Shan Qing Tang Plum Flower Manual Introduction

Shan Qing Tang Plum Flower Manual  is known as 《善庆堂重订梅花变》 (shàn qìng táng chóng dìng méi huā biàn) in Chinese. It consisted of three volumes with a total of 17 boards. There were 116 variations for the 17 boards.
The date of publication was not known, but Xiangqi scholars believe that it existed later than Wu's Plum Flower Manual. The author was also unknown.

Volume 1 consisted of 5 boards which discussed the theme of Central Cannon (with either Filed or Ranked Chariot) vs. Screen Horse Defense. There were sixty variations. Red would come out tops in the 5 boards.

Volume 2 consisted of six boards with 76 variations. The theme of Volume 2 was also the Central Cannon vs. Screen Horse Defense, but it emphasized on how the Screen Horse Defense could win.

Volume 3 consisted of six boards with 40 variations. There was no common theme. Instead, the first board discussed the Horse vs. Pawn Opening. The second and third board analyzed the Pawn Opening vs. Thundering Defense, which are some of the earliest boards discussing this opening system that has become immensely popular nowdays. The 4th board studied the Cross Palace Cannon vs. Left Central Cannon Opening, which was considered unorthodox back in the day. The final two boards were discussions of handicap matches whereby Red would give up his Red Cannon. Again, this was also unusual as the Horse is usually given up in material handicap matches.

The moves given in the book are rudimentary by today's standards but they serve as very good material for the beginner when starting their journey into learning Xiangqi. There are some rather brilliant kills and tactical combinations that are still very practical.

The variations given in this book are based on the ones found in Cheng Mingsong, Yang Mingzhong and Tu Jingming's Encyclopedia of Xiangqi Manuals.



程明松, 杨明忠, & 屠景明. (2007 重印). 中国象棋谱大全. 成都: 成都时代出版社. ISBN 9787805485294.

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