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Home >> Chinese Culture

Go, Go, China
For A Fair Play
- A Game between Yin and Yang
万物负阴而抱阳,冲气以为和

19 November 2009
 

A set of weiqi (Go) made in Hawaii as the present given by American President Barack Obama to Chinese President Hu Jintao

Weiqi (围棋), meaning siege chess or game of laying siege, was invented by Chinese and became a popular mind exercise in China since 3000 years go. Later, Confucian (551 BC - 479 BC) referred it as part of classic culture in an elegant ancient era. During the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century, weiqi was spread to Korea and Japan, in the recent centuries further introduced to the West through Japan, and now widely known as Go.

Unlike all other forms of chess play, in which each chess piece is placed on a rigid position in hierarchy with a predetermined role to perform, weiqi gives all pieces an equal footing to start in the game and opportunities to rise to the occasion and above the rank, with an emphases on team success rather than individual triumphant - all these are the essence of Chinese civilisation.

The key to winning the game is to find a fine balance between yin and yang: Solid defense and controlled offense, temporary retreat and ultimate advance, tactical execution and strategic approach.

According to Daodejing (道德经), before a universe began, the Cosmos was a complete void in mass, an absolute nothingness in form, yin and yang utterly united into one. When wuchi (无极 pole-less) develops into taichi (太极 supreme pole), Dao becomes apparent and is ready to run the universe. Then taichi further splits into yin- yang dual forces, with the active part being yang and passive part being yin, and the two parts balancing each other in motion ever since.

Despite being the source and supporter of the universe, Dao is beyond form, cannot be seen; beyond sound, cannot be heard; beyond tangibility, cannot be held. Thus the Dao, though is present, can never be defined; though small, is inclusive of the entire universe.

Yin and yang as the two sides of one coin, complement one another, each being essential for the functioning of the whole. When yin and yang unite, the outcome is a perfect simplicity – exist without existence, appear without appearance and act without actions. In the ultimate reality as such, all things are Nothing, and Nothing is All, and All is in complete accordance with Dao.

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