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Name: Felix Tan
Location: SG

November 11, 2005

Spectacular Opening Ceremony and a
New Guinness Record...

The Xingyang City stadium was filled with 15,000 people to witness the opening of the first Xiangqi Culture Festival. 10,000 of them were taking part in a fast game competition to make a new Guinness Record of mass participation in xiangqi. There was an array of 500 long tables at the stadium field, divided equally into two quarters leaving a passage way in the centre symbolizing the Chu-Han border. The 5000 players on the Eastern quarter were dressed in black, while the other 5000 players on the Western quarter were dressed in Red.

The ceremony began at 2:00 pm with a mass display whereby the designated players at the order of the commander swiftly put on their yellow caps and yellow capes to form the Chinese characters of "Xing Yang". After a speech by the Mayor of the City, and the opening declaration by the Director of the China Institute of Qi (a general term covering Weiqi, Xiangqi & Chess), a variety show entitled "Wanna Challenge", presented by the CCTV took place at the stage at the Southern side of the stadium.
There were 5 challenge acts:

  1. Two weight lifters competed to setup a huge set of xiangqi where each piece was made from a tyre and weighted 80 kg.

  2. A policeman tooked the challenge of memorizing the order of the 32 xiangqi pieces drawn on the costume of 32 dancers.

  3. Two lion-dance teams racing on soft ropes to beat the drum on top of a tower.

  4. GM Liu DaHua took the challenge of playing 10 endgames blinded folded after glancing at them for just 3 minutes.

  5. The 10,000 players cracked their heads simultaneously at solving an endgame puzzle.

These challenge acts were interspersed with performance of pop singers including a lady singer from Taiwan. The finale, engaging the 10,000 players again, was a fast game match at the end of which the winner would carry home the xiangqi set.


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