One of the greatest players in Chinese chess history will spend the first 10 days of October in the Toronto area, meeting local players and giving them lessons.
Grandmaster Cai FuRu was one of the strongest player in Guangdong province, a chess hot-bed, in the 1960s. He fell short of winning the Chinese national championship due to the absolute domination of Shanghai’s Hu RongHua during this period. He later became coach of the Guangdong team and a national referee.
Grandmaster Cai will be the third Xiangqi legend to visit Toronto in 2012. Former world and Chinese champions, Lu Qin and Xu TianHong, visited the city in May. All three were invited jointly by Toronto Xiangqi Association and the Scarborough Seniors Chess Club.
Between October 1 and 10, Grandmaster Cai will appear on the radio and visit Markham and Casino Rama in Orillia to promote and teach Chinese chess. The highlights include:
- October 2 at 7 p.m.: Welcome reception dinner with Grandmaster Cai at the New Mongkok Restaurant, $20 each. All are welcome.
- October 3 at 10 p.m.: An interview with Grandmaster Cai on the Canadian Chinese Radio Station.
- October 6 at 1 pm: Grandmaster Cai will visit the Scarborough Seniors Chess Club at Milliken Community Centre (south of Steeles and east of McCowan).
- October 7 at 12:30 p.m.: An autograph session at the New Kennedy Square, where enthusiasts will be able to pose for pictures with the grandmaster, and get their books and notebooks signed.
- October 7 at 1:30 p.m.: A seminar at New Kennedy Square on Xiangqi Strategy and Training. The subjects will include planning a game, setting traps, middle game strategy, and end-game guidance. Government officials and special Guests will attend the opening ceremony.
- October 7 at 3:30 p.m.: “Wheel War” Challenge Cup at New Kennedy Square: Grandmaster Cai will play against a set number of local players who will win prizes if they win or draw. $10 for TXA/Seniors Club members, $20 for non-members, first come first served.
- October 7 at 6:30 p.m.: Dinner Banquet with Grandmaster Cai at Grand Lake Chinese Cuisine , $20 each. All are welcome.
- October 9 from 1 p.m.: Grandmaster Cai will direct the 2012 Orillia Chess Night at Casino Rama, and be guest of honour at a farewell dinner buffet at 6 p.m.. All are welcome.
Profile of Grandmaster Cai FuRu
Cai FuRu was born in 1939 in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province in Southern China. In his heyday, his all-out attacking style earned him the nickname, “The Lord of Guangzhou”.
He learned Xiangqi from his father at the age of 8, and joined the Guangdong Province team in 1958. In 1960, he played in China’s national championship for the first time, placing sixth. He was a key member of the GuangDong team that won China’s fourth national team championship. His brave and fierce playing style gave him a reputation as a “bully”, and his influence spread like wildfire in Guangzhou.
He played many games against Hu RongHua, China’s greatest player, doing well enough to be considered a “rival”, but was not able to stop Hu from winning every Chinese individual championship during the 1960s and 1970s. He won a famous game against Hu during the 1964 championship, but a defeat by Hu prevented Cai from winning the 1966 championship.
Cai FuRu became coach of the Guangdong in 1983, and helped to train a number of China’s greatest players, including former World and Chinese champions, Lu Qin and Xu YinChuan, and former World and Chinese woman’s champion, HuangYuYing (who now lives in Toronto). He received the title of grandmaster in 1998 in recognition of his great playing strength during his prime.