Xiangqi (Chinese Chess)

Xiangqi is the Chinese version of chess. It branched from the tree of chess history quite a long time ago, so it's one of the odder variations of chess around. It retains some very old ideas that have been discarded from Western chess a long time ago, and has developed some rather curious Chinese features of its own.

The basic idea is the same: you try to catch your opponent's king. In xiangqi kings are somewhat in trouble to start with: they have to remain in their 3x3 castles and cannot leave them. They have guards in the palace, but those guards often end up being quite some trouble...

The game has some other curious restrictions. There's a river in the middle of the board and the bishops (or the elephants) cannot cross the river. Actually, the bishops can only move in steps of exactly two squares. The knights move like in regular chess, except their orthogonal move isn't a jump, but can be blocked.

The cannon is the most interesting piece in xiangqi. It moves like a rook, but captures in a curious way. Cannon can capture like a rook, over any distance, but it must have a support: to capture something, cannon must jump over another piece that stands between the cannon and the target. Makes for some tricky moves!

If you like Western chess, xiangqi is a strange cousin worth trying. If you don't like Western chess, try xiangqi anyway - you might find you like it better than the Western chess. Xiangqi is a very dynamic game, you need to push on and attack hard. The end games can be a tad stale and drawn out and the game has a strong tendency for draws amongst experienced players, but for beginners, it's exciting and fun.

Xiangqi sets come in many flavours. Most have round wooden pieces, marked with Chinese characters (the characters aren't that hard to learn, by the way). The cheapest sets have really flimsy see-through paper boards - pretty awful, but for the cheap price, it does the job. If you just want to have a copy of xiangqi you can try, that's not a bad option. I have one of those and I don't need to have a better board, since I play the game very rarely.

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Reversible Bamboo Go Set with Board Bowls Bakelite Stones and Bonus Xiangqi C...
Reversible Bamboo Go Set with Board Bowls Bakelite Stones and Bonus Xiangqi C... $107.10
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Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4''
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Vintage XIANGQI - CHINESE CHESS Dragon-Fly CHESS GAME
Vintage XIANGQI - CHINESE CHESS Dragon-Fly CHESS GAME $9.99
Time Remaining: 14h 51m

UB Folding Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set UB2648 Portable Chess Board
UB Folding Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set UB2648 Portable Chess Board $13.99
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US New Hot Sale Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set Play Game Gift $8.29
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US UB 2648 Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set Youbang 2648 Chinese Chess
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Xiangqi Chinese Chess Worldwise Imports WWI 23215
Xiangqi Chinese Chess Worldwise Imports WWI 23215 $48.33
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Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic MagnetTravel Set Game Board Classic Toy Portable
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3D Chinese Chess set Xiangqi Romance of the Three Kingdoms Caocao and Liubei
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Time Remaining: 1d 13h 42m
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Large stereo chinese chess copper belt XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) METAL FIGURE 10"
Large stereo chinese chess copper belt XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) METAL FIGURE 10 $85.99
Time Remaining: 1d 21h 47m
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Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Xiang Qi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4''
Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Xiang Qi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4'' $26.55
Time Remaining: 2d 5h 15m
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10 inch Large Stereoscopic Chinese Chess XIANGQI Copper Belt Metal Figure
10 inch Large  Stereoscopic Chinese Chess XIANGQI Copper Belt Metal Figure $84.00
Time Remaining: 2d 16h 26m
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Z08 CM10212a Comoros Comores 2010 Chinese Chess Xiangqi MNH S/Sheet
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Time Remaining: 2d 18h 55m
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Z08 CM10212b Comoros Comores 2010 Chinese Chess Xiangqi MNH S/Sheet
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 6.5" magnetic foldable board
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 6.5" magnetic foldable board
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New Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4'' Game
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Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4''
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Reversible Bamboo Go/Xiangqi Set with Board, Bowls, Stones
Reversible Bamboo Go/Xiangqi Set with Board, Bowls, Stones $84.00
Time Remaining: 3d 12h 27m
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 15.8" MDF Board, 1.6" African Blackwood Pieces
Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 15.8 $85.99
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 15.8" MDF Board, 1.6" African Blackwood Pieces
Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 15.8 $81.92
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Xiangqi, Chinese chess 15" fine wooden table set w/drawer, rosewood chess pieces
Xiangqi, Chinese chess 15 $99.99
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Xiangqi, Chinese chess 15" fine wooden table set w/drawer, rosewood chess pieces
Xiangqi, Chinese chess 15 $81.92
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Chinese chess, BIRCH WOOD chessboard, drum chessmen, Star Chess xiangqi B-101
Chinese chess, BIRCH WOOD chessboard, drum chessmen, Star Chess xiangqi B-101 $0.99
Time Remaining: 3d 23h 52m

Asian Chinese Board Game w Tiles travel version magnetic tiles xiangqi chess
Asian Chinese Board Game w Tiles travel version magnetic tiles   xiangqi   chess $6.99
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Xiangqi, Chinese chess 1.6" fine carved wooden chess pieces
Xiangqi, Chinese chess 1.6 $29.99
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Xiangqi, Chinese chess 1.6" fine carved wooden chess pieces
Xiangqi, Chinese chess 1.6 $25.55
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 8" foldable magnetic mini board
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 12" magnetic foldable board
Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 12 $22.54
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) 5CM PURE WOOD CHESS MINI Simple Chess
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Hong Kong Chinese chess, Wood chessmen, xiangqi
Hong Kong Chinese chess, Wood chessmen, xiangqi $6.99
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) GENUINE EBONY PIECES - 3.8 cm in Diameter (1.5")
XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) GENUINE EBONY PIECES - 3.8 cm in Diameter (1.5 $85.00
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Vintage Boxed Set Handpainted Xiangqi Chinese Chess Pieces - 32 in Set
Vintage Boxed Set Handpainted Xiangqi Chinese Chess Pieces - 32 in Set $9.50
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Attica Alu Series: aluminium leather box "2-in-1 game set B": Chess Xiangqi - w
Attica Alu Series: aluminium leather box $22.48
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Folding Beechwood Veneer Chinese Chess Xiangqi Set
Folding Beechwood Veneer Chinese Chess Xiangqi Set $30.00
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Large stereo chinese chess copper belt XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) METAL FIGURE 10"
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Xiangqi, Vintage Chinese chess 1" coloured wooden chess pieces, no giftbox
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Xiangqi, Vintage Chinese chess 1" coloured wooden chess pieces, no giftbox
Xiangqi, Vintage Chinese chess 1 $6.76
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 9.5" magnetic foldable board
Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 9.5 $18.95
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Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 9-1/2'' New
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Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4''
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, Wooden Board, Sandalwood Pieces
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Folding Beechwood Veneer Chinese Chess Xiangqi Set
Folding Beechwood Veneer Chinese Chess Xiangqi Set $36.12
Time Remaining: 10d 8h 15m
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) GENUINE EBONY PIECES - 3.8 cm (1½ INCH) DIAM. (731)
XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) GENUINE EBONY PIECES - 3.8 cm (1½  INCH) DIAM. (731) $103.50
Time Remaining: 10d 19h 16m
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) SMALL WOODEN TRAVEL SET - NOT MAGNETIC (255)
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