Sunday, September 16, 2007

2007 CALGARY CUP NORTH AMERICA XIANG QI CHAMPIONSHIP A MEMORABLE TOURNAMENT WHEN DARK HORSES SHINE

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 The traditional manner of sending players to participate in the WXF tournaments from the North America Zone has been found unsatisfactory in many ways. One of the major problems is that there`s no competition among XiangQi clubs within this zone ( particularly in America ) - the WXF`s aim of promoting XiangQi to all is totally defeated ! In an attempt to correct this mistake and to bring in some improvement , two North American Zonal Tournaments - one individual ( in Vancouver ) and one team ( in San Francisco ) tournations were held in 2006 , and a third Zonal Tournament ( with prizes for both team and individual players ) was held in 2007 in Calgary . The Calgary Zonal Tournament was well attended by ten teams ( New York , San Francisco , Houston , Orange County , Vancouver , Richmond , Toronto , Calgary and Edmonton ) with a total of 24 top America and Canada players participating . The surprising result that both the team and individual top honours were won by relatively less known players proves that there is an urgent need for reform of the old traditional system of selecting players from the North America Zone to play in the WXF`s tournaments !

2. THE PLAYERS , HIGHLIGHTS AND RESULTS OF THE 2007 CALGARY TOURNAMENT
2.1 The 2007 Calgary Cup North America Championship Tournament took place on the 1st., 2nd and 3rd of September in the beautiful city of Calgary , Canada. Firstly, full credit should be given to the Calgary XiangQi Association - the organizers have done an outstanding job in all aspects right from the beginning ( eg picking up and taking visiting teams from the airport to the very comfortable hotel ; giving clear instructions to the tournament / game / time format and finally a grand price giving dinner etc. ) All participating team members could feel the warmth of good friendship and the joy and excitement of togetherness ! For this 2007 Calgary Cup Tournament each of the ten particitating teams must designate two specific players to play for the team championship while all twenty four players of the ten teams participating would have an individual ranking after the 7 rounds ( in other words all players were qualified to fight for the individual chamlionship ). The system was similar to the Swiss system but slightly modified .
Each player will play one game per round . The time format ( per game ) was also similar to the WXF`s system but slightly relaxed( eg 25 moves for the first 60 minutes , then four bars of ten moves per 15 minutes and ultimately ten moves per 5 minutes untill the end of the game ). In the calculation of players scores ( including teams ) , the ` ranking points ` came first before individual scores.
This ` ranking differential point count ` system had a lot of impact to the team results.

2.2 Besides the familiar faces of Mou Hai Qin ( inter master ) of New York , Peter Sung of Toronto and UNG Y DAU of Edmonton ,
we also saw some new faces such as Ma YunRun of Calgary B ( previous master but now at the age of 66 ) , Anna Yin ( women master ) of Orange County , Truong Chanh Huynh ( viet origin ) of Houston , Yang Runze of Calgary A ( 14 years old youngster with tremendous talent ) and a young 12 year old lady Jennifer Li of Orange County . We also saw some old veterans like Gu YiQing from Vancouver , LY Thomas from Orange County , SZETO Howard from San Francisco , Wang JingYuan ( 4 times Canadian champion ) from Calgary A , Richard Cheng from Houston and Chan Cheng from San Francisco, We were also delighted to meet our old friend Hung Ming - now the honourable chairman of Calgary. The strengths of many top players were very close to each other . Those players with sharper tournament playing form got better ranking at the end but a number of good players did not have good playing form thus not able to achieve better ranking. The battle for the championships were hard fought and the final rankings were close - the chief tournament director Dominic Ho had a hard time indeed to work out the final standings of teams and individual players after 7 rounds of play.

2.3 The Road To The Individual Chamlionship

In the first three rounds , hot favourites such as Mou HaiQin of New York , Gu YiQing of Vancouver , SZETO Howard of San Francisco and UNG Y DAU of Calgary were quickly leading the group. However , a number of less known players like Ma YunRun of Calgary B, Truong Chanh Huynh of Houston , Chan Cheng of San Francisco were also playing well and were closely following the leading group. Some well known veterans , however , seemed a bit out of form and not starting well - eg Anna Yin of Orange County , Peter Sung of Toronto , Wang JingYuan of Calgary A and Richard Cheng of Houston. The 12 year old young lady Jennifer Li managed to get a point but unable to beat the better players. The very talented 14 year old youngster played some excellent move to move chess but his overall understanding of the opening system appeared inadequate. A number of other players were struggling eg Richard Tse of Houston and Cheng SongLi of Edmonton.

From round four to round six , the scoring picture changed considerably . Gu YiQing and SZETO Howard slowed down a bit but MA YunRun , Mou HaiQin and UNG Y DAU marched to the top of the scoring table very quickly . Truong Chanh Huynh seemed struggling at this stage but his Houston team partner Richard Tse began to pick up his pace ! Other vetarans like Wang JingYuan , Anna Yin , LY Thomas , Peter Sung and Yang Runze seemed to regain their form and closely chasing the leading group. Only Chan Cheng of San Francisco suddenly slowed down at this critical stage of play.

The final round 7 was decisive - with UNG Y Dau tied with Mou HaiQin , MA YunRan tied with Qu YiQing, Truong Chanh Huynh
tied with SZETO Howard. The above tie games resulted in MA YunRan getting six points , Mou HaiQin getting 5.5 points and UNG Y Dau getting 4.5 points. They became the top three individual players of this Calgary Tournament and were awarded good prizes.
MA YunRan proved that he still can become a champion at the age of 66 ! The final rankings of all players is listed below :


1. MA YunRun(6) - Calgary B ( Individual Champion)
2. Mou HaiQin(5.5) - New York
3. UNG Y Dau(4.5) - Edmondton
4. Truong Chanh Huynh(4.5) - Houston
5. Gu YiQing(4.5) - Vancouver
6. LY Thomas(4.5) - Orange County
7. SZETO Howard(4) - San Francisco
8. Wang JingYuan(4) - Calgary A
9. Yang Runze(4) - Calgary A
10. Tse Richard(4) - Houston
11. SUNG Peter(4) - Toronto
12. Chan Cheng(3.5) - San Francisco
13. Cheng SongLi(3) - Edmonton
14. Fong William(3) - Richmond
15. VUONG Guong(3) - Calgary B
16. NG Paul(3) - Toronto
17. Jli JiaQing(3) - New York
18. Anna Yin(3) - Orange County
19. Lau KeiCheong(3) - Vancouver
20. VAN Trunng(3) - Edmonton
21. CHENG Richard(2.5) - Houston
22. LEE Wing Hung(2) - Richmond
23. WANG ZhongLiang(1.5) - Calgary A
24. LI Jennifer(1) - Orange County

2.4 The battle of the teams for top honour

In the team competition section, the favourite teams Calgary A & B , the New York Team and the San Francisco Team led the other teams ( ie Houston, Edmonton, Vancouver, Orange County , Toronto and Richmond ) in the first three rounds. However, from round four to round six, the young Houston Team picked up its pace and got close to the leading group very quickly but quietly.The New York Team and the San Francisco Team dropped back a little at this stage ( one of the two team players did not do well ).In the decisive round seven , Richard Tse of the Houston Team beat VUONG Cuong of Calgary B Team in a fiercely fighting game - Tse finally won the most important game in the team competition ! As a result of Tse`s win , several leading teams had more or less the same ranking points and the tournament director Dominic Ho had to check the final ranking scores of several leading teams such as the Houston Team, the two Calgary Teams A & B , the New York Team and the San Francisco Team several times before announcing that the dark horse Houston Team had won the team championship cup . The final ranking of the ten teams is listed below :

1. Houston ( Truong Chanh Huynh(R4) +
TSE Richard(R10)(Championship Team)
Captain Richard CHENG Sau Yin
2. Calgary B( MA YunRan (R1)+VUONG Cuong(R15)
Captain Yiu Wan Wai
3. CalgaryA(WANG JingYuan(R8)+YANG Runze(R9)
Captain Yiu Wan Wai
4. New York (MOU HaiQin(R2)+JliJiaQing (R17)
Captain Ma Yuk Lun
5.San Francisco (SZETO Howard( R7) +
CHAN Cheng( R12)
Captain Dun Chiu Yin
6.Edmonton (UNG Y DAU(R3)+VAN Trung(R20)
Captain Fu Kam To
7.Vancouver (Gu YiQing( R5) + Lau KeiCheon( R19)
Captain Dominic Ho
8.Orange County( LY Thomas(R6)+Anna Yin (R18)
captain Anna Yin
9.Toronto ( SUN Peter(R11) + NG Paul (R16)
captain Peter Sung
10.Richmond ( FONG William(R14) +
LEE Wing Hung(R22)
Captain Wong Yau Shan

CONCLUDING REMARKS

The 2007 Calgary North America XiangQi Tournament was a big success. It helps to promote friendship among xiangqi clubs and players in the North America Region. In the long term it would certainly raise the standard of xiangqi in the North America Zone as players are encouraged to do better every time they meet.

The fact that both the top honours of team and individual competitions were won by less known dark horses further proved that there is an urgent need for the reform of the traditional system of selecting players to compete in the WXF tournaments. We would all like the best players of our North America Zone to represent this zone . The three zonal tournaments held in 2006 and 2007 confirm our believe that if all xiangqi clubs in America and Canada cooperate and work together, we have the resources to
to achieve our goals and objectives.


REPORT BY RICHARD CHENG Sau Yin
( Chairman of Houston XiangQi Association )

Friday, September 14, 2007

Toronto Xiangqi Association-Introduction to Chinese Chess Class

Introduction to Chinese Chess
Co-organized By
Agape Learning Center
Toronto Xiangqi Association


Theme: Enhance Chinese culture; Promote Chinese chess activities;
Improve analysis and thinking ability

Contents: Basic rules; Reading scores; Opening techniques; Mid-game strategies and Basic killing moves

Date: September 2007 to January 2008 (every Saturday) - total of 15 classes

Locations: Central Park Public School
100 Central Park Drive (McCowan/16th Ave)
11:45 am - 01: 00 pm

Cost: Full-course 15 classes - $150

Inquiry: Agape Learning Center - 905-918-9960
Toronto Xiangqi Association - 416-837-1318

Remarks: Certificate will be awarded by the Toronto Xiangqi Association upon completion of the whole course

What Is Xiangqi (Chinese Chess)?

Chinese Chess is a treasure unique to China. It is a war simulation ancient form of entertainment and cultural art. It is the crystallization of the wisdom of the Chinese Nation. It was developed since the Northern Song Dynasty and contains thousands of Chinese history and culture.

Do You and Your Children Know How To Play Xiangqi?

The invention of Chinese chess was originated from the war of art. It is not simply a competitive game and entertainment. Chinese chess plays a tremendous role on education.

1. Chinese Chess can develop one’s intelligence and abstract thinking. It can increase one’s logical thinking ability and memory capacity. People's minds become cleverer. This has been verified especially for the youth development.

2. Chinese chess can improve one's attention, willpower and reaction. During the competition players need to be highly concentrated. Game situation volatiles in moment. The players’ willpower will always get challenged during the setbacks. Players are often confronted with a difficult choice and need to make swift and decisive reaction. It is undoubtedly the best reaction training.

3. Chinese chess can inspire one’s braveness, firmness, calmness, and persistence characteristics. It makes one to face the difficulties and setbacks and not to give in. These excellent quality and spirit is what is needed for us to live in today's highly competitive society.

Let's learn Chinese chess! It allows us to explore and learn from the ancient oriental culture and the essence of art; to further develop our effective intelligence. It moves the kids away from the internet virtual space of games and moves them onto the cultural and athletic ocean of chess game.

"Life Is a Game of Chess"
Learning chess not only bring us wisdom. The world is changing rapidly. We are also deeply felt in life. We benefited from life.

Click here to download the pdf file.

TV news "THE CALGARY 2007 XIANGQI INVITATION TOURNAMENT - NORTH AMERICAN ZONE "

Saturday, September 08, 2007

FINAL RESULTS OF THE CALGARY 2007 XIANGQI INVITATION TOURNAMENT - NORTH AMERICAN ZONE



The 2007 Galgary XiangQi Invitation Tournament - North American Zone , took place on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of September 2007 in the beautiful Canadian City of Calgary.

There were 10 teams attending - they came from the cities of Vancouver , Toronto , Calgary , Edmonton , Richmond , New York , San Francisco, Houston and Orange County. A lot of very interesting and surprising things happened during the three days of play and this web site will give a more detailed account of this interesting event a bit later.


Eventually Mr. Ma Yun Run of Calgary got the top prize in the ` Individual Section ` while the young Houston Team scored the top honour in the ` Team Section ` of the tournament . The following tables list out the individual players and teams participating and their final standings : -

INDIVIDUAL SECTION

1. Ma Yun Run Calgary 6
2. Mou Hai Qin New York 5.5
3. Ung Y Dau Edmonton 4.5
4. Truong Chanh Huynh Houston 4.5
5. Gu Yi Qing Vancouver 4.5
6. LY Thomas Orange County 4.5
7. Szeto Howard San Francisco 4
8. Wang Jing Yuan Calgary A 4
9. Yang Runze Calgary A 4
10. Tse Richard Houston 4
11. Sung Peter Toronto 4
12. Chan Cheng San Francisco 3.5
13. Cheng Song Li Calgary B 3
14. Fong William Richmond 3
15. Vuong Cuong Calgary B 3
16. Ng Paul Toronto 3
17. Jli Jia Qing New York 3
18. Anna Yin Orange County 3
19. Lau Kei Cheong Vancouver 3
20. Van Trunng Edmondton 3
21. Cheng Richard Houston 2.5
22. Lee Wing Hung Richmond 2
23. Wang ZhongLiang Calgary A 1.5
24. Li Jennifer Orange County 1

TEAM SECTION

1. Houston ( Truong Chanh ; Tse Richard )
2. Calgary B ( Ma Yun Run ; Vuong Cuong )
3. Calgary A ( Wang Jing Yuan ; Yang Runse )
4. New York ( Mou Hai Qin ; Jli Jia Qing )
5. San Francisco ( Szeto Howard ; Chan Cheng )
6. Edmonton ( Ung Y Dou ; Van Trunng )
7. Vancouver ( Gu Yi Qing ; Lau Kei Cheon )
8. Orange County ( LY Thomas ; Anna Yin )
9. Toronto ( Peter Sung ; NG Paul )
10. Richmond ( Fong William ; Lee Wing Hung )

Report from Richard Cheng.

More Photo



All rounds reports