Lv Qin 吕钦, 1962-present
Birthplace: Guangdong Province, China
Titles: GM (1986), IGM (1989)
Summary of achievements:
1. 5 time winner of the Chinese National Xiangqi Singles Tournament ( 1986,1988,1999,2003,2004) ( Runner up in 1983,1991,1994,1996,1997)
2. 5 time winner of the World Xiangqi Singles Championship (1990,1995,1997,2001,2005)
3. Second Runner up in the 2010 Asian Games
4. 3 time winner of the Yin Li Cup银荔杯 (1990,1992 and 1999)
5. Multiple time winner of the Five Rams Cup 五羊杯 , and the only person to have won it three times in a row, TWICE, and thus be able to keep the coveted trophy forever. In fact, he won it 5 consecutive times from Jan 1989-Dec1992 (1989-1992, 1995,1999-2001,2004,2009) .
6. Key player on the Guangdong team when they won they won the Chinese National Xiangq Team Tournament 7 times
7. Key player on the Chinese team where they have dominated the World Xiangqi Team Championships.
8. One of the 1991 Guangdong Top Outstanding Youths.
9. …. Too many other titles, give me a break please…
Nicknames: 小吕飞刀Flying dagger Lv、羊城少帅 The Young Marshal of Guangdong (the old Marshal was considered to be Yang Guanglin)
Frankly speaking, I have dreaded doing the biography on Lv Qin and have postponed it until now. Not that there is nothing much to write about him, it is just that there is TOO MUCH material about him. Lv Qin was born in 1962 in Guangdong province and started learning Xiangqi at 7. Before long, his talent was discovered and he won the 1977 Guangdong Province Youth Xiangqi Championship. This was perhaps his first of many, many more to come. Lv then burst onto the national scene in the 80’s. He was quickly made a key member of the Guangdong team and came directly under the tutelage of other Xiangqi Greats, the most notable being Yang Guanglin.
In fact, Yang was so impressed with Lv Qin that he let Lv represent him in the Five Rams Cup in 1985 and 1986. Lv Qin was not qualified himself yet (you had to be a GM to be able to take part, and one of the ways was to win the Chinese Xiangqi National Singles Championship). But Lv Qin did him proud and although he did not win in those 2 years, he did manage to get a good placing. And it was perhaps of this exposure that Lv Qin took his game to another level. He won his first Chinese National Xiangqi Singles Tournament in 1986, the first of many to come. If Hu Rongua and Yang Guanglin dominated the Xiangqi scene in the 60-70’s, there is no doubt that Lv Qin, Li Laiqun and a few others controlled the Xiangqi scene from the late 80’s to the mid-90’s. The recent burst of new GMs like Hong Zhi, Zhao Xinxin, Jiang Chuan onto the Xiangqi scene in the past decade has not dimmed Lv’s presence.
Lv Qin’s speed of play is also another quality which few others have. I recall having read in an article (cannot find it now, sorry!_) that in competitions, 60% of the time, Lv spends much less time that his opponents. In fact, although I may have read seen so much of Lv Qin’s games, I have absolutely no recollection that he has ever lost due to time-out. Coupled with his speedy play are his accurate calculations. He has been known to have won with unorthodox tactics. I recall him winning a game against Master Yan Wenqing after he employed the crab-eye cannon formation ( which in case you were wondering, it is the positioning of the 2 cannons at the 2 palace corners in the cannon rank). He won that game after forcing black to resign in 29 moves. I will show that game when I have the time. Quick games do not mean poor defense. Lv has been able to force draws or comeback from behind many times in his tenure.
When the game is not going well for him, he would often lay traps here and there before pouncing on his opponent when they least expected it. See ref 3.
Other habits of Lv: (translated loosely from Ref 4)
1) Charges his 7th file horse quickly to take the opponent’s elephant
2) Charges his 7th file horse to take the opponent’s central pawn
3) Often found attacking all the way into midgame, and even then, still has not raised an advisor or elephant for defence
4) Likes to use the central cannon and pawn ranked chariot in combination to take away all of his opponent’s pawns
5) Likes to use the central cannon to attack his opponent’s central pawn and does not care much about competitors attacking his own elephant.
6) Likes to have at least one chariot, double horses and pawns in endgames
7) Likes very much to sacrifice a major piece to take away his opponent’s elephants
8) Often in endgame, his elephants or advisors are lacking but makes it up with a pawn advantage.
9) When at a disadvantage, he will throw in the sink to give you a hard time from killing him, and often has many many traps which allow him to force a draw or better still, steal a win.
10) When playing black, he would rather move his chariot slowly, and delay moving the advisor and elephant for defence so that his formation has more recoil and can counter this opponent’s attack more accurately. Lv's style is also one of the most studied today. In many national Xiangqi organizations, you can find downloads of Lv's games. There is also a game of Lv with a Xq viewer found in the Australian Chinese Chess Association. Lv is current married to Xu Miaoling another Xiangq player on the Guangdong team.
The following video would show a tribute video of the grandmaster.
Last updated: 26th April 2011
1. In Chinese, http://www.dpxq.com/hldcg/qishou_6.html
2. In Chinese, <<特级大师 吕钦 巧手妙着_>> by 黄少龙
3. In Chinese, http://zgxqqyh.5d6d.com/thread-1765-1-1.html
4. In Chinese, an interview with Lv, http://www.yisand.com/articles/2365.htm
5. In Chinese, an article whereby Lv’s habits are analyzed http://zgxqqyh.5d6d.com/thread-1765-1-1.html