This movie is divided into 2 parts. One is about a a young man gifted for chess in the communist China of the 60s and the second one is about another man in present Taiwan.
Yim Ho, the first director made a too communist movie according to Tsui Hark, so Tsui directed the second story using the images of Yim Ho as flash back. Two ages, two political systems, but in the two cases, some criticisms made by the directors on the depicted eras. Not being a whole success, it is one of the rare movies from Tsui Hark set in a contemporary world.