Fan Xiping and Shi Ding'an

    Keywords: Culture & History, People

Fan Xiping (范西屏, 1709~69) and Shi Ding'an (施襄夏, 1710~71) were two of the leading Chinese players from 18th century China. They were born a year apart in Haining, and became friendly rivals after meeting during their adolescence. Fan became a guoshou at the age of 16 and Shi several years later. In their 30s they played a famous set of 10-13 games, known as The Dang Hu Games. Throughout their lives they were involved in many teaching games, leaving behind hundreds of handicap game records. They compiled, wrote and edited several books each.


Go collector and publisher Deng Yuanhu wrote of their playstyles:

"Fan was marvelous, lofty and far reaching, like a supernatural dragon, changing so that no-one could tell his head or his tail. Shi was profound and precise, like an old steed galloping but never losing its step."
"Shi was like the ocean in great flood, containing much that is profound. Fan was like the high mountains, with aspirations that were lofty and marvellous."[1]

In other words, Fan enjoyed a bold, guileless and uninhibited style, while Shi enjoyed an accurate, careful and steady style. Additionally, Fan was said to have played very quickly, while Shi very slowly. Fan would sometimes go on a picnic, sing songs or take a nap while Shi was thinking.[1]



[1] Source: John Fairbairn's article, "Two of a Kind: Fan Xiping & Shi Ding'an" (11 January 2000) from the now defunct Mindzine.

See Also

  • Eight made-for-TV, Chinese, drama movies about the two players:
Master of Go - Measure Against Measures (大国手之棋行江湖) (2010-05-31)
Master of Go - Beautiful Woman (大国手之才子佳人) (2010-06-05)
Master of Go - The Great Winner (大国手之胜者为王) (2010-07-05)
Master of Go - Romance over Qinjuai River (大国手之秦淮风月) (2010-08-09)
Master of Go - Yangzhou Debate (大国手之扬州论枰) (2010-08-20)
Master of Go - Dang Hu Duel (大国手之当湖十局) (2010-08-30)
Master of Go - Second to None (大国手之天下无敌) (2010-12-16)
Master of Go - First Royal Player (大国手之首席棋待诏) (2011-01-06)
Title: Qi sheng Fan Xiping quan pu / Ma Zheng bian zhu (棋圣范西屏全谱 / 马诤编著)
Author: Ma, Zheng (马诤)
Publishing Info: Beijing Shi : Ren min ti yu chu ban she, 2009 (北京市 : 人民体育出版社, 2009)
Title: Qi sheng Shi Xiangxia quan pu / Ma Zheng bian zhu (棋圣施襄夏全谱 / 马诤编著)
Author: Ma, Zheng (马诤)
Publishing Info: Beijing Shi : Ren min ti yu chu ban she, 2009 (北京市 : 人民体育出版社, 2009)

A recent book of Chinese historical games, including some of the games at Danghu, is available edited by Sun Ruoshi from the original Qin dynasty collection of games called Yi Miao 弈妙 (Games of Wonder), compiled by Wu Jun (吳峻) and Wu Jiong (吳駉), published in 1764. The book is available on Amazon under the title "Games of Wonder". The games are presented in the traditional Chinese manner of 50 moves per diagram and have no commentary. The book provides western readers with a useful collection of ancient Chinese games, including games played by Huang Longshi and other great masters (and of course those of the two contestants at Danghu). These games can also be found on the Gogod disk.

Fan Xiping and Shi Ding'an last edited by 2603:3001:0c08:0000 on July 16, 2019 - 22:08
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