Blindfolded Chinese chess master takes on 10 opponents in simultaneous display 盲棋一對十 超強腦力記上萬棋路

Sat, Mar 01, 2014 - Page 11

National xiangqi (Chinese chess) champion Chao Yi-fan, 33, holds a seventh dan rank and has been given the honorable epithet “xiangqi master of Asia.” He once played nine opponents at the same time while wearing a blindfold (also known as “blind chess”). Last week in Taoyuan County Chao played 10 opponents while wearing a blindfold. After playing for five hours, Chao had five wins, two losses and three draws, exhibiting his superior chess skills and his amazing memory, and even outshining the nine-against-one match played by Tony Leung Ka Fai in the film King of Chess.

The R.I.D. 3500 Rotaract Club held a national xiangqi championship for students in Taoyuan County’s Jhongli City last week, during which a simultaneous exhibition between Chao and 10 opponents took place. His xiangqi opponents were all formidable players who rank between the second and fourth dan.

While the 10 opponents played against Chao, an intermediary communicated verbally the positions of the pieces for Chao, who accomplished the incredibly difficult feat of putting to memory the positions of all the pieces on the tables.

After five intense hours of chess play, Chao finished the match with five wins, two losses and three draws. Although he successfully challenged the record of holding a simultaneous exhibition against 10 opponents while wearing a blindfold, compared to the seven wins and two draws during last year’s nine-against-one exhibition, and the six wins and two draws in the eight-against-one exhibition the year before, Chao’s result this year was by no means exceptional. The audience, however, was still amazed by his incredible performance.

After graduating from Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School, Chao was accepted into National Taiwan University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, but eventually transferred to the Department of Philosophy. He frequently plays xiangqi and studies philosophy because he says it helps one think and is a great way to test your attention span, critical thinking skills and physical strength, which makes for a veritable “brain marathon,” Chao says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

擁有七段棋力、三十三歲的象棋國手趙奕帆,有「亞洲象棋大師」稱譽,曾「一戰九盲棋(或稱蒙眼棋)」。他上週在桃園縣挑戰「一戰十盲棋」,激戰五小時後,五勝二敗三和,展現的超強棋力與記憶力,比電影《棋王》梁家輝一戰九盲棋更精彩。

國際扶輪三五○○地區桃園中山扶輪社上週在中壢市錦家會館舉辦「全國學生象棋錦標大賽」,趙奕帆和十名棋士進行「一戰十盲棋」表演賽,這十名棋士分別有二到四段的棋力,實力強勁。

十名對手下棋時,主持人也將下棋位置唸給趙奕帆聽,他必須在腦海中記憶這十個棋盤的雙方棋子位置,困難度超高。

歷經五小時的激戰,趙奕帆最後以五勝二敗三和的成績收場,雖然成功挑戰一戰十盲棋的新紀錄,但相較於去年一戰九的七勝二和、前年一戰八的六勝二和,成績沒有特別出色,但圍觀民眾已嘖嘖稱奇。

趙奕帆建國中學畢業後考上台灣大學機械系,後來轉系到哲學系。他平常就喜歡象棋、哲學,因為有助思考,對於專注力、思維及體力都是極大的考驗,堪稱是「腦力馬拉松」。

(自由時報記者周敏鴻)