a shorter time of 'comeback'. "When I returned to Penang in '97 to take part in the Open and won third place, the president of the Xiangqi Association, Poon Tak Ming(潘德明), said that one of Penang's chess players, He Rongyao, had joined the Direct District team, so Penang's team strength was affected and weakened, after considering this new factor, I came back earlier and helped Penang winning the national team championship back-to-back."

With this comeback, Xianfeng continued to develop in Xiangqi, and Xianbin as mentioned before, re-joined the fun in 2001, taking part in the first National Youth Xiangqi Tournament. Xianbin thought that it was a 'warming-up', although the basic skills are still there, yet it was quite rusty to leave the Xiangqi world for ten long years.

Though he has been away from the game for a while, Xianbin has not allowed himself to stop in this regard, he has used his higher education knowledge to apply in his Xiangqi research, and he is one of the Penang players who uses software to improve his skills, besides the international grandmaster Li Jiaqing(李家庆). "Xiangqi should use more developed computer technology, there are many software or websites related to it, such as Xiangqi Studio, Xiangqi Bridge, etc., it is easy nowadays to find opponents, you can play with computers or you can connect to play against players around the world."

Chess opens another door in life

Xiangqi is excellent in testing a person's thinking and calmness. The game has changed Xianfeng's personality, and in terms of dealing with things. He often faced life with the attitude of coping with the Xiangqi game. At the same time, through Xiangqi, Xianfeng has met many people and made friends with them, when he saw people playing, he would involuntarily come nearer to them. "I once saw a group of people playing against each other on the way from Kajang driving to Penang, so I got out of the car and got to join them and have fun, and I ended up meeting a group of Xiangqi friends there."

For Xianbin, the game allows him to systematize the details of his life, just as every game of Xiangqi has an Opening pattern. "I think we're going to be more mature than people our age, and that has something to do with our life's encounters. From the beginning of our contact with the Xiangqi world, we have been mixing and shuttling through and around the adult world, so we have seen and heard more about life than our friends of the same age. In addition, Xiangqi games are also very particular about psychological warfare, so we gradually know how to figure out the psychology of others."

The Xiangqi tribulation has left them with regrets in their lives, but it has also opened another door. Because of the incident, there is a Zhongyou Xiangqi Club. Because of the Zhongyou Club, Penang has a larger number of newer good players, and it is not a bad thing to continue the Xiangqi tradition and cultural heritage. Many times in life, losing doesn't mean losing forever, you will still gain something else.

Source : 大马象棋园地

~ a XIANGQI EN BLOG translation ~

+ + + +

Monday, June 19, 2023


来源 : 燕赵晚报
记者 常明 实习生 崔静

Yang Shuquan: Life is like chess, moves without regret
Source: Yanzhao Evening News

Among the many Xiangqi websites, "Zhongguo Xiangqi Dashi Wang" has two unique features: firstly, playing online through the website is touch and move, secondly, there is a blocking system to prevent software cheating. Mr. Yang Shuquan(杨树权), founder of the website, explained: "Life is like chess, and there is no stepping back of the previous move." The website has been founded for seven years, the aim is not for making profit, but to give Xiangqi fans a place to have fun. Yang Shuquan, the super fan interprets his love of the game with the same idea of touch and move in competition, without any regrets whatsoever.

Twice in tribulations, he never relented his tenacity

Yang Shuquan looked skinny and thin, but his will power was extraordinary. At one time, he had became a disabled person, victim of a car accident two years ago; then, he almost died because of the "Jia Liu"(甲流)epidemy, he miraculously survived both times. By coincidence, both tribulations occurred during the time of a Xiangqi competition. He concluded jokingly maybe that Xiangqi is bonded to him for the rest of his life.

Previously, Yang Shuquan have had dream of becoming a Xiangqi master, but the accident in 1983 shattered this dream, his knee had broken. At that time Yang Shuquan was travelling to Inner Mongolia to take part in a competition, as a player representing the Hebei Workers' Team, when his kneecap was shattered, the doctor had advised him to amputate the leg to save his life.

He refused to accept the operation and risked a higher amputation of the leg later on, opted for a less radical treatment. "I was only 23 years old, how could I manage without my foot? If it hadn't been for that accident, I would probably be a professional Xiangqi player by now." The pain he suffered in the recovery process was painful and unbearable. He had to move his knees from time to time, each flex movement took almost a week to complete. With great will power, two years later, he was out of the pain and regained his mobility gradually.

The struggle with fate continued. In 2010, when he participated in a Xiangqi tournament in Yunnan, he fell ill with the "Jia Liu" epidemy, he had much difficulty breathing and fell into a coma. "For the first time, I tasted the feeling of near-death, numb from the toes and fingertips to the whole body. At that time, all drugs were tried and used, the doctor told me, whether I can survive or not this time will depend mainly on myself. I thought about my family and friends, thought that there was still a lot of chess things I didn't do and complete, so I gritted my teeth and stood up for the fight of my life. If I had lesser faith, I would not have sat before you right now. Saying so, Yang Shuquan sighed deeply with emotion.

For seven years, he lost money for Xiangqi and earned goodwill

After the two tribulations, Yang Shuquan came to his senses in life. Grasping the time and doing more meaningful things has become Yang Shuquan's goal. If he can't do his dream of becoming a Xiangqi master, he still can contribute to the promotion of the game. Xiangqi is a good inspirational project, in order to let more people enjoy its benefits, he decided to create the "Xiangqi master website" in 2006.

Xiangqi has a broad popularity base, among the millions of fan and players, how to match and pair opponent players with equal strength is even a more difficult problem. In 1993, Yang Shuquan rented a place of more than 60 square meters to run a chess hall, and welcomed Xiangqi fans there to play free. Later, he discovered that there were still too few Xiangqi fans, so he decided to set up a Xiangqi website. When there were some large-scale tournament in Shijiazhuang(石家庄), the website was there to broadcast the tournament live and free.

It happened some blind Xiangqi fans wanted to play online, Yang Shuquan and his programmers accordingly developed the country's first online blind chess system. When some others reported that there were omissions and defects in the system, Yang Shuquan immediately revised and updated the programme, painstakingly spent a month and a half to improve it. Yang Shuquan said: "I understand the suffering of disability, I have also been disabled myself. So, I will try to meet their needs as much as possible."

Yang Shuquan owned a chemical company, which was doing big before year 2008, however the company was affected by the financial crisis world-wide and shrunk in capital and size. Despite all this, the website stood up. How much money has it been invested during the seven years? Owner Yang didn't want to reveal, only said that he could bear it. An unnamed Xiangqi fan said that Yang's value to the game cannot be measured by money, and that if there are more people love the game, that is Yang's true value.

Owner Yang's story has touched more and more Xiangqi fans, and more and more selfless fans have also touched and moved him. A large number of articles and chess game entries are all voluntarily compiled by Xiangqi enthusiasts and friends. Some online competitions require adjudication in person, and many referees came freely to offer their help.

At the moment, the website has registered more than 600,000 chess fans, and many foreign friends came from the United States and Australia, which made owner Yang feel very pleased - he believes giving financing money for Xiangqi is really worth it!

Take back moves and cheating both destroy minds and spirit

It is good that the number of Xiangqi fans are growing, but there is a bad phenomenon that in addition to fans who like to do take back moves, there are many people who use software to cheat, and many domestic websites are still allowing this bad habit of these fans, Yang Shuquan disapproves of this 100%.

"Chess is like real life, taking back moves already made and cheating with software too often will ruin a person's mind and fighting spirit. This is completely contrary to the character and essence of Xiangqi. To cheat with software is to satisfy vanity, in the long run, who will use their brains to play the game? If you have made a wrong move, that's it, a mistake is a mistake and you must be punished accordingly. If you are wrong, just avoid doing it again, and you will not make the same mistake next time. It's like life, how can you re-start all over again if you have committed a wrong? As a result, Zhongguo Xiangqi Dashi Wang has become the main Xiangqi website in the land which blocks online software when playing online.

In the Xiangqi circle, the website is becoming more and more popilar and well-known. Just a few days earlier, after looking at Sina(新浪)and several other dedicated Xiangqi websites, the organizing committee of the National Xiangqi Championship finally set the Zhongguo Xiangqi Dashi Wang as the only selected base for fans' general selection(海选). Looking further to the future, owner Yang wants to hold online blind chess tournaments, and also wants to launch a national online "Xiangqi premier division amateur league", and even more of that, he wants to promote Xiangqi to schools and Universities. "Twelve years ago, the Ministry of Education issued a document on 'Three Chess: Xiangqi, Weiqi and Chess into School', but very few people in Xiangqi responded to it," he said. At present, Shijiazhuang does not have a "Xiangqi characteristic school". "If there is a school interested, I am willing to give Xiangqi lessons for free.” Yang Shuquan emphatically said.

(reporter Chang Ming and intern Cui Jing)

+ + + +


~ a XIANGQI EN BLOG translation ~

+ + + +

Thursday, June 15, 2023


From abandoned baby to Xiangqi Master

The story began 20 more years ago on an early autumn morning.

Adoption: All happened from the kindness of an elderly couple

Grandma Cao (曹奶奶) is a native of Sanmenxia, of Henan Province. One day September 1992, just after dawn, she opened the door, found a bundle at the doorstep, upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a cute little baby boy, crying from hunger and lack of warmth. There was a small piece of paper with his date of birth: November 3, 1991. The baby boy was slimy, lots of pus sores, in quite a poor mental state. What made Grandma Cao and her husband Liu Jixue (刘记学) slightly felt relieved was the baby boy did not have obvious birth defects. The old couple quickly took the little boy inside, bathed and washed and dried the baby clean.

The old couple made up their minds to adopt him. This was met with strong opposition from their four children. Liu Jixue worked in the Railway, Grandma Cao worked in catering, and the children suggested to send the baby to the orphanage or just give it away. However, looking at the poor little fellow, the old couple gritted their teeth and ignored the children's plea, bravely took him into the family.

At that time Liu Jixue was 53 years old, Grandma Cao was 51, the little baby became their grandson. They named their little grandson Yanlei (the name included 4 characters(石)meaning stone), hoping that he would be physically as hard and solid as stone.

Becoming talented: learning the Art and eventually becoming a "Master"

The old man was a Xiangqi fan. When grandpa played, little Yanlei liked to watch the game by the side and was quick to learn everything. Little Yanlei played with his grandpa when he was 4 years old, and before his 5th anniversary, his grandpa was no longer his "opponent". Astonished, grandpa took him to find a nearby "master" to teach him more about the game, and over time, no one around the neighbourhood could match him. After discovering Cao Yanlei's talent for Xiangqi, Grandpa decided to have him trained more seriously.

Alas, when poor little Yanlei was 6 years old, his grandfather suddenly suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, and before he died, he told his family, take care the child, he is good at Xiangqi, he should be trained and cultivated well.

In order to fulfill her husband's last wish, Grandma Cao embarked on a difficult road, for young Yanlei to learn better, she did not hesitate to leave her home, spend all her savings, took him around to learn from many master teachers. Through Henan, Hebei, Tianjin, Liaoning, Guangdong and other provinces and cities they both have left their footprints. They overcame many hardship and much difficulties and persisted in the search of higher aims and perfection.

Cao Yanlei has lived up to the training and expectations of his grandparents, he was invincible at such a young age, he was in competitions while learning from his teachers, and achieved remarkable results: at the age of 7, he participated in the national adult competition, while in the simultaneous display given by Grandmaster Liu Dianzhong,he played well and was praised. At 13 years old he won the championship of the 16-year-old category and thus got the qualification of "Xiangqi Master", the youngest Xiangqi master at that time. In 2005, he was awarded the title of "Sporting Athlete" by the General Administration of Sports.

Gratitude: Love grows along the way

The introvert Cao Yanlei is an optimistic person, even in face of sensitive talks such as "abandoned child", "outcast" and "poverty", he just laughed them all, he said: "These are nothing compared to grandparents' love given to me no one can take away. My heart was fully and eternally moved.”

Speaking of the growing up of Cao Yanlei, we cannot fail to mention the Shenzhen Riverside Middle School, where he spent a memorable 6 years from the first year of junior high school (初中一)to the third year of high school(高中三). Grandma Cao only has a monthly pension of about 500 yuan, in Shenzhen she can barely cope with the rent, the school took these circumstances into account, and specially arranged a staff dormitory for Grandma Cao and young Yanlei to live in free, and provided him with food, accomodation, tuition, extracurricular tutoring and tutoring fees, and also gives him another 400 yuan per month for living expenses. Cao Yanlei's expenses for participating in large-scale chess tournaments and training camps are mostly funded by the school, and even if it was funded from the teacher's welfare fund, no teacher had ever complained. In 2006, Cao Yanlei, as a special talent student, was recommended and had made all the necessary contacts by the Binhe Middle School and was approved by the Luohu District Authority of Shenzhen to move into his residence "hukaou" (户口), so that he could study in high school in Shenzhen. Before going to University, the principal of the school also gave him 3,000 yuan in "care and love" support.

In that year's higher education entrance examination, Cao Yanlei was admitted to Jiaying University. On the day of registration, Li Junfu, committee secretary of Jiaying University, and other staff welcomed him at the "green passage" of the school and provided him with free daily necessities, meal and soft drinks vouchers. After enrollment, the University leaders sent him condolence finance support once more.

Looking back on more than ten years of growing up, Cao Yanlei sighed deeply with emotion: "Without first the adoption and cultivation of my grandparents, without the love and help of all the well-wishers around me, it would not be possible to be where I am today." Although the road of Xiangqi is full of twists and turns, even in the most difficult times, Cao Yanlei did not think of giving up easily: "For everyone, I will always go forward till to the end!"

Study: Meizhou is a great place to live and study

Cao Yanlei told his interviewers that before coming to Meizhou(梅州), he had heard that Meizhou is a beautiful historical and cultural city, and the game of Xiangqi here is also great, he noted that Mr. Lin Guanhao, secretary general and editor-in-chief of the Asian Xiangqi Federation, president of the Singapore Xiangqi Federation, and Mr. Huang Hailin, the Xiangqi master, are all hailed from Meizhou. Cao Yanlei likes this quiet and peaceful city, believing that "it is a good place to live and study".

Cao Yanlei has been in University for two months now, and he said that he is living a very fulfilling life, getting along well with his classmates, and the teachers are all taking good care of him. Everyone knows that he is a Xiangqi master, they are very curious about him, respect and admire him, many classmates often ask him for game advice. The University's Xiangqi club also approached him and invited him to serve as an advisor. Cao Yanlei told those who interviewed him that in addition to enriching himself in historical and cultural classes during his four years in University, one of his most important goals was to improve his Xiangqi skills and knowledge and strive to reach for the highest level of Xiangqi achievement - a Grandmaster, a National Champion.

+ + + +

Source : 樱伝圣殿
12 May 2014

~ a XIANGQI EN BLOG translation ~

Sunday, June 11, 2023


Mistakes Commonly Made By Player

The following are four mistakes commonly made by Xiangqi players at an ordinary level. Now see if you can avoid any of these mistakes.

Mistake 1: The player prefers to study the opening theory and ignore more or less the endgame learning, and it is very common for amateur chess players to make this mistake for the following reasons:

a) compared to the opening and the middle game, the endgame is boring, the pieces are fewer and at the minimum, the degree of attraction and entertainment element hard to perceive and detected.

b) the study of endgame is painstaking, it takes time to acheiving good result. Once someone had said that he practiced hundreds of checkmate methods but found himself making no real progress at all, more like back to square one. This is because the endgame study effect is slow, maybe you have worked hard for a while and you have not made any progress, then suddenly one day out of the blue you find that your endgame level has improved tremendously!

c) mistakenly think that one's standard of the game will not reach the endgame stage, so there is no need to learn the endgame. However in fact learning the endgame is conducive to the game's overall improvement. Remember endgame study can improve the level of the opening game, while opening theory study can not improve one's endgame level.

Mistake 2: Learning without real understanding, rote memorization. This mistake is very common in the opening theory study, routine and rote memorization, do not understand whatsoever and yet one even forcibly write down the moves sequence, some players have force themselves to memorize 10 master's games every day, this is confusing and astonishing. You memorized lots of game and did not understand them, you did not learn any skills or technique, it is just a wasted effort.

Mistake 3: Playing lots of game, but mostly casual ones. Not enough serious game analysis, not enough real deep thinking game. Some players even play 50 games a day, including all-night on. Some use software and do not think for themselves at all. Let's talk about the importance of thinking, everyone knows that as a student at school, the teacher does not give you the answer of a problem beforehand, why? Because with the answer you tend not willing to think for yourself, you always want to see the answer first. Without the process of independent thinking, your academic performance will not improve much.

Mistake 4: Afraid to play against a much stronger player, there is fear of losing, getting angry and upset after losing, or want to win every game when playing. All these show that your ability to resist setbacks is much lacking. What are you afraid of losing a game? It is the least costly failure, and anyway you have not lost anything. Some people play chess online in order just to win, to crush the opponent, hence there is the use of software. Some people think about blocking these software, later on they find that it just increases the cost of cheating, but impossible to block the software in online games. Think about it from another viewpoint, what are you afraid of (the software)? This is not a real game, not competing for fame and fortune, losing a game without losing any thing else, on the contrary, you have learned some chess skills. If Grandmaster Xu Yinchuan plays with you for practice, will you be unhappy if you lose? You must be happy because you have learned something. But suppose you are angry when you lose to the software in the online game, why is that? Do you understand why your Xiangqi with rookies have made you regressed? Because playing with rookies is easy to accumulate wrong experience, such as for example in a certain situation you choose to sacrifice the Rook in an attack, in fact, it is not a correct sacrifice, if you meet a master he will be able to solve the siege, so you know that you are wrong. For the truth, if you lose, sum up the wrong experience, and aim to play better next time.

Source : sdndsx的博客

~ a XIANGQI EN BLOG translation ~

+ + + +

Tuesday, June 06, 2023


A Million Yuan Winner's Interview

The Mind Sports News, Beijing :On 16th of October, 2016, the first version of "Chu He Han Jie"(楚河汉界)World Xiangqi King Tournament(世界棋王赛)was held in Xingyang Honggou, Henan. The world champion Zheng Weitong, aged 22, playing Black twice sacrificed his pieces, launched a great attack and won the contest in 106 moves, in a Rook, Cannon and Pawns versus Rook, Cannon ending against Xie Jing, aged 27. The winner pocketed one million yuan for his day's effort.

After the epic game, talking about his feeling, Zheng Weitong said: "Because the prize money of this competition is very high, I am also under very great pressure, and I finally won, I am really happy, very excited, and very grateful to the organizers."

In today's game, the spectators saw Zheng Weitong showing a sense of positive behaviour, even in his walk. Did he have any secret preparation? Zheng Weitong smiled, "I originally wanted to prepare for the first hand moves, playing first hand is relatively easy to take control, while playing the Black pieces is not that easy." Then he changed conversation : "To be able to play such a positive game, I think there is a certain degree of pressure forcing me to come out to give my best. This time it is not only of a high bonus, but also a high significance. The venue of the competition itself was chosen at the historical battle field of the Chu-Han War (楚汉战争).”

Yes, Jiang Quansheng, the head of his Chengdu Chess Academy support group, bluntly said that "Zheng Weitong will be a under enormous pressure today, he has been thinking over his very first move for a long time, just to calming down his mood", though the pressure was the same for both sides. Zheng Weitong said about his opponent Xie Jing, "It's a pity, in fact, he also performed very well today, but there was a Rook retreat in the middle game, maybe that gave me some opportunities. Overall, I am very satisfied with today's game, and both of us have shown a very high level of play."

Zheng Weitong commented, "This event is very good, up to now it is the largest event in the history of Xiangqi. Before the candidates list was announced, I thought, even if I can't participate, I should pay attention to the whole process, cheering and applauding, and work hard to increase the influence of Xiangqi. When the list came out, I was fortunate enough to participate, I felt that I am under a lot of pressure and also having great motivation. Perhaps, this may not necessarily be the most important game of my life, because there is no doubt a lot of valuable things, unfathomable to happen in life, but today's game is definitely the most emotional and stressful for me at the moment."

Zheng Weitong mentioned pressure times and times again, as a winner. Now that one million yuan finally secured, Zheng Weitong was relieved, finally relaxed. Such a high reward, how Zheng Weitong going to spend the money? Many Xiangqi fans suggested that he could now marry, as the dowry was in place. Zheng Weitong laughed: "I really didn't think about it, I was playing my game wholeheartedly, and I have no idea about how to spend the bonus. However, I might think about it later on."

The states of Chu and Han had fought for hegemony, Liu Bang and Xiang Yu have caused heated discussions throughout the ages, some like Liu Bang, some worship Xiang Yu. In today's game, Zheng Weitong playing Black, was like Xiang Yu, very brave and fearless. Zheng Weitong commented : "The two of them are great historical heroes,it's hard to say who I like more, I think they were all good, all victorious."

In fact, today's game, regardless of victory or defeat, both sides are actually winners, and the biggest winner is Xiangqi, making a great social impact caused by the million yuan tournament. Congratulations to Zheng Weitong, the World King of Xiangqi Tournament.

象棋王子(Xiangqi Prince)

+ + + +

Source : 蝴蝶飞的博客

~ a XIANGQI EN BLOG translation ~

Thursday, June 01, 2023


From rookie to chess master

Xiangqi is easy to learn but difficult to master. This saying is correct at all time. Knight moves in rectangular pattern, Bishop crosses the field diagonally, Cannon can be fired into the far side of the mountain... Once you have learned these basic moves, and then tried a few practice games, you can say that you have learned to play the game, it is much easier than Weiqi (Go). However, that is only the beginning stage, just like the first steps of a child learning to walk. Here the expert coach provides a few guidances and suggestions to newbies for reference only.

1. It is recommended to start by receiving odds of Rook, Knight and Cannon, later odds of Rook and Knight, then Rook, after that, graduate to odd of 2 Cannon only. And to keep up more practice games, take more time to master the basics, gaining a certain strength.

2. Later on, if you like you can arrange playing where some prizes or little gifts are offered, thus making the game more attentive and less casual.

3. Learn to master a kind of openings, be familiar with them, adapting to all the variations, and keep going and studying, it will be helpful.

4. Master certain endgame patterns, and some set-piece endgames, such as Rook, Knight and Pawn vs Rook, Cannon and Pawn, Single Knight wins against Single Advisor and so on. Mastering of these can often help in the middle game or endgame.

5. Use of software and internet to improve play and obtain relevent information, such as master's game, video lectures, etc. Proper use of chess software can quickly improve human chess strength.

6. At least one game a day seriously. This is more impressive than playing ten games casually.

7. If situation permitted, try to find a teacher, who will guide you where to improve your skill and technique.

Many chess friends say that the game is difficult, others say that they are good at it. In fact, the strength of the game is a process of accumulation, it is like doing a school math paper, those basic questions in the math paper are like the basic moves you mastered in the game, anyway if your mathematics is good, then similarly you should play chess well, at least not too bad.

For Xiangqi, there are several main points. The first is to lay a solid foundation; secondly, practice diligently; third, be good at summarizing. Spend at least an hour a day practice and be good at summarizing. You can save every game you play, and write down the game experience and summary. This is often the most critical, and the easiest to make rapid progress. It is very important to pay attention in playing. Lack of concentration is often the beginning of defeat. How do one play a good game of Xiangqi?

If it is a winning situation, do not be too excited, work hard to finish it, because not until the game's very end, no one knows who will lose or who will win.

If it is a losing situation, don't give up, keep going, and if you are losing, try work harder, keep hanging on and fight for a draw, because the opportunities may come.

If it is a situation of superiority, it is necessary to expand the advantage, fight for the advantage of each step, and expand the advantage into a victory.

If it is a situation that you need to catch up quickly, don't mess around, try to move back into the game, fight for the day, and look for opportunities to regain the initiative.

If it is a situation that need to make sacrifice, then do the sacrifice at the right time. By giving up something at first, you may regain it in the end.

If it is a situation full of temptation, you must try to analyze the situation, see for yourself clearly, and see what move the other party is making. Once you see it clearly, you can act in the right way.

If it is a balanced situation, you have to work hard and try to win a Pawn if possible, otherwise you may go for a draw and shake hands for peace.

Life is a game of chess, we are merely chess players, we always face a variety of puzzles and problems, so we have to see the situation clearly, to see how to go on, everyone plays the game differently, life is a game of chess, sometimes it is dull, sometimes it is full of excitement, sometimes no progress, sometimes facing a variety of choices, other times facing a variety of dilemmas. Every day we seem to be playing a totally different new game. The opponent's King is the object we are persuing, literally and we must rely on various relationships and judging well in order to capture our objective. Playing chess is a process of pursuing a goal. We have to work hard for this goal, some goals are easy to achieve, and some goals are very hard to achieve, or never be achievable.

As the saying goes, chess is like life, life is like chess, so everyone should play as well as possible the game of lifetime.

Source : 象棋大师网博客2019-6-6

~ a XIANGQI EN BLOG translation ~

+ + + +