Chinese chess fans have a chance to pit their wits against some of its greatest masters when the Fifth World Xiangqi Championships opens today. Mainland Xiangqi grandmasters Hu Ronghua, 52, and Liu Dahua, 47, have agreed to play members of the public at the weekend. Liu will play blindfolded against eight players, with an assistant telling him the opponents' moves. Hu will play against 20 at once. However, neither will be competing in the championships which run until Sunday at Kowloon Park. More than 80 masters from 28 countries and regions will battle it out. Michael Naegler, from Germany, took up the game after seeing people play it on mainland streets in 1988. He said: 'I decided to learn when I saw that. But I couldn't find any book on Chinese chess written in English.' The physician eventually found a club in Hamburg. He added: 'Chess needs no words. It breaks the hurdle between me and the Chinese. I have played Xiangqi for more than nine years.'