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From 2006-10-08 09:46:58 To 2006-10-12 21:22:56
-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.
-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. +XiangQi is also known as "Chinese Chess" and is often compared to the game of [gameid=171]. The game is played with 32 pieces (16 per player) on a 9x10 gameboard. As in the game of [gameid=188], the game is played on the intersections of the gameboard. The area of play is divided into two territories by a "river" in the middle of gameboard. In each territory there is a 3x3 "palace", in which each player's respective General/Marshal is located. The object of the game is to "checkmate" the other player's General/Marshal. The other pieces in the game include Chariots, Horses, Elephants, Advisors, Cannons, and Soldiers.
-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 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 wooded pieces and a wooden gameboard.
-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. + 
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-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"). +
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