Name: Liu Dahua柳大华 1950/3/3 - present
Birthplace: Wuhan City, Hubei Province
Titles: GM 1984, IGM
Summary of achievements: 2 time winner of the Chinese National Xiangqi Singles Tournament (1980-1981)
Had set the blind chess record of 1 vs 15 in 1988 , followed by in 1 vs 19 (9W-8D-2L) on 1995/2/25.
This 15 year old record was only broken by GM Jiang Chuan in 2011 ( 1 vs 20)
2 time winner of the prestigious 5 Rams Cup in 1981 (first competition ever held) and 1983 3 time winner of the 银荔杯 cup ( 1991,1993,1997) Entered the Guinness book of Records on 4th August 2006 by going one against 108 with a record of 69W-30D-9L
Key player on the Chinese Championship Team in the 1st, 2nd, 5th,8th, and 9th Asian Xiangqi Team Championships
Nicknames: Oriental Computer 东方电脑
GM Liu Dahua was born in the province of Hubei in 1950. He started to learn Xiangqi when he was very young, under the influence of his brother. By the time he was 13, he was already the youth Xiangqi champion in Hubei province. Liu also came under the tutelage of GM Li Yiting (the 2nd person to have won the Chinese National Xiangqi Singles competition back in the 50’s). His Chinese National Xiangqi Singles Tournament started in 1974, but he would only come in 3rd place until 1978. He improved to runner up in 1979 before dethroning Hu Ronghua in 1980. He won the tournament again in 1981. Liu is known for his aggressive and fierce play, especially in mid-game. His memory is also spectacular, earning him the nickname of the Oriental Computer.
His blind chess record of 1 vs 19 stood for 15 years before recently being broken by GM Jiang Chuan. There was a story about Liu that goes like this. In 1996,GM Bu Fengbo of Dalian and GM Hu Ronghua were having a tournament match whereby Liu was the onlooker. GM Hu made a very brilliant horse move in mid-game where he eventually won. Upon the victory, Liu ran to Hu, congratulating him and told him how impressed he was to with Hu’s move. He proceeded to explain to other onlookers the ingenuity of the move. What astounded everybody that day was that he immediately set up another board similar to the game that was just completed between Bu and Hu. But it was a tournament match between Beijing Master Fu Guangming and Qinghai Province Hu Yipeng. And that game was played in 1966, 30 years earlier. He then went on to explain the similarities between the 2 horse moves by GM Hu Ronghua and Hu Yipeng (not related). Even GM Hu Ronghua was impressed. Liu is still very active in the Xiangqi scene in China. A number of youtube videos have him explaining openings.
Last updated:20th April 2011
Acknowledgements: Photos provided by Chris Hankinson
1. In Chinese, http://www.dpxq.com/hldcg/qishou_22.html
2. In Chinese, <<特级大师 柳大华 巧手妙着>> by 张郁伟
3. In Chinese, <<象棋入门>> by 李浭 and 马正福 p50-51
4. In Chinese with no English subtitles yet, a Youtube video showing GM Liu explaining the basics of the central cannon vs Screen Horse opening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsRzKzS85Xg 5.
In Chinese, http://www.ck.tp.edu.tw/~cybera/history/history_master_superb.html#1