World’s top player to take on Toronto’s best in both Xiangqi and Undercover Xiangqi on Canada Day

Wang Tianyi

Wang Tianyi

Canada Day 2020 – July 1 – is also the 32nd anniversary of the Toronto Xiangqi Association.

To celebrate, we have challenged the world’s hghest-ranked Xiangqi player to do battle with Toronto’s four top players. And in what is possibly a first for an event of this nature, the match will include both conventional and undercover Xiangqi games – an equal number of each.

The “Wang Tianyi Versus Toronto Anniversary Xiangqi Challenge” (“庆周年王天一特大多伦多棋王挑战赛”) will take place on July 1 2020 beginning at 7:30 a.m. EST (Toronto) time and 7:30 p.m. Beijing time.

The event is co-sponsored by the Toronto and Markham Xiangqi Associations, by Markham Councillor Alan Ho (Ward 2), and by Danny Au-Yeung, Sr. Investment Advisor, HollisWealth.

Lang Qiqi (L) and Dang Fei

Lang Qiqi (L) and Dang Fei

Grandmaster Wang Tianyi is China’s reigning national champion and the world’s highest rated player. After consulting with him, it was decided that the match would be comprised of four games, as follows:

Game one: Xiangqi: Wang Tianyi versus Zheng Ximing
Game two: Undercover Xiangqi: Wang Tianyi versus Li Yachao
Game three: Undercover Xiangqi: Wang Tianyi versus Fang Yue
Game four: Xiangqi: Wang Tianyi versus Wang Weiqiang

Profiles of all five players are below.

The event will take place on the Tiantian Xiangqi platform, reachable through WeChat using the TianTian app. You can join by going to the Toronto Xiangqi Association room (Room No. 122407).

Li HongJia

Li HongJia

The games will be broadcast live in the “Huya Wang Tianyi Live Room” with Wang Tianyi himself providing commentary during the games. Other popular masters commentators that will cover the match include Dang Fei, Lang Qiqi (who played in Markham in 2018), and Li, Hongjia.

The time control will be 20+5+5 for Xiangqi and 20+3+5 for Undercover Xiangqi. “Tiantian rules” will be used for Undercover Xiangqi.

For 32 years, the Toronto Xiangqi Association and the more recently formed Markham Xiangqi Association have promoted Xiangqi as a branch of traditional Chinese culture. In recent years, our efforts have become more international. In 2018, we hosted the “Elite Cup” international team tournament in Markham (and then 2019, the Vancouver Xiangqi Association brought the world championships to Richmond).

Now during the pandemic we have stepped up our efforts on the Internet. On June 6 and 7 we turned our annual Undercover Xiangqi championship into an international tournament, the Toronto Undercover Internet Xiangqi Open. This is being hailed as the best undercover Xiangqi tournament ever held.

That event inspired this one. The grandmaster is a heavy favourite, but we welcome the challenge. It should be fun.

Player Profiles

The “Wang Tianyi Versus Toronto Anniversary Xiangqi Challenge”

Grandmaster Wang Tianyi

Wang Tianyi turned professional in 2009, and has been the world’s top-rated player since 2014. His successes include:

  • Two individual and world team championships
  • Two World Elite Elite Games championships
  • One Asian Individual Championship and two Asian team championships
  • Three Chinese individual championships and one Chinese team championship
  • Two Chinese National Chess League A championships – named most valuable player three times.

Zheng Ximing, International Master, North American Grandmaster

  • Tenth place in the 2007 World Xiangqi Championships
  • First ever North American individual champion in 2006, and runner up in 2011, 2012, and 2014
  • Canadian champion in 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012, and 2014
  • Toronto champion in 2003, 2004 and 2006

Li Yachao

  • 2017 Toronto Speed Xiangqi champion
  • 2017 Toronto team championship
  • 2012 North American team championship
  • 1998 Chinese junior champion

Fang Yue

  • Winner of the Americas and Greater Toronto Areas section of the first Toronto Undercover Xiangqi Open
  • 2019 Toronto champion
  • 2018 Toronto speed Xiangqi champion
  • 2016 Toronto team champion

International Master Wang Weiqiang

  • Seven time Toronto champion
  • Third place in 2014 North American championships – won title of North American Master
  • 2106 Canadian individual champion
  • On winning team of 2018 “Elite Cup” international team tournament – won title of International Master.
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