Things we can learn from young xiangqi players
A game within two primary students.
Fan RenChen, 12 years old now. He is the xiangqi champion for NS State Primary School Student Tournament. He played Red in this game.
Loo WeiHao, 11 years old now. Recently, he has represented Malaysia National Xiangqi Team against player from Singapore under Primary Student Category.
Both of them are the Xiangqi rising stars from NS State,Malaysia.
This game was played on 2nd July 2016 at Seremban.
1. C2=5 H8+7 2. H2+3 P7+1
Red have started with Central Cannon Opening, while Black has responded with Screening Horse Defense.
Here, Black P7+1 in the early stage. Black's intention was to lead the opening to the situation that he is more familiar.
3. R1=2 R9=8 4. R2+6 H2+3
Red executes his plan as usual for cross river chariot, while Black continues to develop Screen Horse Defense.
5. P7+1 …………
Correct. In preparation for H8+7.
5. ………… C2+4
Normally, Black would play H7+6 or C8=9.
Diagram 1. Black C2+3 was not ideal. Black was hoping Red to play R2=3 in next move, then Black could followed with C2=7 to gain advantage. This is wishful thinking, not strategic planning.
6. P5+1 …………
Of course Red could seen through this simple trick.On the contrary, Red took the advantage of this situation and started the attack on center line by P5+1.
6. ………… C8=9
Because of last move C2+4, Black's left horse was unprotected.
Black could not played H7+6, Red would replied with P5+1.
Now Black C8=9 offered to trade the chariot, hoping to reduce the tension on left's horse.
7. R2+3 H7-8 8. H3+5 …………
Better would have been P5+1. Red would not afraid Black replied with C9=5, Red could followed by P5=6. Red would gained a cross river pawn.
8. ………… C9+4
C9+4 was not useful.A better move would be E3+5 to strengthen center defense.
9. H8+7 …………
Better would have been P3+1. P3+1 does many things. It could avoid center horse been captured by Black's cannon. At the same time, offers to trade the pawn. If Black accepted the offer, this would red's bring horse to an ideal place.
9. ………… E7+5
A better choice would be E3+5, would give opportunity for Black to play R1=4 in the next few moves. We should always try to play the move that can does many things. It would increase the efficient.
10. P5+1 …………
A better choice for Red still P3+1.
10. ………… C9=5
Since the cannon on 9th file was not much useful, Black traded the horse, hoping to reduce the pressure on center line.
11. H7+5 H8+7
12. P5+1 …………
Red missed a golden opportunity to win the game. Red could H5+6 after situation as shown in Diagram 2.!
a) If Black replied with R1+2....
12. H5+6 R1+2
13. H6+8 R1=2 14. C5-1 C2=5
Red would gain the chariot.
b) If Black replied with H3-5...
12. H5+6 H3-5
13. H6+8 H5-7 14. H8+7 K5+1
Red would gain the chariot too.
12. ………… H3+5 13. C5+4 H7+5
14. C8=5 H5+6
After exchanged most of the pieces on board, Red is no more in advantage situation.
15. R9+1 H6+5
Better would have been C2=7, for materials gain and prepare for the end game.
16. E3+5 R1+1 17. P3+1 P7+1
18. H5+3 E5+7 19. R9=2 E3+5
Diagram 3. Black could try R1=5
19. .。。。。。 R1=5
If Red is not pay attention...
20. R2+5 …………
20. ………… C2-1 21. H3-4 C2+4
22. K5+1 R5+5
Black could implement some attack tactics.
20. R2+5 P9+1 21. R2=7 P9+1
22. P7+1 P9=8 23. H3-5 R1=4
24. P7=6 R4=6
Both players agree for a draw.