Zheng XiMing 郑熙明 and Mark Wang WeiQiang 王伟强, who have seven Toronto championships between them, teamed up to win the team championship at the Sixth North American Cup held in New Jersey on the weekend of American thanksgiving. The event was hosted by the New Jersey Xiangqi Association.
The TXA previously won the North American team championship in 2006 and 2012, and is the first team to win for the third team. According to tradition, we get to keep the trophy. Before the creation of the North American Cup, Toronto won six Canadian team championships, and so got to keep two of those trophies as well.
The individual championship was won by Michael HU 胡 全, the president of the New Jersey Xiangqi Association, thus confirming his status as one of North America’s best players. He was undefeated, winning five games and drawing two, one of these against XiMing.
New Jersey was runner-up in the team championship. Finishing third to fifth were San Francisco, New York and Vancouver.
An interview with Hu, as well as shots of play in progress, can be seen in a news piece that ran on WMBC TV in Newark.
XiMing, Mark, and Vancouver’s Gu Yiqing 顧億慶 all finished 5/7, all had four wins, two draws, and one loss, and were placed second, third and fourth in the given order on tie-break.
The Greater Toronto Area was also represented by the newly created Markham Xiangqi Association, which took a few knocks. TXA director Andy Chan 陈晃佑 did quite well, finishing with 3.5 out of 7, but TXA VP and two-time Toronto champion 吳嶽林 Paul Ng finished near the bottom of the field with 2/7. Markham finished 12th in the team competition.
XiMing played on all three of Toronto’s championship teams, and now has one individual championship and has been runner up three times. He stands first in the results/ratings list that can be found on the North American Xiangqi Federation‘s official site.
This was Mark’s first North American championship tournament, and as far as I know, his first international event. It continues a string of great results that has produced four straight Toronto championships.
I’ve only read a few of the games so far, but Mark’s defeat by New Jersey’s veteran powerhouse ZhongQi JI 紀中啟 after a fiery clash of mating attacks may have been the game of the tournament.
Gu Yiqing 顧億慶 is one of the most consistent high finishers in the history of the tournament. He helped Vancouver to win the North American team championship in 2008 and 2010.
The tournament’s finals standings, cross-table, and a selection of games, can all be found on the NAXF site.