Friday, December 22, 2006

Xiangqi in Finland



By David H. Li

This morning, 12/21/06, a good friend of mine in Finland, Raimo Lindroos, President of Friends of Chinese Chess in Finland, sent me the following e-mail:
On Saturday [9 Dec 2006], we had our ninth Xiangqi friendship match against the Chinese Embassy in Finland. The match was played in Jarvenpaa with ten players from each side. We played three rounds with mixed pairs. The Embassy won 18.5 : 11.5. The Ambassador Mrs. Ma Keqing and the Jarvenpaa Lord Mayor Erkki Kukkonen played [two] friendly [games] outside the match. The very new Ambassador (she started in May in Finland) won both games. I think these matches are very unique in the entire World! Season Greetings, Raimo
This match is indeed unique, both in scope (10 regular players and an honorary player on each side) as well as in longivity (9 annual matches so far!). It takes both organizational skill and foresight to bring these matches about. And Mr. Lindroos is indeed well suited to this role (as evidenced by his being re-elected as the FCCF's president many times). In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and a correspondence-(western)-chess master, Mr. Lindroos plays a vicious game of Xiangqi. In the second of my 6-volume series on Xiangqi, Xiangqi Syllabus on Cannon - Chinese Chess 2 (1998), dedicated to him and other members of Friends of Chinese Chess in Finland "for their contribution to promoting Xiangqi internationally," I annotated a game he played which won him the 4th Jarvenpaa Xiangqi Championship (August 1996). In recent years, he has become a mentor to younger Finnish Xiangqi players -- a Finnish delegation made its presence felt at the 8th World Xiangqi Championship (Hong Kong 2003), and one of its members won the fourth prize at the 9th WXC (Paris 2005). Well done, Raimo. We again salute you for your contribution to promoting Xiangqi internationally. Kindly keep up the good work.

David Li
http://omooc.blogspot.com/

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