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Name: Felix Tan
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November 18, 2005

The Largest Xiangqi Board in the World

The 3-day Xiangqi Culture Festival, organised by the municipal government of the city of Xingyang came to a finale on 12 November. The closing ceremony was held at 2:00 pm at the Xiangqi Park, next to the city stadium. The event served two purposes, it declared the closing of the Xiangqi Culture Festival, and the completion of the Xiangqi Park.

As usual there were speeches by VIPs including the Mayor Mr Yang Fuping. The main event of the day was the presentation of prizes to winners in the Guinness record breaking 10,000-people xiangqi competition. The participants competed under five categories: departments under the jurisdiction of the municipal government, street administration offices of towns and villages, upper secondary schools, lower secondary schools and primary schools. Eight xiangqi grand masters were invited on stage to give away the awards. This was followed by a very special moment when the Mayor conferred the Honorary Residentship on six xiangqi GMs as a token of appreciation for their contribution to the art of xiangqi. The six recipients (last four female) are: Liu Dahua, Yu Youhua, Hu Ming, Zhang Guofeng, Jin Haiying and Guo Liping. Each of them received a certificate and was requested to leave his/her palm impression on a mud slate which, I guess, will be kept in the proposed xiangqi museum.

The last item on the program was simultaneous display matches by masters and grand masters at which the fans of Xingyang treasured the opportunity to learn from the invited maestri: Liu Dahua, Chen Xiaokun, Yu Youhua, Jiang Quansheng, Hu Ming, Zhang Guofeng, Jin Haiying and Guo Liping. Each master was taking 20 challengers.

Picture above: fearless against the Lady World Champion Quo Liping, will there be another Hu Ming from these cheerful school girls?


As I mentioned earlier, this was also the day that marked the inauguration of the Xiangqi Park. This is a park that lives up to its name. Board a helicopter and look down, it is a huge xiangqi board, 88 metres long and 80 metres wide. A brooklet runs in the centre representing the border of the xiangqi board. Lines are formed by marbles of dark colour. The "palace" on each side is a flowerbed. The red King is a sculpture of Liu Bang(king of Han) standing on a chariot, his counterpart, you guess it, is that of Xiang Yu(king of Chu) in readiness to shoot an arrow. The pieces are circular stone platforms each with a diameter of about 6 metres. All the pieces are placed according to an ancient endgame puzzle.

The sculpture of Liu Bang, at the position of the red King in Xiangqi. The performance of the lion-dance troupe seen here served as the curtain raiser to the closing ceremony of the 1st Xiangqi Culture Festival.



A row of cannons were lined up along the Chu frontier, they were specially made for the occasion for firing colourful confetti into the air at the appropriate moments.

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