The Art of Oriental Chess 2013 competition concludes successfully in Malaysia

[Source]    KONGZI Institute for the Teaching of Chinese Language at the University of MALAYA [Time]    2013-11-25 13:04:19 

On 9 June 2013, the Art of Oriental Chess 2013 competition successfully drew to an end. The event was organized by the KONGZI Institute for the Teaching of Chinese Language at the University of MALAYA, Malaysian Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia Weiqi Association, Malaysia Xiangqi Federation and Mega Chess Academy. The Art of Oriental Chess competition is an important event among chess contests in Malaysia. It is aimed at increasing the interest of the public in intellectual sports, especially in traditional Chinese chess games – weiqi (also known as go) and xiangqi (Chinese chess), as well as at promoting traditional Chinese culture.

This year’s Art of Oriental Chess competition was divided into three independent contests: Malaysia Weiqi Open Championship 2013, the 12th National Inter-Varsity Chinese Chess Championship, and the 3rd National Inter-School Chinese Chess Championship. The event was held at the sports complex on the Kuala Lumpur campus of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.

The 2013 competition attracted over 450 contestants from different Malaysian states, which, compared to last year’s 120 participants, can be considered a quantum leap. Particularly, the participation of a large number of primary and secondary school students in beginners group gives a bright prospect to the tournament’s future. In answer to the lively response aroused by the competition, the President of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Datuk Dr. Tan Chik Heok, said: “Through this contest, we hope to increase the interest in and understanding of the traditional Chinese chess games in society, especially among the students. Our goal is also to promote such tournaments and to draw people’s attention to them.”

As a result of two days of fierce competition, Fang Shijie, Fu Shihong, Huang Zhenghang, Xu Yihan and Huang Litian won first place in the Xiangqi Championship in lower primary, higher primary, junior high, senior high, junior college and junior college graduate groups respectively. Pu Yuan, Hu Dawei and Tang Wenbin were the winners of the Weiqi Championship in basic level, high level and promotion groups. Especially worth mentioning is this year’s runner-up in promotion group, a Malay contestant Muhammad Zaid, who also won first place in the same category last year. Such a stable performance testifies to the level of traditional Chinese chess games among the participants of non-ethnic Chinese.

During the opening ceremony of the Art of Oriental Chess 2013, the Malaysia Weiqi Association and the Mega Chess Academy presented the Director of the Cultural Department of the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia, Mr. Gao Wei, with a chess set as a token of gratitude for the Embassy’s support. The Principal of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Datuk Dr. Tan Chik Heok, also gave the Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute, Mr. Chen Zhong, a commemorative plaque, welcoming the Confucius Institute as a new organizational unit. The event got coverage in the local media, Sin Chew Daily and Guang Ming Daily, as well as in the Chinese Xinhua News Agency.

The opening ceremony

Parents in the opening ceremony

The children group in the Xiangqi Championship

A view of the Weiqi Championship

The winner of the Weiqi Championship interviewed by the Xinhua News Agency