Xiangqi Greats : Yang GuanLin杨官璘

Name: Yang GuanLin杨官璘 , 1925-2008

Birthplace: Guangdong

Titles: GM

Summary of achievements:

  1. 4 time winner of the Chinese National Xiangqi Singles Championship ( together with Hu Ronghua in 1962). Was also the very first National Champion when the event started in 1956.
  2. 2 time winner of the National Games of the PRC, Xiangqi in 1959 and 1987
  3. Key player of the Guangdong team when they won the Chinese National Xiangqi Team Championships in 1977, 1980-1982
  4. Won the Senior’s Xiangqi Championship with an undefeated record in 1999
  5. Mentor/Sifu to GM/IGM Lv Qin, GM/IGM Xu Yinchuan, GM Zhuang Yuting...

 Nicknames: Southern Xianqqi king 南奥棋王, Demon Uncle魔叔…

 Yang Guanlin杨官璘 is one the most revered Xiangqi greats of all time. Born in the countryside in Guandong province in 1925, he was already enjoying fame as a Xiangqi player at the tender age of 6 in his hometown. When he was only 10, he was already called Xiangqi king of the countryside. 

From 1949 to 1951 he became a professional Xiangqi player in Hong Kong. He then went to Guangdong province to study and promote Xiangqi full time. 

Together with Hu Ronghua, they dominated Xiangqi for nearly 20 years from the period between 1960-1979. The battles between Yang and Hu were studied studiously by many during that period. 

His contribution to Xiangqi has been great too. He was the chief editor of <<Xiangqi>> , the first Chinese government approved monthly magazine , from 1956-1966 (the year when cultural revolution started). During this period, he wrote and studied the art of Xiangqi meticulously, and had many more published books and articles. These were the building blocks of what Xiangqi is today.  

Yang’s style of play has been described as slow and steady. He patiently bides his time, gaining positional advantage here, material advantage there before winning in the endgame. He is also known for his stinginess, he rarely willingly gives up pawns. 

Yang has also tutored many future champions. The entire Guangdong Xiangqi team has benefited and they have been perhaps the strongest team for the past few decades. Yang also let Lv Qin represent him when Lv Qin was not eligible for the Five Rams Cup back in the 80’s, to let the young Lv Qin gain exposure. Although Lv Qin did not win that Five Rams Cup , he has showed gratitude by winning that tournament the most number of times. Lv Qin also went on to win the Chinese National Xiangqi Singles Championships many times, proving Yang’s foresight. Another famous pupil is Xu Yinchuan. Many other current masters or grandmasters of Xiangqi, both male and female alike have also learnt a thing or two from Yang. 

Yang has authored over 10 Xiangqi books throughout his lifetime, and they were all masterpieces. <<弈林新编>>,<<棋国争雄录>>,<<象棋春秋>> were amongst them. Unfortunately, no English versions are available yet. 

He died of colon cancer on 2008/1/14. The Yang Guanglin Tournament is held each year in China after his death to commemorate him. 

Last updated 5th March 2011

Reference: :

  1. In Chinese, http://www.ck.tp.edu.tw/~cybera/history/history_master_superb.html#1
  2. In Chinese, << 特级大师 杨官麟 巧手妙着>> by 李中健 刘海亭 张德义
  3. In Chinese, http://www.ck.tp.edu.tw/~cybera/history/history_master_superb.html#1

 

 

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