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From 2006-10-08 09:46:58 To W Eric Martin 2011-12-03 12:22:06
-XiangQi is a contender for the most enjoyable two player "chess" game of them all. +'''''XiangQi''''' is one of the most played board games in the world. Translated loosely as "elephant game", the name of ''XiangQi'' may have first been recorded in Songs of Chu during the 4th century BC of early China; in the state of Qi during the Warring State Period, the name "XiangQi" meant ivory ''[gameid=22610]'' pieces, not modern ''XiangQi'' played by Chinese. The modern ''Xiangqi'' set dates back to the Song dynasty.
-The moves of the Chariot, Horse and Soldier are similar to their Western counterparts, Rook, Knight, and Pawn respectively, but the Elephant, Guard and (especially) the Cannon are quite different. Furthermore, restrictions placed on certain pieces by the presence of the dividing "river" and the two "fortresses" on the board make XiangQi a unique and exotic experience. +Based closely on ancient Chinese military strategy, ''XiangQi'' draws comparisons to European Chess, and indeed, both are descended from the ancient Indian game of ''[gameid=18011]''.
-Fewer soldiers (pawns), coupled with the unique attacking capability of the cannons, means the action starts from the very first move. This may feel strange to those who are more comfortable with the slow, measured build up of Western Chess. +---
-The Chinese characters that differentiate the pieces may take a short while to familiarise yourself with but, as with Mah-Jong, this adds to the picturesque nature of the game. +''XiangQi'', commonly referred to in English as "Chinese Chess", is played with 32 pieces (16 per player) on a board that is 9 lines wide and 10 lines long. As in the game of ''[gameid=188]'', the game is played on the intersections of the game board. The area of play is divided into two territories by a river in the middle of game board. In each territory there is a 3 line by 3 line palace, in which each player's respective General/Marshal is located. The object of the game is to capture the opponents's General/Marshal.
-Cheap plastic sets with roll-out paper boards for a few dollars/pounds, up to beautifully carved wooden sets and boards should be available from your local Oriental emporium. Just ask for XiangQi (pronounced "shyang-chee"). +The pieces on both sides and their movements & special rules are:
 +*1 General: 1 Point orthogonally within the palace only. Not allowed to ‘see’ the enemy General on an open file.
 +*2 Advisors: 1 point diagonally within the palace only.
 +*2 Chariots: Any distance orthogonally.
 +*2 Cannons: Moves like a Chariot. To capture, it must first leap over an intervening piece of either color.
 +*2 Horses: 1 point orthogonally, then one point diagonally.
 +*2 Elephants / Ministers: 2 points diagonally. Cannot cross the river.
 +*5 Soldiers: 1 point straight forward. Once across the river, can also move 1 point sideways instead.
 +Pieces capture as they move and never jump. The only exception (for both rules) apply to the cannon.
 +The price of the game varies depending on the material used in the game. Inexpensive sets are usually made with plastic or low-grade wooden pieces and a paper gameboard. Expensive sets are usually made with jade or high-grade wooden pieces and a wooden gameboard.
 +'''[[Online Play]]'''
 +* [[Boardspace.net]] (real-time, AI option)
 +* http://www.iggamecenter.com/ - [[igGameCenter]] (real-time)
 +*''[gameid=29741]'' - Game using same pieces
 +*''[gameid=29740]'' - Game using same pieces
 +*''[gameid=29272]'' - Smaller version
 +*''[gameid=39776]'' - Three-player version
 +*''[gameid=32757]'' - Seven-player version
 +*''[gameid=5400]'' - Korean version
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