Concubine Qi Wishing Luck from the Game of WeQi
In China, there are a lot of stories about the dirty politics during the Han and the Tang Dynasties. However, as far as the development of Weiqi is concerned, these are two very important eras in history, with the presence of a number of great players. Concubine Qi of Emperor Han Gao Zu, Liu Bang was one example.
Concubine Qi (?-194 B.C.) was also known as Qi Ji. She was born in Ding Tao (Shangdong) during the end of the Qin Dynasty or early Han Dynasty. She bore a son for Liu Bang, known as Prince Zhao (Liu Ruyi). Ruyi"s personality resembled that of Liu Bang and because of this, Liu tried many unsuccessful times in abolishing Prince Liu Ying (son of Queen Lu Hou) and establishing Ruyi. Because of this, Lu Hou hated Qi deeply. As soon as Liu Bang died, Lu imprisoned Qi and ordered her to husk rice. Qi worked sadly singing daily, "My son is a Duke and I am a slave. Husking rice everyday until I die. How can I convey this message to you from three thousand miles away?" When Lu learnt about this, she chopped off Qi"s arms and legs, scooped our her eyes, and poisoned her until she was deaf and dumb (as recorded in Whyqi Zhuan of Han Shu).
Qi had a maid who escaped and later married to Duan Yu of Fufeng (West of Xian in Shaanxi). She described Qi as a very beautiful woman, who was a great singer, dancer and Weiqi player. On fourth of August of every year, Qi would play a game of Weiqi with Liu Bang in the bamboo forest on the north side of the palace. The winner will make a wish that would come true, as they believed. Interesting thing is that Qi won every year and wished for good luck. Obviously this "wishful thinking" did not work or Qi won"t be so unlucky.
Qi died in the first year of Han Hui Di (194 B.C.).