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 respective
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 one-click available.. 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.