Talk:Xiangqi/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


A couple of questions

I have just a couple questions about the rules. The way I learned the game from some Vietnamese friends, elephants were not allowed to cross the river. This made them strictly defensive pieces, like the palace guards. Also, the king was not allowed to move into danger. If nothing separated the two kings, the king whose move it was could "throw his spear" to kill the other king; but it wasn't allowed to actually move into "check" this way or any other way. Other than that the rules above are as I remember them.

Also, I once played with a Korean exchange student in college, and quickly learned that the Koreans have a few subtle but significant differences in how they play. Some of the starting positions of the pieces were different, for instance, and the differences radically changed the strategy.

It might be worth mentioning that the pieces are typically round disks with chinese characters written on them to denote what piece it is; more valuable pieces are on larger disks. In the sets I've seen, the opposing sides were red and green, rather than black and white.


Do you mean that if there are no pieces between the kings the king can move more than one space in a move to take the opposing king? Otherwise how would they get close enough without leaving the palace. --rmhermen

Yes, more or less. A king is not allowed to move into the other king's line of sight, or move a piece out of the way so as to cause the kings to be facing each other with no pieces between them. It's a huge exception to the normal movement rules for the king, and "throwing his spear" is probably as good an analogy to explain it as any. This is also covered at the web site linked to from the article.


The purpose of the "throwing his spear" rule is that it allows a mate in endgames that would otherwise be a draw. For example, Chariot (Rook) and General (King) vs. General would be a draw without the "throwing his spear" rule.


I tried to leave encyclopaedic voice on the parts I was not sure of. Essentially, the part where I referred to myself as I. I probably just had cruel teachers, because one of the first things they informed me was that there was no such thing as check (you just took the king when you could and won if you did). I still beat em :D. You're right about the elephants not being able to cross the river, I just forgot to mention it. Also, every board I've played on had all peices the same size.--BlackGriffen

Terminology of the pieces

I changed the terminology, making it correspond more closely to the reading of the Chinese characters on the pieces -- rather than using the corresponding terms from international (or Western) chess, such as rook and pawn. --Ed Poor 16:10 Sep 10, 2002 (UTC)

Moving into check

Conversations from subject page:

(I believe it is more common to play as in western chess; check must be announced, the goal is to checkmate, and therefore no player may cause the kings to face each other directly. The way I heard it is "They will laugh at each other" and presumably lose face, a fate worse than death.) (What I learned is that a player may not move so as to expose his general to the opponent's general, or else the opponent's general will "throw his spear", killing the player's general and winning the game. Same principle: must avoid direct line of sight.)

I'm not sure on this, but the way I learned the game, it was legal to move one's king into danger, and if the opponent saw it, you lost. (No, I believe it is typically played as in western chess. In any event, it is better to do so in any chess-like game, because the game loses interest when you expect to lose at any moment due to a blunder. In fact, some use similar rules for any capture; a player can retract a move if it could lead to an immediate capture of a piece. This will allow beginning players to learn much faster and have more fun.)

Error in picture

There is an error in the picture. The positions of Guards and Ministers are mixed up on the White side. --voidvector

Oops! Thanks for the correction! Fixed. --user:Bcrowell

"Elephant Chess"

What is the source for this being called "Elephant Chess"? I've studied the game quite a bit and have never seen it... --Chuck SMITH

Professor David Tod Roy of Princeton University (I think he has retired) has been using it for decades in his translation of Chinese literature. Googling reveals about 200 websites that use it. --Menchi 21:58 May 9, 2003 (UTC)
well, that's what "xian" means -- "elephant"... --little Alex 04:43, Dec 9, 2004 (UTC)

-Moved my entry to below, "Question about the terms," regarding the mistaken translation "Elephant Chess" --Fazdeconta 18:29, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)


The word "xiangqi" is not easily pronounced by Westerners, not to mention those who haven't learned pinyin. So an approximate pronunciation may be useful in this case.

Rendering Xiang's approximate pronunciation in English has several possibilities:

  1. siang -- could be mispronouced as "psy..."
  2. syang -- ditto
  3. seeang -- could be mispronouced as "...æng", where [æ] is as in cat
  4. see-ahng -- could be mispronouced as "see ahng", two distinct syllables
  5. seeahng -- indicates that "see-" and "-ahng" are actually one syllable. But three consecutive vowels may look confusing.

But this is probably not the answer. If we add approximate pronunciations to all pages containing pinyin, that may not appear so pretty to some. Maybe a systematic SAMPA could be an answer. --Menchi 09:22 17 May 2003 (UTC)

I would prefer "syahng", which seems clear to me. But what about the second syllable: we have "tsi" for xiangqi, but "chee" for weiqi - they should be the same, shouldn't they? --Zundark 12:50 17 May 2003 (UTC)
I know there are regional differences in pronunciation of the same pinyin, but I lived in Beijing for 8 months, and there they did not pronounce it "see-ahng tsi", they pronounced it more like "shee-ahng chee". Definitely closer to "sh" than "s", although they hold the tongue a little further forward to make their "x" than we do to make our "sh". Also, yes, the "chee" is the same as in weiqi. Other Chinese may resent Beijing being the standard for everything, but unless we are going to include multiple pronunciations (or none), we probably should default to Beijing pronunciation. --Fritzlein
I summarized the possibilities in a table, where the letters within square bracket, [ ], is SAMPA:
pinyin example option 1 option 2 option 3
x 西 s [s] sh [S] ?
q ts [ts] ch [tS] ?

Most Taiwanese do not resent the Beijingese dialect. We find Beijingers' accent to be very euphonious actually.

Pinyin describes "x" as "about halfway between sh and s." And "q" as "about halfway between ch and c." Where c most likely refers to the German pronunciation, which is "ts."

The pinyin "x" is described linguistically as an alveolo-palatal fricative or palatal fricative, where (alveolo-)palatal is the place of articulation, and fricative is the manner of articulation. Both the English "s" and "sh" are fricatives as well, although they sound differently. The pinyin "q" has the same place of articulation as "x," except that it is an affricate, instead of a fricative. Which means, in this case, that a "t" has been added in front of the sound of "x." --Menchi 08:22 18 May 2003 (UTC)

Korean variation

I believe that I recall that in Korean chess, (1) a stalemate is a draw, and (2) there is no problem with the kings being open to each other down the rank (which really does affect a close end game).

There's an article on Korean_chess which says that the rules are a bit different, but doesn't say what. To what extent do the two Xiangqi/Janggi differ? I'm inclined to turn the stub at Korean chess into a redirect... Kokiri 13:20, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I did my own research; the two are definitely different, alhough Korean chess (Janggi) is derived from an old version of Xiangqi. Kokiri 13:38, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)


It's my humble observation that this article is lacking a pronunciation for Xiangqi. →Raul654 19:10, Mar 22, 2004 (UTC)

Maybe the pinyin article will help? I reckon something along the lines of she-ang chee.

XQ and Jianggi is NOT the same game and should have separate articles! // Wellparp 10:44, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Yes. It doesn't make much sense to cover them in the same article, as the differences are too large. There is already a separate article at Korean chess, though it's just a stub. Obviously this needs sorting out, preferably by someone who knows the game fairly well. --Zundark 11:53, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Yes. Kokiri 13:38, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I've sorted out some of the major errors in the Janggi page, and now I'm confident it stands well on its own. And as a Korean who was introduced to Xiangqi about a year ago, I can tell you that Janggi and Xiangqi are completely different games in terms of strategy and so forth, although many Koreans do not know that the Chinese play such a different game. I was surprised as well at the differences when I first saw the board and pieces and learned the rules of Xiangqi. Anyways, I would like to suggest that the constant reference to the different Korean rules be cleaned up in this article. --Iceager 13:27, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the corrections to the Janggi article. I think it is time to cleanse the Xiangqi article of its persistent references to Janggi. It should mention Janggi no more than it mentions shogi or chess. The only reason we listed all the differences was because we didn't have a separate Janggi article at that time, so this one had to do for both. --Fritzlein 20:43, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I've done this now. --Zundark 13:05, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I've heard that xiangqi and chess has same Indian origin. Any ideas? --PuzzletChung 10:49, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

This is the conventional view. Chess is certainly derived from the Indian game of Chaturanga, and it's usually assumed that Xiangqi is also derived from Chaturanga. In any case, there are so many similarities between Chaturanga and Xiangqi that even if Xiangqi isn't derived from Chaturanga itself, it must at least be derived from an ancestor of Chaturanga. --Zundark 13:10, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Question about the terms

"Xiangqi is native to China and is sometimes inaccurately called Chinese chess or elephant chess."

But why do the article and most of the links use the term Chinese chess? and how is the term inaccurate? Just curious.--Euniana 00:10, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"Xiang" in Chinese means "elephant". Thus, a literal translation could be "elephant chess" but not "Chinese chess". I think the original author of the above statement meant to say that the term "Chinese chess" was inaccurate, because it was not a literal translation. I agree that the sentence is confusing, so I have changed it. The reason Chinese chess is used throughout the article is that it is the most common name for the game throughout the English-speaking world. Lowellian (talk)[[]] 04:59, Oct 22, 2004 (UTC)
To be more accurate, "Xiang" here refers to representation rather than elephant. Mandel 18:36, Jan 23, 2005 (UTC)

Mandel is right. I really think this is a mistake to call it "Elephant Chess." Getting out my big dictionary (現代漢語詞典, The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary) I find that xiàngqí falls under the second entry for xiàng: appearance, shape or image, not elephant. Calling it "Elephant Chess" is the equivalent of translating the English "gay apparel" into Chinese as "homosexual clothing." It's choosing the wrong meaning for the context. What's more, every dictionary I've seen gives the translation as "Chinese Chess," and that's what it means to English-speaking people.

For multi-syllable Chinese words it is not appropriate to translate each individual character into English, lest we end up with abominations such as "air elephant platform" (氣象臺) instead of the proper "meteorological station." I am changing the introduction to reflect this. --Fazdeconta 18:25, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)


It seems that there is some confusion about the terms for that 3x3 square. Although English texts may accept "Palace", the proper term should be "Camp" (as in army camp), or at very the least, "Castle" (as in city castle). Palaces are where Emperors and Kings live, not Generals.

From: LennonOng

The term is 宮 gōng. Palace is one valid translation, and it is also the most common English translation. —Lowellian (talk) 06:15, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)

rewording the part with horse please?

"The horse 馬 or 马 (mǎ) is similar to the Knight in Western chess. It is important to distinguish that, the horse moves one point vertically or horizontally and then two points horizontally or vertically respectively, away from its starting position. Thus, the horse cannot jump over certain pieces as the knight in Western chess."

i don't know how to describe it.... but the horse moves one point vertically or horizontally(point A) then one point diagonally forward with respect to the point A(can not land to the point next to the origional point).

players can block the horse by place a piece on point A.

Moved my comment to below "Movement of the Horse." --Fazdeconta 18:50, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Movement of the horse

How is "one space orthagonally, and then one space diagonally away from the starting position" an incorrect description of the movement of the horse? I think you'll find that it results in the exact same possible ending positions as moving two spaces orthogonally and then one space orthogonally at a right angle. It also doesn't require odd explanations like "it can be blocked on the first space of the first part of the move but not the second space". It's also how describes the move. Gwalla | Talk 03:47, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Who are you talking to? I agree with you that "one space orthogonally, and then one space diagonally away from the starting position" is a correct description of the horse's move. —Lowellian (talk) 10:36, Feb 23, 2005 (UTC)
Ah, I see, you were talking to User:LegolasGreenleaf. Anyway, Gwalla, you're right. —Lowellian (talk) 11:26, Feb 23, 2005 (UTC)

How about: "The horse moves one space vertically or horizonally in combination with a diagonal move following in the same direction. On a clear board the horse's starting and ending points would be equivalent to the knight's in International Chess. However, the horse may not jump over any other piece during its movement and can be blocked." Maybe a bit more concise, this would make sense to me, what about other readers? --Fazdeconta 18:49, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I think that complicates the matter a bit. The "official" way, as Gwalla mentioned, is one space forward (or sideways or backward...) and then a diagonal. I also learned it that way. I think the diagrams give a concise view of a horse's movement. However, I'm open to suggestions- anyone? BTW, thanks for all your help Fazdeconta and Gwalla! Flcelloguy 20:11, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think the comparison with International chess's knight is very clear, and it's safe to assume the reader is familiar with International Chess, but it then becomes especially important to spell out the 'blocked' condition. Is the horse blocked if either path is obstructed or both? Which configurations prevent the International Chess move? Ideally, the rules here should be all that two argumentative lawyers need to play the game. -- Wragge 20:32, 2005 Jun 1 (UTC)
Looking at it again, I think the text, combined with the illustrations, makes it clear. Nevermind what I said above. --Fazdeconta 03:09, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Throwing the spear

I have removed the phrase "throwing the spear" from the article for the time being. Gwalla, can you give a reference for the term "throwing the spear"? Certainly, the rule about facing generals is correct, but I have never heard the rule described using this phrase. A Google search for "throwing the spear" in combination with "xiangqi" gives no hits; nor does a Google search for "throwing the spear" in combination w/ "Chinese chess". Alternatively, instead of a citation, can you give the Chinese phrase? Thanks. —Lowellian (talk) 06:23, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)

I've seen it referred to as such on Gwalla | Talk 17:18, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Do you have a link to a page? —Lowellian (talk) 18:18, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
Hmm. I can't find it now. I must have misremembered, sorry. Gwalla | Talk 00:23, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Crossing the River

The article explicitly states that certain pieces cannot cross the river. It is clear that the others must somehow be able to, although the manner in which they do so is not obvious. Clearly the most common opening move is an immediate threat, but it's counter-intuitive to suppose that a chariot, for instance, might be able to wade through water, so to speak. I would write a blanket statement in the Board section if I were more confident of the rules.

The region is called the "river", but I don't think it's intended to be regarded in such a technical way like that. --Sivak 21:55, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
So would the following description be correct?

Although the river provides a visual division between the two sides, its presence affects the movement of only one piece, the elephant.

Davilla 15:09, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
No, it has other effects. Crossing the river promotes the soldier so that it can move sideways. —Lowellian (talk) 23:49, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Sound files

The sound file for the pronunciation of "xiangqi" is very nice! Could we maybe get pronunciations for each of the Chinese terms used in the article? Gwalla | Talk 00:05, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You're welcome. Actually, I was thinking of recording the entire article. — Chameleon 00:14, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
OK, I've added sound to every Chinese word now, using Template:Audio2. Perhaps Template:Listen would be a good alternative. What do you all think?
Chameleon 16:36, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Wow, that was quick! Nice work! I do tend to prefer template:audio to template:audio2, though; the subscripts set it off from the text nicely. Template:listen doesn't seem appropriate, since it makes more sense for pronunciations to be put inline with the text and that makes a large box set off from the surrounding text.
Having an audio version of the article would be great. I was going to suggest it before, but I kind of want to see the history thing addressed first. Gwalla | Talk 21:26, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Ugh, I hate Template:Audio. The superscript text would be OK by itself, but the superscript icon looks horrible. Anyway, it doesn't matter. I shall record the whole article at some point soon. Hey, in the meantime check out my other audio contribs: User:Chameleon/Uploads#Audio!
If there are any native Mandarin speakers here, I'd like to encourage you to record your own voice and upload it over the top of my recordings. I'm sure my accent is far from perfect.
Another thing, I've just added simplified Chinese after all the traditional Chinese characters in the article. If anyone adds more characters, please remember to add both varieties. I totally didn't understand the traditional chars until I looked them up (who would have guessed that 當 was just 当?). — Chameleon 10:03, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I have added a list of openings. Please help me add the Chinese characters and the sounds. Thanks. Tac ke 06:00, 20 January 2006 (UTC)


Anyone have perhaps a few more openings than the standard one? Since International Chess has a huge set of openings. 20:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

For that purpose, you could try create a new wiki page. Just Middle Cannon vs Screen Horses (Zhongpao dui PingfengMa) opening easily expands to several megabytes in text. Tac ke 09:29, 23 January 2006 (UTC)


Due to extensive new additions from anonymous users, this article really needs a cleanup. It doesn't look much like a featured article anymore. enochlau (talk) 00:15, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Indeed. I just noticed that myself... if no one objects, I'm going to be bold and take the unprecedented step (I think) of reverting to an earlier revision. Specifically, the December 30 edition, which I think still resembles the FA form, yet still has kept some of the changes between September and now. If we really wanted to be safe, the September 15 edition is the one to go with. Thoughts? Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:19, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
(Oh, I forgot to mention: most of the changes that now require cleanup is redundant information that was covered anyways.) Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:20, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeh I would agree with a rollback. The new info is mostly redundant, except for the "Piecemen Power and Information", but I don't know if those numbers are "official" in any way or just personal to someone. I'd say revert, just to ensure that the best quality work is always on display, and then go through the anon contribs with a fine tooth comb and add anything useful in. However, do you think the tips should stay here, or should they be moved to wikibooks? enochlau (talk) 00:25, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to go ahead and revert to the December 15 edition; this should hopefully solve the article quality issue. Most of the changes was the addition of text by anonymous editors that was redundant with information already in the article; other additions weren't exactly encyclopedic (such as "tips"), and other edits changed what had already been agreed upon and was stable (the names of the pieces, etc.). After the revert, I'll go back and add in some stuff the mass revert got rid of (such as category fixes, etc.) Let me know what you think. I would say "tips" should be moved to Wikibooks - we shouldn't have a collection of strategies, tips, etc. on Wikipedia. I'm going to revert to December 15, but let me know if you think a revert to September is necessary (the two are only separated by 20 edits or so). Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:31, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
P.S. I've reverted, and also gone back and add in some cats and languages that the revert had taken out. Thanks a lot! Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:39, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I am so sorry about the new additions i added, i dont really know how the format is. Can you please correct the text instead of deleteting them. Tell me which part i edited wrong. I am reading this and waiting for your reply thank you. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Welcome to Wikipedia! Thanks for your contributions. However, the main reason we reverted your additions was because the text you wrote was redundant with what the article had already; in other words, the new text simply repeated what had already been stated. In addition, some of the text wasn't considered encyclopedic - for instance, tips and strategies on games such as Xiangqi generally go into our sister project, Wikibooks, not Wikipedia, which is an encyclopedia. This article is already a featured article, which means it's one of Wikipedia's best articles. While we encourage contributions and additions, we need to strive to maintain the high level of quality in this article. (By the way, you can sign your posts on talk pages, such as this one, with four tildes ~~~~, which will automatically sign your post and add the date and time.) Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:48, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh i see, thanks for telling me. Now i get it. I didn;t know because i saw the Rule section empty so i added basic, Advance and drawing rules. Anyway sorry about that. And i added the Piecemen Power and Information. But that one was good but i didn;t know i added repeated stuff. Sorry about that. I will edit some of the words i edited earlier but this time i wont violate the format. The preceding unsigned comment was added by GustaveXIII (talk • contribs) .

Thanks for your understanding! In addition, please remember to discuss any major changes here before making them; while I encourage you to be bold while editing, any major revisions (addition of new sections, restructuring, etc.) should be discussed first because this is a stable featured article. Also, I've removed your additions of more links to xiangqi sites. Wikipedia is not a link repository; unless the sites add significantly to the article, one (which we already have) should suffice. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 01:50, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I've also reverted your changes to the pieces' headings and the addition of the approximate value for the pawn inside the palace. The piece names were agreed on previously, if I remember correctly, and have already come to this stable version. The alternative names you added have been discussed in the past, but the current headings were agreed upon. Note that the piece's section often references the alternative names you added in. In addition, I've also removed your addition of the approximate value of the soldier in the palace. As the section says, those approximate values don't take into account the position of the piece; the only exception is with the soldier, after it has crossed the river. This is because it gains additional moves after it crosses; a soldier does not gain additional moves by entering the palace, and thus should not be listed. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 01:58, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Please re-insert the Blocked Bishop rule. And opening list. The current version of Opening only mention 2 moves, that's not opening theory at all.
To say about chess, that is similar to "1.e4 is the most opening move in Chess. To reply, the most popular black move is 1...e5 to equal center sharing. To attack the e5 pawn, the most often move White play is 2.Kc3. To protect e5, Black play the 2...Kc6".
That's not it. We must mention Sicilian defense, Italian , Spain, English opening, French defense, KaroKann, Slav, Ancient Indian, Modern Indian, Grunfield, Naijdorf, etc.
Same is the openings of Middle Cannon vs Screen Horses, Sandwich Horses, Same-side Cannon, Opposite-side Cannon, Half-way Opposite-side Cannon,... in Xiangqi. Tac ke 05:52, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi. Please elaborate and tell us which parts of the changes you would like back in - I couldn't find what you were referencing - is it the very last section that was changed? However, this article shouldn't be the place to put all openings - if needed, that would probably go into Wikibooks, or at the very least, in a seperate article about the opening moves of xiangqi. It shouldn't go here; the version as is, in my opinion, is fine already. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:58, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

To clean up is different compared to roll back. In my opinion, you please start from the latest/newest version, which may be rather long from your point of view. Then we will do finetuning, eg, put openings into a wiki page and put a link to that from the main xiangqi page.

The old version is fine in structure, but not complete in content. I have added the blocked bishop rule, as well as opening list. The xiangqi history could be put a separate page as well. That will keep the fine structure the same, the main page neat, while let others could elaborate on, say, openings. Tac ke 14:01, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Would you mind elaborating your ideas? Sure, some of the content could be moved to separate articles, but right now none of them appear to be in need of such a move. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:26, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I think the cleanup removed a lot of redundant additions, which was good. However, I do think that there is a place for openings on Wikipedia, and not just on Wikibooks, say. See Chess opening for example. enochlau (talk) 00:54, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with that as well - however, in a new article of its own. Perhaps Xianqi openings? After that's been written, add a {{main}} notice to this article. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 01:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps the singular, Xiangqi opening with a redirect from the plural. But I've always played by following my nose, so I wouldn't know an opening from a cheesecake. enochlau (talk) 10:19, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Don't ask me about openings! :-) I don't think there's enough information right now to justify creating a new article, but if anyone wants to do write more and put it into that article, I don't mind. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 15:32, 28 January 2006 (UTC)


The game tree is listed, but what about the state space? I'm trying to verify the numbers on the game complexity article. 14:35, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Internationalized Version of Xiangqi

Please take a look at my website:

The Elephant Chess Club

The redesigned xiangqi set features double-sided playing pieces. There are traditional Chinese characters on the obverse sides and intuitive characters on the reverse sides, so anyone can play xiangqi. When I returned from China in 1997, I found that it was very difficult to teach people the game because the Chinese ideograms were too intimidating. I appreciate your feedback.

I would like to add this site as a link from the Wikipedia Xiangqi article. Could you help me with this?

Thanks Michael

Unfortunately, Wikipedia has a strict policy on external links. As a general rule of thumb, sites that do not add significantly to the article should not be added or included, and placing links for promotional purposes is also frowned upon as spam. Thus, the website you cite is probably not appropriate as an external link on this article. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 04:14, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Why was my change reversed?

Why was my change reversed? What was wrong with it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wclib (talkcontribs) 00:47, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

I didn't revert it, but your change deleted text with no edit comment. Why did you make your change? -- JHunterJ 00:52, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I thought it read better. Isn't it obvious? What's the point of letting anyone edit if some bozo can reverse my edit without reading it? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wclib (talkcontribs) 02:29, 1 May 2007 (UTC.
No, it isn't obvious. Another editor felt that it read better with the text, or else it wouldn't've been added in the first place. Please don't forget to provide an edit summary with your edits, even the ones that should be obvious. And don't call another editor a bozo -- be civil. And please sign your talk page contributions. -- JHunterJ 10:38, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, is that better? Wclib 18:06, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Queens and Advisors

"While their origin is probably not the same as that of the queen in Western chess[2], their powers are distinct from those of the queen[3]."

What. This sentence is nonsensical. It basically says: "Although they are different, they are different." Perhaps it should be "because" or maybe that they did come from the same origin. I don't know the history, though, so someone should fix the sentence. (talk) 05:00, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

There's an extraneous "not" there. They likely derived from a common ancestor of the Queen (which derived from a piece that could move one square at a time diagonally). — Gwalla | Talk 23:00, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Double Cannon Technique Under Gameplay and strategy

I don't see how it can be avoided by

have 1 advisor move diagonally forward prior to double cannon being set up. This allows the general to move sideways to avoid the check.

If the player is threatened by double cannon where the first cannon is already in place then moving the guard up would be an suicide move since the guard would serve as platform for the cannon. Can anyone think of a situation where moving the guard is possible? I've removed the text in the mean time. NYCDA 16:38, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

your dump. It saids prior, before it happens. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:49, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Cultural references

I would think a section on cultural references would be interesting, including items such as the movie "The Black Cannon Incident." DOR (HK) (talk) 06:06, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Summary using a table (under expansion)

If I understood well :

Piece English Moves Lenght Jump Area of action Point(s)
The soldiers Soldier Own place: Forward.
Adversary place: left, forward, right.
1 no all 1
The horses Horse 30° and 60° diagonals* 2 cases no all 4 - 5
The cannons Cannon vertical and horizontal all yes (1)
when capturing
all 4 - 5
The chariots Chariot vertical and horizontal all no all 9
The elephants Elephant 45° diagonals 2 cases no place 1 - 2
The advisors Advisor diagonals 1 no palace 2
The General General vertical and horizontal 1 no palace give victory
* = see images and explanations bellow.

Yug (talk) 11:18, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Miscellaneous suggestions for improvement

I've combined the "Tactics" section with "Gameplay and strategy". Firstly, so the description of notation comes before the part that uses notation, and secondly since most of the "Gameplay and strategy" section was tactical. I think the article could benefit from more improvements, but I know little about this game so I think it better to leave it to more knowledgable editors. My suggestions:


  • Some more diagrams to illustrate the positions described by lists of moves.

* For each piece, having described it and the various names choose one and stick to it for the rest of the article. e.g. either always say "chariot" or always "rook". * "A chariot can threaten one just by moving to a space where all brown spaces available to the elephant are threatened." Seems to be a diagram missing here. * Capturing. Presumably pieces generally capture using their normal move, unless specifically otherwise described, but it would be clearer to state this for each piece. * Perpetual checking and chasing. Article says you can't continue these indefinitely. How many moves can you continue them? * Check and checkmate (and by extension stalemate) are specifically chess-derived terms from the name of the king. Are there Chinese equivalent terms for this game? Do English speaking players usually say "check" and "checkmate", however? Would be useful to clarify. * As a novice I found the many names of pieces confusing. I think each piece's description section should be labelled with its common name (Advisor, Elephant, etc) and the rest relegated to the descriptive text.

  • Some names are specifically confusing.
    • Why is the advisor never called "scholar" although the character on both sides' pieces means that?
    • Advisor is also called "minister", but that is also the character used on some of the elephants. That's confusing. Would a player ever say "he took my minister", and if so would he always mean "advisor"? Clarify please.

** Is it "elephant" or "war elephant"? ** Is it really called "rook"? This is a very chess-specific name for an English speaker (although it apparently comes from the Persian for chariot.) If so, should it say "by analogy to the similar piece in Western chess, the chariot is sometimes called the rook"? ** Cavalry. This is a plural word for a group of horse soldiers. Is the individual piece called "a cavalry" or would this only be used to mean "both horses"?

  • check & checkmate have descriptions of the Chinese words and characters, and audio files. The same should be done for stalemate - or is it just the same word as checkmate?

More broadly

  • Gameplay section could be divided into sub-sections e.g. "checks", "formations", "control", "strategies". Those might not be the best divisions.
  • More strategy information would be nice, if there are acknowledged strategies in a similar fashion to chess.

* Article assumes the reader understands chess. Concepts such as "fork", "pin", "windmill" etc should be described. I think it would be better to describe them here in Xiangqi terms, and not keep saying "like chess/unlike chess". There are a few specific points chess players will wonder about which it would be sensible to leave. (e.g. about not being able to promote soldiers)

  • Actually, I don't see the value of comparing it point by point to chess - anyone who knows that game can read the article and work it out for themselves. However, if there are subtler or strategic considerations that are interestingly different from chess, perhaps a section on those would be useful to readers familier with chess. (Perhaps a similar section in the chess article would be useful for people who play Xiangqi.)

Lessthanideal (talk) 12:30, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

No-one has made any comments, so I have been bold and started making some changes. I've crossed out above what I've done. I've also settled for consistency on upper-case X for Xiangqi, and "Western chess" for that game. I've added in some basics about moving in turn, and capturing, and moved the section on ending the game to the rest of the game description sections, i.e. above the individual piece descriptions. Lessthanideal (talk) 13:41, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Description and image do not match color for generals

The description of which character is used to represent the two generals is reversed from the characters which are displayed on the images. My guess is the description has it backwards. —Preceding unsigned comment added by F4hy (talkcontribs) 11:07, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Black moves first?

There's an claim about black moving first in the article. The claim is made by weasel words, unreferenced, and the source given for the paragraph says very clearly that "Red moves first". I also play xiangqi myself fairly often since I was still 5 years old, and absolutely never heard of a rule under which black moves first... (Except, of course, if black is handicapped, then black moves first.) I've slapped a CN tag on the claim, and if no one objects, I'll remove it. Blodance the Seeker 07:54, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Elephant piece

In this article is the elephant (piece) supposed to represent an elephant? I'm pretty sure they represent officers. (I'm sorry if this has been mentioned before above) Hyper Zergling (talk) 01:54, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

The article itself says pretty enough. Blodance the Seeker 07:58, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Is it really the most popular board game in the world?

I heard that it was the most popular board game in the world. Can a reliable source be found to confirm this? Also, it would be important to note how it qualifies. Greatest number of people who know how to play? Greatest number of people who have played it at least [some number of times] in their lives? Greatest number of games played over a period of time? Greatest amount of time playing? Thanks. (talk) 08:14, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

it is not. It is #2 behind Go (game) but it hsa some stats from the IMSA bodies I believe the normal official figure is around 100 million.Tetron76 (talk) 13:21, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Earliest Reference

The article stated that: The earliest literary reference to Xiangqi comes from the 6th century and gives as reference: Needham, Joseph. Thoughts on The Origin of Chess, Cambridge, 1962.

This is out of the standard timeline of Chess games and it would have to be marked as such. However, it seems that the game of this reference is not the Xiangqi which is the subject of the article. Other than that, it is difficult to locate the Chinese source in question. The reference itself (Cambridge 1962) is pretty thin, too. -- Zz (talk) 12:30, 14 July 2011 (UTC)


Six books by one author in the book list makes it look like someone is promoting that author. Could it be reduced to one item, perhaps that points to the series of books? 04:10, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Without looking, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that the author in question is David H. Li. If we have (or had) a list of books that was dominated by his works, it's because he's the only well-known author to write about the subject in English. Heather (talk) 03:20, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Internet servers section

A lot of board games on Wikipedia have "Internet servers" sections with links to select sites where those games can be played online. How about adding such section to Xiangqi? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 18:38, 22 September 2006 (UTC).

No; we're not a link farm. The external links section currently has a few, select links to such sites - and that's plenty. Unless they add significantly to the article, external links shouldn't be added. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 01:02, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
The external links section doesn't have any links to such sites (I'm talking about internet servers for playing the game). It used to have but they were nuked.)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17:49, 24 September 2006 (UTC).
Would you mind providing an example to clarify what you're talking about? Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 00:48, 28 September 2006 (UTC) and are good examples of web sites where Xiangqi can be played online against other people (both are special because most other sites are in Chinese)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17:19, 21 October 2006 (UTC).

List of Computer Servers and Programs

Why is there no list of computer servers where people play Chinese chess? Why is there no list of computer programs that play Chinese chess?

I saw Thumperward deleted information about computer programs that play Xiangqi on September 26, 2008. He said they couldn’t be notable because they have no articles. Computer programs can be notable even without articles. He also deleted information about computer servers where people play Xiangqi on October 3, 2008. He said game links are not appropriate. Links to computer servers were people play Xiangqi are appropriate. Anywhere many people play Xiangqi is appropriate. We should revert these changes. What do other people think? Mschribr (talk) 18:11, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I think it's dumb not to include them if they exist. [unsigned]
I [also] think that the use of lists in the Computers section is acceptable. As the titles will be unfamiliar to many people, I think that the lists make it easier to process.--Soulparadox 06:38, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Advisor attacking

Wondering...can the advisor attack and how? The article does not really specify on that...thanks...CharlesZ 15:09, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

The advisors can't leave the palace/fortress (Whatever you wanna call it), so not really. The general is the only piece that can "attack", per se, from the palace due to the rule of them not being allowed to face each other on the same file. You could have a chariot in one file checking the enemy general on the edge of its palace and your own general in an empty file next to the chariot's and that would be a checkmate since the enemy general is being checked by the chariot and it can't move into the file where your general is. But as far as the advisors go, there aren't any rules about them not being able to face each other. The advisors can capture other pieces, if that's what you meant... Hope that helps. --Sivak 13:02, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Advisors is used for protecting King, and that is their main purpose. They could be used as screens for the Cannons to attack, especially in endgame. Tac ke 05:19, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Advisors are allowed to attack as any other piece. They attack how they move.-- (talk) 18:56, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Time limit in blitz games

In most Chinese formal tournaments, there isn't a fixed round-time limit for blitz games. Player have to make a certain number of moves (instead of finish the game) in a certain time. I have seen two common forms: "Blitz", where players have to do 40 moves under 10 minutes and "Super Blitz", where a play have to do 30 moves in 5 minutes. Times gets accumilated; that means if a player did 40 moves in 8 minute in a "Blitz" game, the player will have up to 12 minutes for the next 40. I cannot find a internet based source for this; but this type of game is aired on TV in China played by highest-ranking masters. Any comments?Rockvee (talk) 21:50, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

The rules in the Chinese formal tournaments defer from the ones in other countries, probably due to the higher standard of players . The text stated in the main article is more representative of the general rule among leisure players, instead of high ranking professional players. I am of the opinion that the article should not be too technical as it might put beginners off. But it is up to the main editor(s) to decide.(Inthisspace (talk) 03:30, 4 October 2012 (UTC))

Dubious source

A sinologist friend pointed out a mistranslation in the current Xiangqi article, which claims, "The Indian name "king" for this piece was changed to "general" because China's rulers objected to their royal title "king" or "emperor" being given to a game-piece." The reference cites, "A History of Chess, p.120, footnote 3 says that Ssŭ-ma Kuang wrote in T'ung-kien nun [sic] in AD 1084 that Emperor Wen of Sui (541–604) found at an inn some foreigners playing a board game whose pieces included a piece called "I pai ti" = "white emperor"; in anger at this misuse of his title he had everybody at the inn put to death." The original Zizhi Tongjian passage reads: 帝既喜怒不恒,不复依准科律。信任杨素,素复任情不平,与鸿 胪少卿陈延有隙,尝经蕃客馆,庭中以马屎,又众仆于氈上樗蒲,以白帝。帝大怒,主客令及樗蒲者皆杖杀 之,棰陈延几死 。(資治通鑑/卷178) This context concerns playing chupu 樗蒲 "ancient Chinese gambling game roughly resembling today's dice" on felt, which was yibaidi 以白帝 "reported to the emperor". Chupu was a variant of Liubo, see Chinese WP article, but it apparently does not involve "emperor". Although Baidi literally means "white emperor" (which was a name of Emperor Guangwu of Han, see Baidicheng), in this context it obviously means "make clear/plain to the emperor". This classical Chinese expression 以白帝 "report to the emperor" occurs 36 times in Wikisource Chinese histories. For instance, the Sui Shu tells this same Emperor Wen story with 旋以白帝, adding it was xuan 旋 "soon; before long" reported to the emperor (隋書/卷25). Does anyone have access to A History of Chess? If so, we could follow up on the source of this mistranslation, which many websites have copied from Wikipedia. Keahapana (talk) 23:08, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Ending the Game

Initial discussion

The first line of this section reads, "The game ends when one player successfully checkmates the other player—that is, when one player successfully threatens the opposing general with a piece and the player with the threatened general has no legal moves which would prevent the general from being threatened." But technically, doesn't the game end when one person actually captures the other's general? I think this is an interesting difference between International Chess and Chinese Chess. Assuming the losing player does not concede first, I am pretty sure the winner must physically take the opposing general to win the game. --Fazdeconta 17:10, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, that's an interesting one. I've never heard of that rule- I was taught that if the General is in check and cannot "escape", the game is over. Do you have a source for that? I would be very interested. Thanks! Flcelloguy 13:10, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, I don't have a source. It's just my impression coming from the way I was taught, and watching other people play. I'm going to try and find out from a reputable source. I'll get back and include it in the article when I do. --Fazdeconta 16:47, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Street rules might provide a possible explanation for the discrepency. The way some play Western chess as well, especially in speed games, check is not announced and the king is captured. -David Villa 19:03, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
I am a longtime player of the game and I am sure that the game, ends as soon as the General is in checkmate or is unable to move without entering check, not when the General is actually taken. —Lowellian (talk) 13:41, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)
I am a longtime player as well and I am sure people never bother capture the General when you know he is checkmate or unable to move. You know you lost already, not much of point doing the last move. And is legal to move your general to a suicide position as well.
I have quite a bit of experience in Chinese Chess, and the way that we play is that check is not announced, you are allowed to move into check (although you usually lose except against beginner players who don't notice), and technically, games end when the general is captured, not when he is "checkmated". Although usually, the losing player will forfeit when he is unable to escape check, simply because he knows he can't win.
From my experience, stalemate is handled the same way. Since you are required to move, and since all moves move your general into check, the opponent will take your general on the next turn and you lose.
Also, the Chinese Chess programs that I use (many of them IN Chinese) also play this way.
Of course, the only way for this to be truly verifiable is to state the rules of the current authoritative Chinese Chess organization, if such exists. Viltris 02:17, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm originally from Taiwan and the rules I grew up with (20 years ago) was check cannot be unannounced. If you move a piece to check position but did not announce it and your opponent makes another move then you cannot take his general on your move because your check was unannounced. Upon discovering of the unannounced check, all subsequent moves are void and play resumes after the unannounced check.
Also another rule is checking is limited to 3 consecutive runs. The 4th check is not allowed, you must make a none checking move before you can check again, so perpetual checking rule isn't even needed.
Well... don't actually capture the general. There's no point going further because the general will get captured on the next turn; that's how my chinese chess utility says. More thoughts? ~user:orngjce223how am I typing? 03:13, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Since there is not such thing as stalemate, there is no reason to actually capture the general. Also imagine this taking place. The only move you can make would put your general in check. So the move you make puts your general face to face with opponent's general. How does your opponent's general capture your general? We know there cannot be clear line of sight between generals, and the general cannot move out of his box much less cross the river. How does the capture take place?
In reality the above never occurs because such move is illegal. You simply cannot move your general into a checked position. And when your general is in check, your only legal moves are to get it out of checked position. --17:44, 25 Jan 2007 (UTC)
Just read this from
King safety: One must never leave the King to be captured by the opponent in the next move. Any moves that put the King in such a setting is illegal.
It should be clear now the game does not end on general's (king) capture. Rather the games end when there is no legal move to make. --19:29, 25 Jan 2007 (UTC)

Flying general

Hello everybody. I may be a little too late for the dispute, but is the "flying general" move actually possible? My Xiangqi tutor says "no", but just go check the article under how the general moves. -- (talk) 09:59, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I have no idea what you mean. "Flying general"? — LlywelynII 10:03, 5 December 2012 (UTC)


Diagramm in "Ending the game" seems to be imposible. Both horse and cannon are delivering check, how can this happen? Andreas Kaufmann 10:03, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

This has been fixed in newer revisions of the image. —Lowellian (talk) 23:54, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
Where was the horse? Depending on where it was, it might have moved to give a discovered check and simultaneosly uncovering another check from the cannon.

Although I was not logged on at the time, I put in another notation system to make it easier for western chess players to understand the moves.Jasper Deng (talk) 00:25, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Stalemate and Repeated Moves

I reverted this text out of the Ending the Game section:

"If one player puts the opponent into a situation where it cannot make a move without moving its king into an attacked square (but the king isn't attacked itself, just like the Stalemate in Western Chess), the game ends in a win for the offensive side. (In short, Stalemate = Checkmate)"

An earlier paragraph already makes the stalemate = checkmate point, and in any even doesn't need to be bulleted as part of the repeat positions. -- JHunterJ 12:50, 13 June 2006 (UTC)


The rules quote in this section to end game is either completly wrong or not needed. I know they are from but clubxiangqi seems to have invented those rules for the sake of tournaments. From the rules is

3. Perpetual check is forbidden. You cannot check your opponent more than three times in a row with the same piece and same board positions.

which is also not correct. The rule is simply you cannot check your opponent more than 3 times in a row. There is no rule regarding perpetually chasing because in this situation, either both sides can't afford to lose the chase there by ending the game in a draw or one side has enough advantage and will concede the chasing to the weaker side. -- 18:41, 26 Jan 2006 (UTC)



I'm not very familiar with the game, but couldn't the "checkmate" as depicted in the image be avoided by moving the left minister piece down?Synook 讲讲 11:21, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Eh, ignore me, I read the article more closely. → Synook 讲讲 21:33, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

When no checkmate is possible

The Rules of the game section is lacking information about what happens when neither side has any pieces that are capable of attacking the opponent's general left (ie only left with elephants, advisors, and the general). I don't know what happens in this case so I am not able to fix the article myself. --Yair rand (talk) 07:12, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

When neither side has the capability to capture the opposing side's general, the end result is a draw. Therein lies a few more subtle points (let us assume that the "red" side is always the side with the added advantage and the "black" side is the one defending):
1. When both sides have pieces that are incapable of capturing the opponent's general
This is the simplest of situations. Lets say that both sides are left with the elephants, advisors and the general. Since there are no attacking pieces on each side, the game will have to be declared a draw. A similar situation would be when both sides have pawns left but neither are able to cross the river.
2. When the situation is a "recognised" draw game combination.
In certain instances, one of the players might have a numerical or piece advantage over the other. However, due to the strength of the opponent's defence, it has been proven that there is no way that the opponent can be defeated. One such example is "red" having one rook, against "black"'s full defence (two elephants, two advisors, in their standard positions). There is no way that the red player can win unless he manages to take away one of the defensive pieces, which in this case, is nearly impossible unless a careless mistake is made.
Other common examples are:
  1. Two rooks against one rook with full defence (defence must be all in the usual positions)
  2. One horse against 2 advisors
  3. One horse against 2 elephants
  4. One cannon (without at least one advisor on his side) against two advisors
  5. One cannon against 2 elehpants
3. When the opponent has an advantage, but is unable to make much progress.
Let us assume that the "red" player has a one pawn advantage against the "black" player going into the final stages of the game. However, as he is unable to manipulate the pawn into a strategic position, the attack is somewhat limited. "Black" can then request a count-down of moves, 60 to be exact, to determine if "red" can make any significant progress during that period. If no progress is made after the 60 moves, the game is declared by the umpire to be a draw. Inthisspace (talk) 03:57, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Chinese characters


I see in the article that it mentions the characters that are drawn on the pieces. I think it might be relevant to point out that in quite a few sets I've seen, the soldiers, elephants/ministers, and generals are the ones that mainly have the different characters. The guards sometimes do, but the chariots, cannons, and horses rarely do. I also have never seen a set that uses the simplified characters. Do these sets exist?

At one time or another I've owned three kinds of sets: 1) traditional character, 2) simplied and 3) a mix of both--the being traditional and the red jiàng simplipied, for example. Chinese players don't seem to care much either way. Though probably in Taiwan there are more sticklers who only want the traditional sets. Same thing goes for distiguishing between the red and green shì, sometimes they add the rén radical, sometimes they don't. It's pretty much at the whim of the maker. By the way, the characters are usually carved into the discs and then filled in with paint. --Fazdeconta 09:50, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Interesting. I'm just saying what I have seen is all. I have seen quite a few nice sets on eBay of China that use the characters in the way I described. I also did notice the carvings in both wooden and plastic sets. Too bad few of the sellers will ship to the US as I've seen a few sets I would buy. Another good point you mentioned: Red and black or red and green seem to be the most common colors for the sets, though the article does cover that. I brought up the point about the characters mainly because I wondered if it might be a neat tidbit to include in the Xiangqi article. --Sivak 12:47, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What i've seen is pretty consistent. The guards do have the ren radical, but never the chariots, or the horses. So it came as a shock to me when i saw the red horse with the ren radical in one of the illustrations in the article. By the way, i thought cannon was pronounced pao for both forms. You might not be able to find such characters in a dictionary though. --Liuyao 07:17, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
Try a look at the Japanese Wikeipedia, and you would find out what's going fact, horses and chariots having the ren radicals are not uncommon in tradtional Chinese versions. -- Jerry Crimson Mann 07:28, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
I see. But it still looks awkward. really awkward. It's not a matter of simplified vs. traditional. Xiangqi sets are predominantly traditional. The picture on the Japanese wikipedia is what typical Xiangqi sets look like. I would still say it is uncommon to have ren radical on the chariots and horses. Unfortunately I have no evidence for anything i said. --Liuyao 08:22, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
I was just about to say that Xiangqi characters were typically written (or carved and painted) in li style, instead of kai. then I saw what appeared on this article. I'm not sure now. --Liuyao 19:34, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
As an American Born Chinese, I think it's relevant for me to add that all the Chinese Chess sets I have owned, seen, or played with have person radical for the horse and the chariot. Viltris 02:27, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
All the sets I've ever played with has then ren radical for the horse, and chariot for the red side as well. I believe it is traditional correct to have the ren radical for the red side. It's possible when communist simplied Chinese writting, both the horse and chariot with and without the ren got simplied to one word. It is also possible that horse and chariot with ren radical isn't even a real Chinese word except it is used in Chinese Chess so a mainlander simply did not know about the ren radical so chess sets were manufactured without them in China.
The Mainland sets all have the side- radical as well. Liuyao doesn't really know what he's talking about. — LlywelynII 10:30, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Pao Onomatopoeic?

Is there any confirmation for the claim of the word for "cannon" actually be onomatopoetic? It's quite clearly a radical-phonetic character and I have now idea if "pow" would actually be perceived as the sound of a gun firing in Chinese. Any comments? Peter Isotalo 22:45, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

The phonetic part "包" only indicates the sound of the character, it has nothing to do with the meaning. -- G.S.K.Lee 11:03, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
包 bāo means to wrap something.
炮, pronounced bāo, is a cooking method. In Chinese, they differentiate between many types for how to prepare a meal. So it's hard to explain.
炮, pronounced páo, describes a process cooking medicine.
炮, pronounced pào, means cannon. The traditional character for this is 砲, the stone version.
The sound pào has nothing to do with the sound of a gun firing. All Chinese syllables sound like interjections because they usually end on a vowel or ng.-- (talk) 19:34, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

FAC Discussion

Documenting my research

Documenting my FAC research...

  • A Wikipedian brought up the sentence claiming that Xiangqi was the most popular form of chaturanga. I could find no concrete evidence for this- not a surprise! I doubt that there is a way to count the entire number of players, because of the millions of casual players out there. Also, what defines a player? The closest I could find to upholding that sentence came here, and it seemed more like a casual, offhand statement than fact. Thus, I've changed the sentence to say that xiangqi is one of the world's most popular forms of chaturanga, especially in Asia. This seems to be agreed upon. Flcelloguy 00:01, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Also from the FAC review... a Wikipedian suggested adding major tournaments, play today, and best players. Thus I'm going to add a section for that... my source is this for best xiangqi players in the world, and here for how xiangqi is played today (clubs, tournaments, etc.) Thanks! Flcelloguy 00:01, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

I don't see why xiangqi in the US gets its own section. Avoid systemic bias. It would make more sense to talk about the main Chinese association(s) first, then the rest of Asia, then the West. I don't know enough about these groups to make the change though (the chessvariants page only gives addresses for them, it doesn't say which are the biggest or considered most important). Gwalla | Talk 06:29, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

I see what you mean. From the FAC: "Also I think there needs to be a section about the way Xiangqi is played today, what are the major tournaments, and who are the best players. Deepak 21:21, 27 May 2005 (UTC)"... So do you think we should make a section for Xiangqi in the East and then one for Xiangqi in the West? Otherwise how would we differentiate between Europe, which actually has xiangqi leagues, and the U.S.? Or should we just put it all in one section, Xiangqi played today? What do you all think? I've been checking on the article on chess as a model; it's already a FAC. The chess article has a section called "Modern Chess" but it deals more with the development of the chess game in modern times rather than how chess is played today. Let me know what you think! Thanks for your comments and suggestions! Flcelloguy 15:32, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
I think they should share a section. Probably "Xiangqi tournaments and leagues" (as it's a Chinese game, "international" would mean "outside of China" rather than "outside of the U.S." anyway). China should come first, since it's the place of origin. Then the rest of Asia, then Europe. U.S. should probably come last because it's the least organized. Rankings should be a subsection. My latest edit moves towards this arrangement. Gwalla | Talk 22:44, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Gwalla! Looks good now. Flcelloguy 16:48, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

"Xiangqi" Mandarin or Cantonese?

Another thing: is the word "xiangqi" Mandarin or Cantonese? We need to make that clear, and possibly provide the name in the other dialect as well. Also, it would be great if somebody with good (Mandarin|Cantonese) pronunciation could upload a sound file of them saying the word, and insert the pronunciation template. Gwalla | Talk 22:44, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm a mandarin speaker (though I'm an ABC) and I know xiangqi is a term in Mandarin, though I'm not sure if it is also in Cantonese. I would think it originated in Mandarin since it's the putonghua of China, but let me do some research, I'll get back to you on that. As for pronunciation, I would do it but 1) My Chinese has an English accent, since I'm an American Born Chinese (ABC) 2) I have no clue how to record, considering I have no mic on my computer. :) Otherwise that's a good idea! Flcelloguy 16:48, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
All Chinese terms, regardless of what dialect (Cantonese, Mandarin, etc.) are written the same. Thus, Cantonese speakers would still write 象棋 for xiangqi. However, every pronunciation is different- according to this website, Cantonese speakers pronounce it "Junk Kay". The website also says it is written in Cantonese as "Jeuhng Keih"- I think that's the Hanyupin method of "writing". In other words, in Cantonese, it is still written 象棋 but pronounced differently. Flcelloguy 17:49, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Xiangqi is the Mandarin pronunciation. The Cantonese pronunciation would be different. —Lowellian (talk) 13:42, Jun 6, 2005 (UTC)
Oh yeah, do you think the above information should be incorporated into the article? Flcelloguy 17:49, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
why you talking about cantonese? adding a pronounciation for cantonese would be ridiculous and unfair, because their are many more dialects in china more spoken than cantonese....... (talk) 06:11, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
None that is as culturally important... Wu has more speakers as a group, but they're mostly mutually unintelligible and have much fewer modern songs, magazines, TV shows, movies, etc. — LlywelynII 09:41, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Templates incorrect

On a different note, on xiangqi's FAC site (here) another Wikipedian comments that the template for sources (I think she's talking about the external links in ==Xiangqi Tournaments and Leagues== are incorrect. I'm not familiar with doing the external links/sources- could someone with experience help us out here? Thanks in advance! Flcelloguy 17:49, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Also, on yet another note, the same Wikipedian also commented that the article needed a longer intro. I don't see what else to add in the intro- anyone have ideas? Thanks a lot! Flcelloguy 17:49, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Longer Intro?

More updates from the FAC (you can check it out or cast a vote here)...

A Wikipedian has suggested expanding the opening intro before the sections to two or three paragraphs. Personally, I really don't think that's necessary because the opening paragraph is concise and sums up the article really well- there's no point in going into detail if it's going to be covered later on in the article. But that's just my opinion- any comments, suggestions, etc? Flcelloguy 00:10, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It is two paragraphs... Gwalla | Talk

Too many subheadings?

Also, the Wikipedian also commented that the Table of Contents seemed to be lopsided with too many subheadings. Again, I personally think that it looks OK- any comments, suggestions? I'm always open to more input. Thanks to everyone for helping out! Flcelloguy 00:10, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

They're probably referring to the subsections on each type of piece, which results in a relatively long string of subheadings in the first section. I think it's fine. The important thing isn't how many subheadings there are, but whether they are the result of a clear and logical structure. I think they are. Each section on a piece has a few paragraphs, so it makes sense to divide them like that. Gwalla | Talk 06:35, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, it would be too much just as you read through, but you can edit the TOC to remove those entries. Fixed. — LlywelynII 10:32, 5 December 2012 (UTC)


Thank you to all who helped write and edit this article and helped make this a featured article. Your work is truly appreciated- keep up the excellent work! Flcelloguy 01:01, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Featured Article on Main Page

Xiangqi was featured on the main page on Wednesday, July 13! Once again, thank you to all editors and contributors. Flcelloguy | A note? | Desk 17:40, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

This is an excellent article. A refreshing read. Thanks! --LeoTheLion 19:04, 13 July 2005 (UTC)


Does anyone know much about variants of xiangqi (besides janggi)? The FAQ lists some, but isn't very clear about which ones are well-established and which are new. There are evidently multiple half-board variants, and CV has rules for the Peng Hu variant supposedly invented on the island of Penghu. H. R. Murray is cited for a three-player variant but Murray is somewhat unreliable (then again, a variant described by Murray may be notable even if it isn't an accurate description of an pre-existing variant). The "Who crosses the river first?" (no Chinese name is given) variant "supposedly comes from the area around Chang-an at a caravan crossing point on the Yellow River". The 5 Tigers variant is supposedly popular. A variant with a randomized starting layout is claimed to be popular in Victoria Park, Hong Kong.

We should probably have a section on variants, but information seems scanty. Gwalla | Talk 00:05, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I can count atleast 8 additional variants of the game all played using the same board and pieces (just 1 set is required). I actually know more but just haven't finished counting them yet. Majority of them are 2 players but some are 3 and 4 players. These variants however seem to be only know in Taiwan because none of my mainlander friends even knew they existed. The 2 player variants are easier then the standard version and are used as introduction to new players. It's common to find children who only know how to play the variants but can't play the standard game. Also both have similar play, there is no relationship between ones ability to play the standard and variant games. Some very strong players of standard game loses to children every single time when they play a variant version. The 3 and 4 players version also introduces other aspects to the game. Since everyone is on his own, you'll need to consider the consequences of taking a piece. Mutual destruction/survival rules comes to play. Reducing one of your opponent's forces may make the other too strong. Alliances changes constantly when power shift from one player to another.
And you are? — LlywelynII 10:40, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Korean Chess

Someone might want to mention it's similarity to Korean Chess, perhaps just provide a link and let them find out that the differences are only in the setup and movement of some pieces. 20:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Janggi (Korean chess) is already mentioned in the lead. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 22:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Vietnamese Chess

Since there is an article about the Korean variant/version of this game, should there not be one of the Vietnamese variant? The Chinese version is played in Vietnam, (or was when I was there), but there is a local version with slightly different rules for some of the pieces, about as different as the Korean version from what I recall. The set up may differ also. Someone could check this out? Halfelven 04:12, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Maybe you could do that. (talk) 22:50, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
This would be very surprising. All sources and all testimonies show that co tuong in Vietnam is the same than xiangqi. Which is not true for Korean janggi which presents significant differences. Any clues supporting that a local vietnamese variant exists somewhere would then be very appreciated.Cazaux (talk) 21:00, 6 September 2012 (UTC)


New images

I'll create some new nice images for this article. :-) -- Jerry Crimson Mann 05:41, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Nice images! Did you use a Xiangqi font to do it? I have one, though mine doesn't do the red pieces (chariots and horses) with that extra character on the left nor the black cannon with the different character on the left. If you did use a font, maybe you should post it. -- Sivak 13:09, 13 July 2005 (UTC)


There is an error on image "Checkmate.png". The "bishop" is at the wrong place, and it will never reach that spot. :-( Jason Soong 13 July 2005 (EST)

Which one is the "bishop"? You mean the elephant? I'll correct it later... -- Jerry Crimson Mann 10:39, 13 July 2005 (UTC)


Just wanted to announce, for those who know of the templates Template:Chess position and Template:Game of Go Position - I have a similar template coming up for xiangqi very soon...just have to get every single combination of squares (corner, side, middle, etc.) can be on, which is about 8 per piece....I will submit it very soon! -- Natalinasmpf 16:13, 13 July 2005 (UTC)


Following Go with Template:Game of Go position and chess with Template:Chess diagram, I have made a template for Xiangqi.

10 Xiangqi-rdca.PNG Xiangqi-hdst.PNG Xiangqi-edst.PNG Xiangqi-adstl.PNG Xiangqi-gdst.PNG Xiangqi-adstr.PNG Xiangqi-edst.PNG Xiangqi-hdst.PNG Xiangqi-rdcb.PNG
9 Xiangqi- sl.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- cde.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- sr.PNG
8 Xiangqi- sl.PNG Xiangqi-cdmd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- cda.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- cdb.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-cdmd.PNG Xiangqi- sr.PNG
7 Xiangqi-sdsl.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-sdmd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-sdmd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-sdmd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-sdsr.PNG
6 Xiangqi- ra.PNG Xiangqi- rtp.PNG Xiangqi- rtp.PNG Xiangqi- rtp.PNG Xiangqi- rtp.PNG Xiangqi- rtp.PNG Xiangqi- rtp.PNG Xiangqi- rtp.PNG Xiangqi- rb.PNG
5 Xiangqi- rd.PNG Xiangqi- rdn.PNG Xiangqi- rdn.PNG Xiangqi- rdn.PNG Xiangqi- rdn.PNG Xiangqi- rdn.PNG Xiangqi- rdn.PNG Xiangqi- rdn.PNG Xiangqi- rc.PNG
4 Xiangqi-slsl.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-slmd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-slmd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-slmd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-slsr.PNG
3 Xiangqi- sl.PNG Xiangqi-clmd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- cdd.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- cdc.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi-clmd.PNG Xiangqi- sr.PNG
2 Xiangqi- sl.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- cde.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- md.PNG Xiangqi- sr.PNG
1 Xiangqi-rlcd.PNG Xiangqi-hlsd.PNG Xiangqi-elsd.PNG Xiangqi-alsdl.PNG Xiangqi-glsd.PNG Xiangqi-alsdr.PNG Xiangqi-elsd.PNG Xiangqi-hlsd.PNG Xiangqi-rlcc.PNG
a b c d e f g h i

The template is transcluded by

{| style="margin:1em;"
| style="border: solid thin; padding: 2px;" |
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  
|  |cd|  |  |  |  |  |cd|  
|sd|  |sd|  |sd|  |sd|  |sd
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  
|sl|  |sl|  |sl|  |sl|  |sl
|  |cl|  |  |  |  |  |cl|  
|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  

It works just like the other templates: r stands for the chariot/rook, h for horse, e for elephant, a for advisor/guard, g for general, s for soldier, and c for cannon. D denotes "dark" for black, and l denotes "light" for white.

You can adjust the parameter where it says "30" to control the size of the board (the size of each image). It works roughly like the previous templates mentioned.

The characters are a tad ugly, but that's because I don't have good calligraphy on a computer. That can be fixed later, if needed. Adding something for arrows, etc. might be a tad more complex, but it is workable. Other possibilities include portions of the board (ie. like the middle, or a quarter of it, for individual examples). Tell me what you think! -- Natalinasmpf 17:28, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I think it looks decent. The black pieces look like they are in bold though... Not BAD, just strange. Though will we be seeing any USE of it anywhere? --Sivak 01:27, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Possibly while documenting games? Currently there isn't an abundance of use to it due ot systemic bias, ie. because we do note individual chess games like the Game of the Century. I put the black pieces in bold to distinguish it from the red, but on hindsight I'm not sure whether I should have done that for the red, too. -- Natalinasmpf 16:15, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Hmm... I guess it could be used for articles documenting individual games, but when I first saw this template my thought was - we could have a game over at Wikipedia:Sandbox/Chess. Nice work, by the way. Flcelloguy (A note?) 17:03, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
This is a great template! — Gulliver 08:58, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
I've just used it - good stuff Lessthanideal (talk) 14:09, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Illustration for Blocked Elephant Rule

I have just added the Blocked Elephant rule. A picture to explain this rule is highly appreciated. Tac ke 06:41, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Lead image

The lead image, a copyrighted screenshot from a computer game, is completely unacceptable. I've tagged it as replaceable fair use and it is scheduled for deletion in seven days. If someone made all the rest of the images, someone can make a complete board as well. Regards, howcheng {chat} 16:07, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Did it myself. howcheng {chat} 16:55, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Isn't that still a computer game screenshot? A pic of an actual board might be preferable. — Gwalla | Talk 23:20, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's not impossible that he pieced together the image himself... enochlau (talk) 23:26, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
It's not a screenshot. I did the lines in Inkscape, imported them to GIMP, then got all the images used in the article for the various pieces and arranged them on my board image. I can send the GIMP file to anyone who's interested. :) howcheng {chat} 23:57, 15 May 2007 (UTC)


I was wondering on a few matters about some images: For that one image of the cannon threatening the rook, does anyone think it's really necessary for the black elephant to be there? And the fact that the soldier is RIGHT in front of the cannon would lead me to think that cannon would be captured the next move (unless red can do something better). This image could maybe be shrunk down and placed with the cannon's section.

Another image idea I had was demonstrating the common defense of advisors and elephants protecting each other. There's a section which mentions this in the gameplay.

Lastly, anyone think it might be nice to post some pictures of actual Xiangqi sets? I have a nice wooden board one which I have taken 2 pictures of. --Sivak 20:19, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, the original purpose of that image is to show possible "threats" of the cannon. We can remake some other images, nevertheless, that show the way of attack by the cannon as well as the remaining pieeces.
Draft your image idea, and I'll make it for you. :-)
Well, if you've got some authetic Xiangqi photos, why not upload them to the Wikicommon, so everyone here can enjoy your work? :-D -- Jerry Crimson Mann 06:07, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
Hi. It's me again. The way I'd revise the cannon image is maybe have it jumping over a black soldier or something...
For the elephant/advisor defense I'd just do what that is. Have the left advisor moved up and one of the elephants deployed. Maybe have it shown for the red pieces as there are quite a few diagrams involving black pieces and none with the red shuai.
I'll see what I can do about the photos of my set. --Sivak
Hi, the images are beautiful... but completely bewildering to novice players like me. Couldn't we put the western signs on them? It'd really help newbies. Malick78 (talk) 21:18, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

"Western" pieces

Isn't it ridiculous that the symbol for generals contains a Christian cross? Most Chinese aren't Christians.-- (talk) 19:40, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

i am a chinese,i have never seen the western version of pieces until i log in this web site.xiangqi is different from international chess,so i think using the symbol is inappropriate,just chinese word is ok. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:15, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Same opinion, bro. Besides, the advisors have slanted eyes? Kinda racist, is it?-- (talk) 01:25, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Eh, the actual pieces are just Chinese characters which aren't particularly helpful or attractive to Western players. Creating a Western variant does make the pieces much easier to distinguish. That said, I do think we have an WP:OR problem on our hands, given that these do seem to be Wiki-specific creations. — LlywelynII 11:07, 5 December 2012 (UTC)


I was wondering if anyone thought it might be a good idea to list any of the retailers for Xiangqi sets. I have gotten mine from eBay, but I know there are others and I'm sure some people here might know of some.

I don't think that'd be a good idea. You can get them from practically any good game store, and it'd just encourage spam links. Gwalla | Talk 7 July 2005 16:57 (UTC)