One of the images that can be seen all over China (if you are not too busy being a tourist) is a group of elderly people playing Chinese chess in gardens, parks and even pavements. It’s not dissimilar to the chess played in Western civilization; the pieces move differently but the aim is the same. Both are games of strategy and mind.
I used to play Chinese chess when I was in primary school, and was quite good at it. But the interest slowly faded as doing well academically became more important. So when I was in China, I would stop and observe whenever I saw a game in progress. It’s very interesting to see 2 old men staring intently on a board. Behind their tired eyes you could see determination and the mind hard at work. I believe it’s the best way to keep the mind active and churning at old age. And I hope when I get to that age I will find some one to play with.
Sadly, it is a treasure lost to the younger generation. It can’t compete with the latest technology or games you can play in your smartphones or tabs. Only old men are the ones playing, for the entire 2 months I was in China I didn’t see a single young person playing or showing interest in Chinese chess. I spoke to a handful of young adults, all of them confessed that they didn’t know how to play.
By the way, do you know how to play? Let’s have a game.
Wish you were here,