Xiangqi - A Game of Strategy
Jane here, checking in from China.
I have continued my explorations around China and seen many wonderful things such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and the Terracotta Warriors as well as many beautiful sites. China is a very large country and has many different terrains. They range from deserts, mountains, and plateaus in the west to plains, hills, and deltas in the east.
What I am most excited about is that I have been learning to play the game of Xiangqi or Chinese Chess. Xiangqi is thought to have evolved, along with backgammon, from an even older game called Liubo and is similar to International Chess in that the game itself represents a battle between two armies with the object of capturing the opponent's general.
In Xiangqi each player has 16 pieces representing 7 different characters. The 9x10 board is divided by the "river" and the generals and advisors remain located in the "fortress" at all times, the game pieces sit and move on the "points" (intersections) of the 9 "rank" (column) and 10 "file" (row) lines.
The main similarity to International Chess lies in the overall concept of the game, not in the rules of the game itself. Each character piece has specific, unique moves it can make to traverse the board and capture the "enemy." While this seems rather complicated, it is a strategy game like many others.
Due to China's large population and the games historical tradition, Xiangqi is likely the most popular game in the world. It is even beginning to be played more widely in the West. Have you played Xiangqi, yet? What games are popular where you live?
Until next time, Jane signing off.