Tuesday, August 18, 2015


LEARN WEIQI (GO), THE HARMONY CULTURE GAME, FOR FUN UPDATED Presenter: Francis C W Fung, Ph.D., Director General, World Harmony Organization Education: B.Sc. Aeronautical Engineering, Brown University M.S. Fluid Mechanics, Johns Hopkins University Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, University of Notre Dame Dr. Fung is an aerospace engineer by profession. His multidiscipline experience includes energy and harmony research, U.S. – China technology transfer, academic teaching of fluid mechanics, international commerce, and creative thinking. As Director General of the World Harmony Organization, he is a prolific writer. His articles on Harmony Renaissance, Harmony Culture, Harmony Diplomacy, Harmony Governance, and Harmony Faith appear regularly worldwide on leading international media and websites. From Shibumi, bestseller by Trevanian: Those interested in impressing others with their intelligence play chess. Those who would settle for being chic play backgammon. Those who wish to become individuals of quality, take up Go [Weiqi]. Weiqi, the ancient Asian chess game, is all about harmony philosophy and extending influence by applying people soft power. It is about sharing through extending influence and not about confrontation. Also known as GO in some parts of the world, Weiqi is played by two with 361 equally ranked black and white stones (influences). Players take turns to deploy a stone of their color one at a time to gain more presence (influence) on a board with 19X19 horizontal and vertical intersecting lines (in the full version) representing potential points of influence. The objective is to extend influences across the playing board, and not to annihilate the opponent’s influence or pieces leading to capturing the king as in western chess. When equally matched, players usually win by only a few extra stones on the board. Weiqi is easy to learn and fun to play, but hard to play well. It requires good mental discipline, a deep philosophical attitude, and a multi-campaign mentality. Unlike western chess, the best known computer program still loses to the best Weiqi human player, despite the advances of computer programming. Western chess is basically a game of attack in which you must take your fight to the enemy to win; you will not win just defending. In contrast, with Weiqi’s objective of spreading influence, one generally only captures opponent’s stones if it is for strategic locations and when they are in ones acquired sphere of influence. It is never efficient to capture just for capture’s sake. According to tradition, Weiqi was thought to have been invented by the first legendary sage king of China, the great Yao Shun, to teach his son to be a future wise king. To extol the harmony philosophy of Yao Shun, Confucius said in the Classic Zhongyong, “Great indeed is the wisdom of Shun! Shun likes to ask and to investigate the words of those who are close to him. He omits the bad and propagates the good. He holds fast the two extremes and uses the in-between for the people. This is what makes him Shun!” In Confucius’ harmony philosophy, from the two extremes comes the in-between. Only where there is a third that is the in-between of the two can the dispute be resolved and harmony be achieved. When there is no third, no in-between, the two will compete and fight with each other. This will lead to mutual destruction and not harmony. In ancient China, Weiqi was given the second most important position as the “must learn” discipline, along with Ku Zeng, poetry, and calligraphy, for accomplished scholars. Both Confucius and Lao Tze considered playing Weiqi as an important accomplishment for a Confucian scholar. In Asia there were also important talented ladies recorded in history who excelled in playing Weiqi. Today it is played for fun and big prize money. In modern Japan, Weiqi has attracted as many amateur female as well as male players. In modern days, among some learned circles in both East and West, Weiqi is considered as must training of business acumen for prospective entrepreneurs, along with reading Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. It is also a recommended game at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for counter-terrorist influence training. For today’s multilateral world, Weiqi is essential training for our youth to learn how to share in a multi-ethnic and multicultural planet. Weiqi exercises both sides of our brains in spatial and analytical skills and cultivates our use of non-confrontational soft approaches. It will be a desirable skill that will enable us to live in harmony with ourselves and with the world around us. It is a diplomat’s game to learn for the 21st century multilateral world. In this workshop, we will do a lot of practice playing between beginner students guided by experienced teacher players. By the end of this short workshop, you will have a strong feeling of accomplishment in playing and will come away with a good sense of Weiqi harmony culture. Ultimately, the play of Weiqi is not simply outright conquest nor religious influence combined with military power, as in Western chess but is a shared negotiation to achieve harmony. — photo from Wikipedia

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