Title: Chinese Grandmaster, AXF Master
Nickname: The North-east Tiger
There is no one in the Xiangqi world that does not know the Northeast Tiger, Wang Jialiang. A native of Huang County (黄县, huáng xiàn), Shan Dong, Wang moved to Heilongjiang in his younger days.
His first mentor was his father who doted on his only son. The young Wang would follow his father to various Xiangqi matches. It was at a very young age that Wang would show his talent as he slowly 'took' his father's place to battle challengers when young.
Wang was fortunate to have received pointers from Zhao Wenxuan, who was also known as the Northeast Tiger and perfected his fierce, aggressive style. Coupled with his 1.91m frame, Wang was indeed one of the most feared competitors in his heyday. Indeed, Wang would later 'inherit' Zhao's nickname too, after earning a reputation for his ferocity on the board.
Wang's Central Cannon with Pawn Ranked Chariot opening is renowned. As Black, Wang preferred the Same Direction Cannons and Opposite Direction Cannons and had written many treatises on these openings.
Wang came in second place in the 1956,1957 and 1959 Chinese National Individual Championships and managed to place himself in the top six positions six times from 1960-1981. Wang was also a key player on the Chinese team which won the Asian Team Championships in 1980. For his achievements, Wang was awarded the title of Grandmaster in 1984 and International Master in 1988.
However, WangJialiang's achievements in Xiangqi tournaments were only part of his resume. Another one of Wang's contributions was being the chief editor of Beifang Qiyi (<<北方棋艺>>) which was one of the most influential magazines of its time. Beifang Qiyi later changed names to become the most widely read Xiangqi periodical in the world, Qiyi. Wang was also the author of many influential books and the co-author of much more.
Wang was also a sifu to many. His disciples include Grandmaster Zhao Guorong, Master Sun Zhiwei, Master Zhang Xiaoping, Master Zhang Yinfu, women Grandmasters Guo Liping, Wang Linna, Women's Masters Zhang Xiao Xia, Zhang Mei, Liu Li Mei et cetera.
Wang's accomplishments were not limited to only Xiangqi. Indeed, his accomplishments outside of Xiangqi were only more colorful and just as great.
The North East Tiger was also a superb athlete. With a height of 1.91m, he was easily recognizable in various sports. It was said that he was an accomplished basketball player himself in his younger days and would still play against the Heilongjiang Basketball team even after the age of 40. It was said that his rebounding and three-point shooting often won the applause of his audience. He was also an accomplished fisherman and had won various fishing competitions in Harbin. Wang was also a table tennis expert. It has also been documented that Wang's mahjong skills were 'deadly' and all who have played against him had the highest respect.
Wang's Weiqi was also a thing to be reckoned with. Although he did not have any title related to Weiqi, he would often be found playing the game with wagers.
A man with a very sunny disposition, Wang is still one of the most well liked and well-respected figures in Xiangqi. His penchant for chatting and making friends have earned the respect of his peers, contemporaries, and juniors. His abilities have made him one of the most influential figures in Heilongjiang.
Even today, Wang Jialiang is still very active in Xiangqi, and still would write articles for magazines now and then.
The author found a short video on Youtube of a commentated game whereby GM Wang defeated GM Hu Ronghua! There are English subtitles.
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