Book Series: Plum Flower Series 《梅花谱》 系列
The Plum Flower Series is a series of ancient manuals that contain the title Plum Flower in their titles. Although they were written by different authors over different centuries, the main theme was the Central Cannon vs. Screen Horse Defense opening system. Later volumes of the Plum Flower Manuals would improve upon the older volumes.
Prior to the Plum Flower Manuals during the Ming Dynasty, Red's Central Cannon was king and Black would often counter with the Same Direction Cannons or Opposite Direction Cannons.
With Wang Zaiyue's Plum Flower Manual, a new and effective way of countering Red's central cannon was demonstrated: the Screen Horse Defense. Wang Zaiyue's original Plum Flower Manual thus sparked the Cannon-Horse Debate, where supporters of the Central Cannon and supporters of the Screen Horse Defense have been at it up till this very day. Not only did the appearance of the Screen Horse Defense represent a revolution in Xiangqi opening theory, the Plum Flower Series can also be interpreted as a historical record of the level of Xiangqi throughout the ages.
Over the years, the Webmaster has studied and translated the contents of the Plum Flower Manuals in detail, polished the contents of the ancient manuals, added variations and explanations for the beginner and published the Plum Flower Manuals. To date, work is still done on polishing and refining the works.
Thus far, the following instalments in the Plum Flower Manual Series has been published on Amazon. Simple boards with minimal explanations can also be found on the website for the interested viewer.
The list of books that are now available in print include:
- Plum Flower Manual by Wang
- Unparalleled Plum Flower Manual and Chong Ben Tang Plum Flower Manual (two combined into one)
- Plum Flower Springs Manual
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Plum Flower Manual by Wang (original)
Amongst the many ancient manuals still extant, the Plum Flower Manual (by Wang Zaiyue) stands out. Its content and skill level were a notch up from its predecessors, most notably the Secret in the Tangerine and the Elegant Pastime Manual. Perhaps Wang’s Plum Flower Manual was a representative of the level of play of his era, an era that had already some rudimentary foundation in various aspects of Xiangqi, but an era where there was still so much to explore. Although other Plum Flower Manuals would be written over time, the one by Wang remains to the standard.Wang’s most significant contribution was perhaps the introduction of the Screen Horse Defense as a viable counter against the mighty Central Cannon. Since Wang’s time, the Central Cannon vs. Screen Horse Defense opening system has become the most commonly played opening system in Xiangqi for centuries, upending the Same Direction Cannons. While his work was rudimentary by modern-day standards, they exemplified basic Xiangqi opening theory. There are over 1400 diagrams with clear explanations of the various positions comparison of similar positions.It is with great pleasure the English version of another Xiangqi classic, the Plum Flower Manual by Wang, is now available for the English speaking world.
Wang Zaiyue's Plum Flower Manual is available in both print and Ebook.
Unparalleled Plum Flower Manual
Chong Ben Tang Plum Flower Manual