During my tourist trip in China and Hong Kong in May 1992 I had a fabulous luck - I learned Chinese chess. The roots of this game go back to thousands of years and it is known by millions of men and women.
After returning home I wrote some articles about Xiangqi and got some answers of persons who where eager to think over the Xiangqi possibilities in Finland. So I prepared rules for a national union and invited an inaugural meeting in Helsinki, where KiiSYS (The Friends of Chinese Chess in Finland) was founded on 17th September in 1992 as a national organization.
Since that I have started to learn Chinese to understand better Chinese Xiangqi books. I think this is also the best way when I try to find new Xiangqi lovers in Finland and teach them this fine game. I think that Chinese chess and international chess are more similar than different.
So far we have usually had 2 to 8 players in each our tournaments, sometimes more - it's up to foreign visitors. There are five local clubs which are situated in Helsinki, Jarvenpaa, Oulu, Lapinjarvi (inactive since 2000) and Tampere (inactive since 1995).
We organize each year at least two open tournaments, but Finnish participants should be members of KiiSYS and have paid their annual fees. So far Finns have organized some 30 tournaments with approximately 300 participants alltogether. KiiSYS has held the Open Finnish Championship Tournament, at Lapinjarvi in Eastern Uusimaa in 1993 to 2000.
A few Finns have played abroad in the 1990s: Exmouth (in England), London, Paris, Lingen (in Germany), Las Vegas, Honolulu and Hong Kong. The next foreign players have played in Finnish tournaments during 1990s: Xu Tianhong, Tao Hanming, Ouyang Quilin (all from China), Uwe Frischmuth, Stefan Scholz, Norbert Schafer (all from Germany) and Corrigan Francis from France.