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Chinese Chess (Xiang Qi):  
How To Play Chinese Chess

Abstract

Chess Game Board Picture

Chinese Chess, Shiang-chi (or Xiangqi), is an Oriental cousin of the more familiar European or International Chess. Phonetically, Xiangqi means Elephant Chess. Both Chinese Chess and International Chess are descended from an ancient common ancestor—India. This ancient game traveled both east and west to become the most popular family of board games in the world today. Games of this family are played in Europe and Asia, as well as in the Middle East. They go by names like Shogi, Makrook, and Shahtranj. Like International Chess, Chinese Chess has two opposing armies with different kinds of pieces.

There are some parallels between Chinese Chess and International Chess. The obvious ones are the near equivalent movements to these pieces—Rooks, Knights, and Bishops.

The following is a table that distinguishes the basic technical parallels between Chinese Chess and International Chess:

Chinese Chess (XIANG QI) International Chess

General of the Army

Purists prefer calling this piece the General. Western players prefer calling it the King.

King

No equivalent

Queen

Chariot

Rook (Castle)

Horse

Knight

Cannon

No equivalent

Guard

No equivalent

Elephant

Bishop

Soldier

Pawn

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