The Chess Variant Pages

Xiangqi 42

By Robert Price

This is a miniature form of Xiangqi The opening setup is shown below.

Rules are as in Xiangqi, except Red may not capture Black's central pawn on the first move. This rule is not entirely artificial, as it appears in some handicap forms of Xiangqi.

The first rank is as in Xiangqi, except the elephants (ministers) are missing. The two cannons are placed directly in front of the horses. There are three pawns, on the leftmost, rightmost, and center lines. The board is seven by six lines, so there are exactly 42 occupiable positions.

Zillions of Games

Play this game on Zillions!

Sample Games

There is a sample game, generated by Zillions playing against itself with three minutes per move on a pentium2/300. For the benefit of those who don't have Zillions, I have prepared the game in html form. Those who do have Zillions will find this game in .zsg form in the zipfile above.

It is heartening that Black won a game. With the central pawn rule in place, it seems delightfully unclear which side has the advantage in the initial setup.

The following position occurred near the end of the sample game:
It's Red's turn to move, but Zillions has computed that Black will win within 5 moves. Black's attack is a well-coordinated joint effort between his cannon and horse.
Xiangqi 42 invented by Robert Price as an entry in the 42-squares contest.
(email removed contact us for address)
Written by Robert Price.
WWW page created: October 17th, 2001.