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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Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic MagnetTravel Set Game Board Classic Toy Portable
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10 inch Large Stereoscopic Chinese Chess XIANGQI Copper Belt Metal Figure
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 12" magnetic foldable board
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CHINESE LOCAL PLAYING CARD " OLD XIANGQI PAI " JUE DE CARTES,NAIPES,KARTEN
CHINESE LOCAL PLAYING CARD $80.00
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Vtg Chinese Hand Carved Boxwood Chess Large Set Carving Storage Board Xiangqi
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CHINESE CHESS xiangqi Board Game 32 Acrylic Pieces Mats ENGLISH Instruction Case
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Dynasty Chinese Folk Culture Handmade Carving Wood Chess Xiangqi Statue
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BRANDNEW Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 9-1/2'' FREE SHIPPING
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Portable Chinese Chess Xiangqi Game, 1 Plastic Board, 24 Wooden Tokens Red/Green
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2.6" Chinese Qing Dy Natural Ox Horn Oxhorn Palace Play 32 Chess Xiangqi Box Set
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7" Chinese Wucai Porcelain Chess Xiangqi Xiang Qi Puzzle game Chessman Boxes Set
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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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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 9.5" magnetic foldable board
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12" Box, Old Chinese Culture Wood Puzzle Game Xiangqi Chess Qiyi, 32 Pieces
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Old Heavy Pure Bronze China Palace Bronze Round 32 Chess XiangQi Box Set Statue
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Reversible Bamboo Go/Xiangqi Set with Board, Bowls, Stones, BryBelly
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3D Chinese Chess set Xiangqi Romance of the Three Kingdoms Caocao and Liubei
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 14.6" MDF Board, 1.1" Wenge chess pieces
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Vintage Chinese Xiangqi Chess Set Paper Board w/ Wood Pieces
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 14.6" MDF Board, 1.1" Wenge chess pieces
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8" China Bronze Heavy International Chess Xiangqi Puzzle game Chessman Boxes Set
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10 inch Large Stereoscopic Chinese Chess XIANGQI Copper Belt Metal Figure
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) LARGE SOLID ACRYLIC VINTAGE SET
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AUTHENTIC XIANGQI CHINESE CHESS + 1973 MB CHINESE CHECKERS - jun
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Dollhouse Miniature 1:12 Toy Game A Set Of Plastic Chinese Chess XIANGQI SPO342
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Xiangqi Chinese chess, 11.5" chess board, BIRCH WOOD "drum" chesspieces
Xiangqi Chinese chess, 11.5 $18.99
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Chinese 100% Natural Bull Ox Horn Oxyphylla Game Xiangqi Chinese Chess Statue
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Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4
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Vintage Xiangqi Box Pieces + Modern Vinyl Game Board SEE DESCRIPTION
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