Showing posts with label Xiangqi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Xiangqi. Show all posts

Friday, March 6, 2020

Some Men Playing It Safe in Hong Kong

Like bike rides, outdoor games of xiangqi now occur in Hong Kong with the common addition of masks.

Men playing and watching xiangqi while wearing surgical masks
At the Sitting-out Area under Flyover in Hill Road in Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong

No bike helmets needed.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Graffiti and More Xiangqi at Soy Street

Although tear gas hasn't lately poured out of a pedestrian underpass on Soy Street in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, signs of the protests can still be found there.

"People Should Not Be Afraid Of Their Goverment [sic]" graffiti
Photo taken evening of January 16, 2020

And the xiangqi games go on as well . . .

Crowd surrounding two people playing xiangqi
Photo taken the same evening

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

From Tear Gas to Xiangqii on Soy Street in Hong Kong

Around 1 a.m. on the 9th of last November, police fired tear gas into a pedestrian underpass on Soy Street in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. The people on the other side likely weren't the intended target, but they still had to flee.

Such sights were common in Mong Kok during those days.

Where an older man had been sitting while wearing a gas mask, yesterday near midnight a crowd watched two men play a variation of xiangqi in which most of the pieces are initially flipped over to hide their identity and mixed up before setting them on the board.

men playing a xiangqi variant in Mong Kok, Hong Kong

That no gas masks were in sight or at all expected to be needed is one of the many signs of how much has changed in Mong Kong between two months ago and now.

Monday, December 31, 2018

A Game of Xiangqi, a Shop, and a Look Back at 2018's Travels

Soon 2018 will be over in China. For the last post of the year here, it would be hard to top one with another photo of people playing xiangqi. This evening on Mazhou Street (麻洲街) in Zhongshan I stumbled upon a lively game:

men playing a game of xiangqi on Mazhou Street (麻洲街) in Zhongshan, China

The player wearing red slippers had to temporarily leave the game. After all, nobody else was around to take payments at the small convenience store across the street.

small convenience store on Mazhou Street (麻洲街) in Zhongshan, China

For me 2018 began in Taipei, from where in mid-February I made my way to Jiangmen in Guangdong province via Macau and Zhuhai. I spent two months in Jiangmen and of course saw some xianqi games — whether they were during the Lunar New Year or accompanied by various forms of smoking. Then I headed to Yunfu where I explored wonderful karst topography and a historical street. Next, in Zhaoqing I also explored much history and nature. Getting caught up on other matters meant I haven't yet shared much about the city here, though at least I managed to share my impression of the wonton's at a restaurant there with a logo rather similar to McDonald's. Similarly, I didn't manage to post much about Qingyuan, where I saw a rainbow for the first time in a while.

Next I returned to a familiar location, Guangzhou, whose towers provided a stark contrast with my previous recent locations. Then it was on to Hong Kong where I caught some FIFA World Cup football in a mall and, of course, more xiangqi. After Hong Kong, I returned to the land of the Great Firewall and had some peculiar problems using some sites it blocks while I was in Shenzhen, though at least my location had a striking view. I had growing suspicions the issue was quite local. In fact, my problems were resolved after arriving in Huizhou, although the problems were only growing for some ducks there. Once again, catching up on matters and such led to me blogging very little about a city. But such was not the case when I made my way Ganzhou in Jiangxi province. During nearly two months there, I observed much burning during the Hungry Ghost Festival, more rainbows, and, yes, more xiangqi — both during the day and at night.

I then traveled from Ganzhou to Zhuhai by bus, and I finally found some Hot Chicken Wing and Wasabi Oreos to try. After Zhuhai, I moved on to yet another familiar city, Zhongshan, where I have been since. Left out of this account are various days trips I made to Macau, one of which allowed me to see the Macau Lunar New Year Festival.

Personally, some of the most unexpected parts of the year for me was the amount of time I spent in Guangdong province and that I never made it farther north than Ganzhou. On several occasions I planned heading much farther north, including to Shijiazhuang in Hebei province and relatively nearby locations, but life is complex — sort of like a game of xiangqi.

There is so much from the past year I still want to share and write about. Hopefully at least some of that happens later. But now, I will spend the last half hour of 2018 by exploring a tiny bit more.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Unexpected Animals in Two Photos of Scenes in Zhongshan

Twice today in Zhongshan I decided to take photos of a scene only to be surprised by the appearance of animals. In the first case, after taking a photo I noticed that two cats were sitting in the alley. In the second case, a man walked his dog by a large xiangqi sculpture. The previous posts featured two dogs, which also made an unexpected appearance while I took photos of a scene, and a cat. So fate seems to demand I share two photos from today that I probably wouldn't have otherwise thought to pair together.

two cats sitting in Julong Zhong (巨龙中) alley
At Julong Zhong (巨龙中)

man walking a dog by a xiangqi sculpture at the Dragon Boat Cultural Park (龙舟文化公园) in Zhongshan
At the Dragon Boat Cultural Park (龙舟文化公园)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Ganzhou Xiangqi

A quiet game of xiangqi today at the Zhang River Right Bank City Citizens' Park (章江右岸市民公园) in Ganzhou:

men playing xiangqi at a park (章江右岸市民公园) in Ganzhou

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Hong Kong Trickle of Xiangqi

A game of xiangqi next to the 30-year-old Lek Yuen Bridge (瀝源橋) in Sha Tin, Hong Kong:

two men playing xiangqi in Sha Tin, Hong Kong

people watching a game of xiangqi next to Lek Yuen Bridge

Lek Yuen Bridge (瀝源橋) in Sha Tin, Hong Kong

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Smoking Game of Xiangqi in Jiangmen

In a post earlier this week featuring scenes from two sections of Baisha Road in Jiangmen, I mentioned that some people might question whether all of the scenes were really from Baisha Road. I felt inspired to put some more effort into the later post promised on that topic than I initially planned, so it will appear next week.

For now, I will instead add to the series of posts with photos of people playing xiangqi with an example alongside Dongguan Road — a road which will play a key role in next week's post about the potential Baisha Road dispute and a few online maps.

man holding cigarettes and a man with a tobacco pipe playing a game of xiangqi
Cigarettes vs. Tobacco Pipe

Monday, February 19, 2018

Lunar New Year Xiangqi in Jiangmen

During the Lunar New Year in China many shops close and many red signs with messages of good luck appear. And playing xiangqi goes on . . .

two men playing xiangqi
Today alongside Diaotai Road in Jiangmen, Guangdong

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Live Game of Xiangqi in Wuhan

While to many people this game of xiangqi may not have presented as much of a photographic opportunity as another in Wuhan, it was far more dynamic overall.

two men playing xiangqi
At Wuchang Lianzheng Wenhua Park (武昌廉政文化公园)

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Solid Game of Xiangqi in Wuhan

Sculpture of a xiangqi game with one man playing and another watching
On the Jianghan Road Pedestrian Street

The above sculpture of a xiangqi game appears to have been designed to encourage people to have their photo taken while pretending to be one of the players. You would have to bring your own fan and sandals though.

I have been bouncing around — of both the intracity and intercity variety — quite a bit lately. This perhaps to a degree unconsciously influenced the recent focus here on rather still statues. Other topics are on the way — probably more statues at some point too.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Xiangqi in Xiapu

What better way is there to get things rolling here this new year than an addition to the series of people playing xiangqi? The latest example comes from Xiapu in Fujian province.

men playing and watching a game of xiangqi on Zhi Street (直街) in Xiapu County, Ningde, Fujian Province, China
On Zhi Street (直街)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Xiangqi for One in Taiyuan

I have seen many people in China playing xiangqi outside, and often a crowd will gather to watch the two players match wits. Onlookers aren't necessary for the game though, and this afternoon in Taiyuan I noticed that some don't even need a second player.

man playing a game of xiangqi alone next to a donuts & bread stand

I didn't try the donuts nearby. I will wait until I come across what I like to call Chinese donuts, otherwise known as xián jiānbing (咸煎饼) — something I won't miss whenever I am next in Guangzhou.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Taiyuan Xiangqi Moment

Yesterday in Taiyuan I came across an opportunity to add to the xiangqi series of posts.

man pointing at a game piece in a xiangqi game on a board sitting on the ground surrounded by 5 men
A game of xiangxi alongside Shuangta North Road

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Game of Xiangqi in Beijing

Along Gongmenkou West Fork off of Fuchengmen Inner Street in Beijing, yet another game of xiangqi:

Men discussing a xiangqi game in Beijing

Men looking at a xiangqi game in Beijing

Man making a move in a xiangqi game in Beijing

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Strategy and Luck: A Game of Banqi in Tainan

As I approached a group of men surrounding a small table yesterday in Tainan, Taiwan, I wondered if I was seeing yet another outdoor game of xiangqi, otherwise known as Chinese chess. But the xiangqi board was rotated from its usual position by 90 degrees, only half the board was covered with xiangqi pieces, and some of the pieces were upside down. So instead of a photo of an outdoor game of xiangqi, here is a photo of an outdoor game of banqi:

men playing and watching a game of banqi outside in Tainan, Taiwan

As indicated in an unsourced but detailed Wikipedia entry, multiple versions of banqi, which also goes by several other names, exist, yet all, unlike xiangqi, involve a significant element of chance. A how-to-play guide on a blog by Woody Thrower, whose most recent post on the same blog is "Ubuntu 12.04 initramfs dependency nonsense", provides a brief look at the game and so does a fast-paced how-to-play video using alternative pieces by Joseph Larson, whose most recent post is "3D Printing with Ninjaflex". To my great joy, after finding these two guides and the two other posts, I finished watching the tail end of the video and discovered Thrower and Larson are indeed friends.

Presumably the men I saw in Tainan were playing the Taiwanese version of the game. Or perhaps like Thrower and Larson, they selected rules so the "balance of luck and strategy" better matched their tastes. Whatever rules they use, I wonder if they would agree with Larson that:
The combination of luck and strategy means that nobody really loses. If you lose you go 'eh, it was just bad luck'. But if you win you get to go 'aha, isn't my strategy incredible".

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Friendly Xiangqi Photo Request in Shaoguan

As on the day before, this past Sunday a man in Shaoguan asked me to take his photo, though this time with others. The man had noticed stop to briefly watch a roadside game of xiangqi (Chinese chess), which he was watching as well. He was disappointed to learn I am not a reporter, as he hoped more of the world could see xiangqi being played. When I told I have a blog, he immediately brightened. Soon he repositioned himself to continue watching the game.

men playing and watching a game of xiangqi on the side of a road in Shaoguan, Guangdong

Before I left, he asked me to take a photo of just him and his friend, who he introduced to me as the retired director of Shaoguan's former Beijiang district, now a part of the central Zhenjiang district. I was curious to ask him some questions about his earlier role, but I refrained. Xiangqi was happening.

two friends sitting next to each other as one plays xiangqi in Shaoguan, Guangdong