Wu Shaolong's Xiangqi Manual

Wu Shaolong (吴绍龙 Wú shào lóng ? - ?) was a Xiangqi expert who lived in Suzhou during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1711-1799AD). Not much else was known about Wu, except for the Xiangqi manual that he wrote.

Wu Shao Long's Xiangqi Manual (《吴绍龙象棋谱》Wú shào lóng xiàng qí pǔ) was a collection of games that he played. In the original manual, there were 26 game records, but there are only 16 game records still extant. What was remarkable about the book was that it remains one of the earliest Xiangqi books that contained game records. Another similar ancient manual was the Games between Shi and Yang which was believed to have been written at a later date. Wu Shaolong's Xiangqi Manual reflected the level of Xiangqi at time in the 18th century.

Wu Shao Long's Xiangqi Manual was later collected into Xie Xiaxun's Encyclopedia of Xiangqi Manual and remains an important part of the culture of Xiangqi.

Of the sixteen game records still available, Wu took Black in fourteen matches, which was known as 让单先, or giving the opponent the right to start the game. There were two matches where he gave a two move handicap to his opponents (让两先).

As for the openings used, it was interesting to note that there were ten boards which started with the Pawn Opening, while the Central Cannon vs. Screen Horse Defense only accounted for six of the boards. While the level of play may seem crude by modern-day standards, Wu Shaolong's Xiangqi Manual represents evidence of the evolution of the Xiangqi opening, tactics and endgames.

Reference: Wikipedia Article on Ancient Xiangqi Manuals

As there were only sixteen games that were found in the ancient manual, the Webmaster has decided to arrange them into two pages with eight boards each: 01 and 02.

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