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Tibetan chess became the highlight of the intellectual games

  • Source : VTIBET.com Author : Tenzin Woebom Time : 06/02/2017 Editor : Tenzin Woebom

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    The average elevation of Tibet is 4,000 meters above sea level, and the air is thin. Therefore, some people think it is difficult or inappropriate to carry out sports in Tibet. In fact, the sports in Tibet are not only well developed, but have formed a certain scale. Amateurs of Tibetan chess from different walks of life in Lhasa gathered at the Press and Publication Center of Tibet Autonomous Region from May 28th to 29th to participate in the first "Tianli Cup" intellectual games. Since the number of adults and children who are fond of Tibetan chess is increasing, this time’s intellectual games added Tibetan chess for the first time.



    Children play Tibetan chess in Lhasa. [Photo/Xinhua]


    Tibetan chess is mainly divided into two kinds of "mimang" and "jo", and later has developed into more abundant chess species. There are 17 lines crossing at right angles on each side of the Tibetan chess board. Pieces are divided into black and white. The player with the white pieces moves first. The rules are similar to that of Go. Apart from that, Tibetan chess can be played by two, four or six people at a time.


    Tibetan chess is both competitive and interesting, hence it’s loved by the people on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Due to various reasons, some kinds of Tibetan chess have been on the verge of extinction. However, for the past few years, Tibetan chess has got great attention. Tibetan chess cultural protection work initiated by the Lhasa Chess Association and the Tibet Autonomous Regional Chess Association has gained significant achievements after years of efforts.


    Aimed at not only helping more people get to know and start to love Tibetan chess, but guiding chess lovers to actively carry out various forms of development, inheritance, protection, research, popularization of Tibetan chess, the organizer of the intellectual games chose Tibetan chess as one of the competition items. So as to further improve the level of Tibetan chess in Lhasa. It is reported that participants respectively received bonuses, prizes, certificates of merit and other awards.



    Children play Tibetan chess in Lhasa. [Photo/Xinhua]


    Tibetan chess is one of the splendid Tibetan cultures, which once played a prominent role in the social and cultural life of Tibet. According to textual research, Tibetan chess was popular dating back to the Tibetan Tubo Kingdom more than 1,000 years ago. Tibetan chess has a distinct difference between Go or weiqi, which was produced during Tang Dynasty. It originated in Tibet during the period of Bon religion.


    According to historical record, Tibetans played chess very early, and there are many stories about the development of Tibetan chess. Tubo Historical Documents in Dunhuang edition records that Kyongbo Surtsesey, minister of Songtsen Gampo’s father Namryi Tsongtsen, famous politician and strategist, was good at playing Tibetan chess. His skill in chess was unmatched. It’s said that he could play chess while handling official business.



    Photo shows a scene of the eighth national invitational tournament of Tibetan chess. [Photo/People.cn]

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