2011-11-23 01:20:06 UTC
A game was played on Board 5 of Round 4 on November 22, 2011 in the
World Championship of Chinese Chess now taking place in Jakarta,
Indonesia between two of the highest ranked players. Red was Wong Wan
Heng of Malaysia. Black was Leung Tat Man of Hong Kong.
Here is the position in two different formats: E means Elephant. K
means King, G means Guard, C means cannon, R means rook. There were no
knights on the board. Lower case characters are Black pieces. Upper
case characters are Red pieces.
In this position, Red threatens immediate checkmate by playing C4=5.
Black has only one defense. He must attack the rear Cannon. Thus,
Black plays R8+1. If Red plays C4=5 check, Black simply captures the
rear rook with R8=5.
So, instead, Red plays C4+2. Black cannot capture the other cannon
with R8=5, because Red plays R4=5 check and when the king moves, Red
wins the Rook with R5-5.
Does everybody see this??
Now, after Red has played C4+2, Black has only one defense. He must
In this tournament, the time limit is each player gets one hour, plus
30 seconds for each move he has played.
Thus, it is advantageous to repeat moves to gain time on the clock.
For this reason, Red now plays R4=5 check. Black replies K5=6. Red
plays R5=4 check. Black returns to his original position with K6=5.
They do this checking back and forth a few more times and now Red
plays C4-2 returning to the position in the original diagram.
The controversy is that the rules in Chinese Chess are intended to
discourage repetition of position. I have the rule book in my hand,
but it is in Chinese. I do not see this exact situation covered.
In general, under the rules, the aggressive side that is attacking the
opponent will be ordered by the arbiter not to repeat positions but to
make the another move. Here the question is which side is the
aggressor. Red threatens checkmate on every move but Black defends by
attacking a cannon.
In this position, if Red is required to make a different move, Black
will capture an elephant with P5+1. The pawn cannot legally be
captured by the other elephant because that would be moving into check
from the Cannon in the lower right corner.
After capturing the elephant, before long Black would be able to play
R8=5, followed by P5+1 check, capturing the guard with check and mate
to follow soon with R5=4 checkmate.
Because the rules do not seem entirely clear on this situation, the
players kept repeating these moves back and forth over and over again.
They would usually make about 10 moves in a flurry, which would give
them each five minutes on the clock, as they get 30 additional seconds
for each move that is played. Then they would take a break from
playing and write down the moves they had just played so that their
score sheets would be accurate.
I sat there watching this for over a half hour. Meanwhile, a man whom
I believe to be the arbiter was standing nearby occasionally saying
things which I believe were instructions telling them to keep playing.
However, the arbiter was speaking in Cantonese of which I do not
understand a single word, so I cannot be sure of what he was saying.
I wonder what will happen if one of the many players from Finland in
this tournament gets into this type of time scramble. Will the arbiter
make rulings in Finnish?
Anyway, this went on for about 60 more moves filling up two
scoresheets each until the players declared it to be a draw.