Xiangqi is the member of the Chess family which is most widely played
in China. If you look past the surface details, the
overall board plan and movement style is similar to chess;
but there are a lot of interesting details.
The board is 10x9,
and pieces are placed on the intersections rather than in
the squares. The center of the board is called the river, which elephant pieces cannot
cross, and soldier
pieces become more powerful after crossing the river.
A 3x3 square on the edge of the board is called the palace. The
opposing generals and their guards are confined to their
The pieces, which
are red and black, are tradionally just discs wiht chinese
characters naming them. Boardspace defaults to
westernized icons, but the traditional characters are
Some of the movements are identical or very similar to
Chess, but others are unique, especially the cannon.
similar to Chess, but perpetual check is forbidden, and
stalemate is a win for the stalemating player.
Complete rules can be found here.