Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) player Wang Yang from China won the first gold medal of the World Mind Sports Games, beating Nguyen Vu Quan of Vietnam in the final round of the men's rapid event in Beijing on Monday.
Chinese Chess player Wang Yang (in the centre) won the first gold medal for China at the World Mind Sports Games being held in Beijing on Monday, October 6, 2008. [Photo: sportsphoto.cn]
The 24-year-old Wang, who started systematic learning of Xiangqi at the age of 12, made his way to the throne with a no-loss record. He upset eight rivals and tied with his teammate Jiang Chuan, who grabbed the silver, in the nine-round event held in the Beijing International Convention Center.
It was the second time for Wang to represent China and compete in international Xiangqi arena. Last year he was crowned in the men's rapid Xiangqi at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games held in Macao.
"I am very excited to win the first gold for China. It is my first time to win an international title and I feel very honored," said Wang, coming from Wuhan Province in central part of China.
"Although I finished the tournament with eight wins and one draw, I am very lucky to win the gold. In several matches, I was very close to be defeated. But I chose to hang on, and the opponents appeared hesitated in the attacking, which gave me the chance," added Wang.
Jiang Chuan, also 24, said, "Generally speaking, I am not satisfied with my performance in this tournament. I think I need to keep improving myself." Jiang clinched the silver with six wins and three draws.
It was the first Xiangqi gold medal being produced from the 15-day games and 37 players from 23 countries and regions participated in this event. The bronze medal went to Hong Kong player Zhao Ruquan.
The first World Mind Games, which officially opened on last Friday night, attracted more than 3,000 players from 143 countries and regions. Bridge, Chess, Go, Draughts and Xiangqi are on the program. There are 35 gold medals on offer, including five in Xiangqi.
(Xinhua News Agency October 6, 2008)