English, Chinese, 2005/07
"The Chess Master" is a captivating tale of the dramatic transformation of the protagonist Wang Yisheng from an obsessive chess player into an enlightened chess master who understands the Tao of life. Although the story is set in the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution, it shuns the depiction of political violence and human suffering and focuses on the simple pleasures of life enjoyed by Wang and other high school students sent to work in state farms. It is noted for its celebration of friendship, occasional feasts, and Chinese chess, but the core of the story lies in A Cheng's belief in the great potential of seemingly ordinary people in self-transcendence.
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