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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Xiangqi, Vintage Chinese chess hand made In the back of the tiger pattern carved
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Xiangqi, Vintage Chinese chess chess pieces,hand made POLYMER CLAY white
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Xiangqi, Vintage Chinese chess chess pieces,hand made POLYMER CLAY 32PCS
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US New Hot Sale Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set Play Game Gift
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US UB 2648 Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set Youbang 2648 Chinese Chess
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1997 Elephant Chess Xiangqi Board Game Complete s7
1997 Elephant Chess Xiangqi Board Game Complete s7 $46.74
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US Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set Portable Educational Toys Present
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Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Xiang Qi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4''
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Folding Beechwood Veneer Chinese Chess Xiangqi Set
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Folding Beechwood Veneer Chinese Chess Xiangqi Set, Free Shipping, New
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10 inch Large Stereoscopic Chinese Chess XIANGQI Copper Belt Metal Figure
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chinese chess set Xiangqi
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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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Xiangqi, Chinese chess 15" fine wooden table set w/drawer, rosewood chess pieces
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, unique handmade chess pieces
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Xiangqi, Chinese chess 15" fine wooden table set w/drawer, rosewood chess pieces
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) LARGE SOLID ACRYLIC 1¾" (4.25 cm) QUALITY SET (565)
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Chinese Xiangqi Set With Vintage Box
Chinese Xiangqi Set With Vintage Box $26.99
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Xiangqi Vintage Chinese Chess Family Game Easy Travel Tour Packages Chess Set
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Xiangqi (Xiang Qi) Chinese Game vintage with Paper Board Rare with Original Box
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Xiangqi, Chinese chess 1.6" fine carved wooden chess pieces
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 12" magnetic foldable board
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) METAL FIGURATIVE 3-D STATUE SET 10" BOARD KING IS 1 5/8"
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US Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set Play Game Easy to Learn Traditional
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NEW Jade Color Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 12-3/4
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Large stereo chinese chess copper belt XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) METAL FIGURE 10"
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Chinese Chess, Xiangqi, 9.5" magnetic foldable board
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Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 9-1/2'' New
Chinese Chess Xiangqi Magnetic Travel Set - 9-1/2'' New $12.02
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XIANGQI Chinese chess foldable board, chesspieces in BIRCH WOOD lacquer finish
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Elephant Chess Xiangqi - Chinese Chess (Internationalized Version) Box MINT
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) 1 5/8" (4.2 cm) ROSEWOOD PIECES w/ BOX
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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
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) SMALL WOODEN TRAVEL SET - NOT MAGNETIC (255)
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CHINESE CHESS (XIANGQI), ANCIENT SEAL SCRIPT CHARACTERS (372)
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Chinese Hand Carved Box Wood Chess Large Set Carving RARE Storage Board Xiangqi
Chinese Hand Carved Box Wood Chess Large Set Carving RARE Storage Board Xiangqi $227.05
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Chinese Chess Xiangqi, Brand New
Chinese Chess Xiangqi, Brand New $20.99
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3D Chinese Chess set Xiangqi Romance of the Three Kingdoms Caocao and Liubei
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3D Fold Poly Chinese Chess set Xiangqi Journey to the West Monkey King
3D Fold Poly Chinese Chess set Xiangqi Journey to the West Monkey King $48.99
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FOLDING XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) BOARD, 14 x 13 INCHES
FOLDING XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) BOARD, 14 x 13 INCHES $26.95
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Folding Beechwood Veneer Chinese Chess Xiangqi Set
Folding Beechwood Veneer Chinese Chess Xiangqi Set $36.77
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XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) EBONY W/ SHELL INLAY - 3.8 cm (1½ INCH) DIAM. (729)
XIANGQI (CHINESE CHESS) EBONY W/ SHELL INLAY - 3.8 cm (1½  INCH) DIAM. (729) $112.50
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HUGE & HEAVY CHINESE CHESS BOARD (XIANGQI) - ABOUT 20 LBS - 5.2 cm LINES (720)
HUGE & HEAVY CHINESE CHESS BOARD (XIANGQI) - ABOUT 20 LBS - 5.2 cm LINES (720) $121.50
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WOOD BOARD FOR CHINESE CHESS (XIANGQI) - LARGE 20 INCH FOR 1½ to 1¾ INCH PIECES
WOOD BOARD FOR CHINESE CHESS (XIANGQI) - LARGE 20 INCH FOR 1½ to 1¾ INCH PIECES $44.10
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