Ancient Xiangqi Classics: Elegant Pastime Manual Volumes 1 and 2

by Hau Cheng Png

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Chinese Chess or Xiangqi (which would be the preferred name) has been around for hundreds of years. “The Chinese seem to possess of a great many ancient scriptures on the topic.” --- HJR Murray. Before the Ming Dynasty, books about Xiangqi had already existed. Unfortunately, only a small fraction is still extant today. Ancient Xiangqi Classics is a collection of the ancient Xiangqi scriptures and manuals, that has been translated and presented in English. The main aim is to introduce Xiangqi to the Westerner, sharing and passing on the wisdom of the ancient Chinese. To this very day, the Elegant Pastime Manual is still one of the must-read classics in Xiangqi. It was edited and published in 1570AD by Xu Zhi. It was a selection of puzzles from an earlier book, Dreams of Divine Positions, which only a tiny fraction still exists. There are 550 Xiangqi puzzles in the ancient manual, all demonstrating brilliant kills, and tactical combinations. There were also some simple advice and pointers to play the game. The Elegant Pastime Manual is also very rich regarding Chinese culture. The title of each endgame composition is a short verse in Chinese. Each title name would have various implications, with references to numerous poems, stories, and historical incidents or other bits of Chinese culture. However, the titles have seldom been researched, even in Chinese publications of the book. The author has taken much effort to research the titles to help understand the implications of each position. Simple background knowledge to the titles would further assist in the appreciation of each puzzle. Immerse in this elegant pastime, enjoy the Elegant Pastime Manual!




















Ancient Xiangqi Classics: Elegant Pastime Manual Volumes 1 and 2 Hau Cheng Png
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Ancient Xiangqi Classics: Elegant Pastime Manual Volumes 1 and 2
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