Understanding the Elephant: A Xiangqi Primer Part 1
History of XiangqiAuthored by Jim Hau Cheng Png
Edition: 1Chinese Chess, or Xiangqi which is the preferred term, is the most played board game or form of chess in the Orient. Yet despite its popularity inside of Asia, it is relatively foreign to the West.
Understanding the Elephant: A Xiangqi Primer is a series of books aimed at promoting the game to the West.
In the very first part of the series, the history of Xiangqi is presented. Ancient Chinese texts, and contemporary books on the subject have been used to present and compare early articles or books on the topic in the West.
The chapter will be divided into three sections.
The first section will deal with the history of Xiangqi from the pre-historic times up till the Song Dynasty. This section would be concerned about the origins of Xiangqi. Several hypotheses relating to the origins or ancient prototypes of Xiangqi would be presented. The current form of Xiangqi which we play today existed no later than the Song Dynasty.
The second section would deal with the history of Xiangqi after the Song Dynasty up till the twenty-first century. This section would be more concerned with the people, Xiangqi literature, and the cultural aspect of Xiangqi.
The third section is a short section of stories or fables related to Xiangqi. For example, stories explaning why Red and Black are used in Xiangqi, why Red moves first et cetera are explained here.
This book is unique in that it discusses the history of Xiangqi from pre-historic times up till the twenty first century.
About the author:
Jim Png was born in Malaysia but he grew up in Singapore and later went to Taiwan where he finished his medical education and training to become an orthopedic surgeon.
His love affair with Xiangqi has lasted for over three decades now. During his school years in Singapore, Jim had been the president of his chess club and also the captain of his Xiangqi team, which had won the Raffles Cup in 1991 and was placed third place in 1993 in the same event.
Medicine, the brutal training regiment of an orthopedic surgeon, family and kids forced him to stop playing competitive Xiangqi. Instead, Jim has found another way of sharing his love of Xiangqi with the world, via www.xqinenglish.com , a website that he launched in 2011. Since then, Jim has singlehandedly uploaded thousands of puzzles, and hundreds of pages onto his website. The website has over 2300 pages at last count.
Feeling that he could do more, Jim has embarked on other ambitious projects. One of these projects was Understanding the Elephant, a series of books representing the Xiangqi primer that he wished he had when he first started learning the game. Another ambitious project which he has ninety percent completed is the world's first lexicon of Xiangqi in English.
Today, Jim is still working hard at promoting Xiangqi, often putting in more hours into it than his day job.
Jim Png is happily married and has two children.