Chinese poetry in Danzhou

by Liang Ziming
7/11/2015 – In the morning of the rest day at the Danzhou International Chess tournament, all ten of the players came to the Danzhou First Middle school, to give a simul to the local chess kids. There they answered question by the young chess fans, after which they proceeded to the Dongpo Institute, named after one of China's most famous poets. One of the highlights was Wei Yi's recitation on video.

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In the Q&A session, many children were invited to ask the gradnmasters questions on chess, their careers and more. Naturally, in the aftermath of the immortal game between Wei Yi and Bruzon, the Chinese prodigy was asked "Did you see the checkmate when you played the R×f7?" Wei Yi replied, "I saw a good attacking chance. I didn't see the checkmate until I played Qb3."

The children were given a chance to speak with all of the players

Yu Yangyi describes how he first started chess

In the afternoon, seven of the masters, with the exceptions of Bruzon, Sasikiran and Ni Hua, visited the Dongpo Academy. Su Dongpo (or Su Shi) is one of China's most famous poets and scholars, he was also an important government official during the Song Dynasty.

Playing chess in the Dongpo Academy

What's at the bottom of the well?

Wei Yi tries some of the local Danzhou specialties

Posing in front of the statue of Su Dongpo

Su Shi (also Su Tungpo and Su Dongpo)

Su Shi (January 8, 1037 – August 24, 1101), also known as Su Tungpo, was a Chinese writer, poet, painter, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and a statesman of the Song dynasty. His poetry has a long history of popularity and influence in China, Japan, and other areas in the near vicinity and is well known in the English speaking parts of the world through the translations by Arthur Waley, among others. In terms of the arts, Su Shi has some claim to being "the pre-eminent personality of the eleventh century."

Remembrance (by Su Shi)

To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.

After enjoying some snacks and local entertainment, Wei Yi, Yu Yangyi and Ding Liren, wearing the Song dynasty clothing, came onto the stage, reciting poems from Su Dongpo.

Ding Liren looks quite like a scholar from the Song dynasty

Yu Yangyi in Song dynasty clothing, reciting a poem from Su Dongpo

Wei Yi's recital was particularly good, especially considering the difficulty of a proper recitation, and no one could believe it came from a sixteen-year-old. See it for yourself in this video.

Photos and video by Liang Ziming

Liang Ziming has been a chess journalist since 2003 and the New Officer for the Chinese Chess Association since 2011. In 2007, he translated Kasparov's book "How Life Imitates Chess" into Chinese together with the former Women World Champion Xie Jun.


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