The 15th World Xiangqi Championship got underway yesterday at the Manila Hotel with Hong Kong sports big boss Timothy Fok gracing the event alongside Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez.
“Xiangqi is not just a game but a part of China’s 2,000 years of culture,” said Fok, who is the Hong Kong Olympic Committee president, Olympic Council of Asia vice-president and head of the xiangqi association in the former Crown Colony.
Xiangqi closely resembles Western chess as it is a battle between two armies with the intention of capturing the enemy’s general.
Ramirez, whose friendship with Fok dates back to his first tenure as PSC chairman in the mid-2000s, assured the HK sports executive of the agency’s support in coordination as they aim to make the sport much more popular among the Filipino-Chinese community.
Hok, a long-time patron of the Manila Hotel, said there is a plan to include xiangqi in the 2022 Asian Games.