|This is a Chess Variant Pages Recognized Variant!|
Sizes of the pieces differ. The general (who has the same rol as the king in orthodox chess is the largest piece; the pawns and guards are the smallest pieces; other pieces have a size in between these.
The board consists of a grid of nine by ten lines. At both sides there are two castles, formed with help of diagonal lines. A difference with Xiang-Qi is that there is no river and the board is wider in relation to its length so it looks like a rectangle.
The pieces are put on the intersection of the lines.
The pieces are wooden disks with the symbol of the piece printed on it. They are green or blue and red, and have an octogonal shape and come in three sizes: the large is the General (King), the medium are the Chariots (Rooks), Canons, Horses (Knights) and Elephants, and the small are the Guards and the Soldiers. The person playing the green or blue pieces moves first.
Korean Chess can be played with a Chinese Chess Set; pieces and board are similar, but with rules are different.
The opening setup is shown below. The first and last row show from left to right: a rook, a knight, an elephant, a guard, an empty square, an elephant, a knight, and a rook. The pieces on the third rows are cannons; we also see five pawns per player.
However, it is allowed to change in the setup the location of knights and elephants. First, the red army chooses how he places these: he can at both, one or none of the sides switch the knight and elephant. After this, the blue/green player does likewise.
The player with the blue/green pieces then makes the first move.
Neither side ordinarily want to allow the two kings to face each other naked (in Chinese Chess but not Korean Chess, the side that causes this to happens loses the game). Facing each other "naked," means that there are no intervening chess pieces.
If you cause this to happen in Korean Chess, you are placing the other General in check in a desperate last-chance move on your part for you irreversably foresake the right to checkmate the other side--you are hoping for a stalemate, which would be the case if the other side can not get out of that desperate check.
This is the case even if the game continues for many moves and even if otherwise the game could have gone into a good checkmate, the side that initially caused the two kings to be naked can at best only obtain a stalemate.
Note: a fortress canon diagonal move cannot start from the dead center of the fortress but a canon can land in the fortress dead center from a normal vertical or horizontal move or jump. But once inside the center of the fortress, the canon can make a move or jump away by going horizontally or vertically.
The canon, when it moves, has to jump over a single non-canon piece, regardless whether the jumped-over piece belongs to his side or the enemy side. When making a move (not a capture), the canon can land on any empty gridpoint that exists on the other side of the jumped-over piece. That landed-onto (previously) empty gridpoint can be immediately on the other side of the jumped-over piece or several gridpoints beyond that jumped-over piece.
The cannon, when it captures, has to jump as in a normal move, but instead of landing onto an empty gridpoint, it has to land onto an enemy piece that it encounters in, what would otherwise be a normal jump-type-move. The jumped-over piece is not captured--it is that second piece encountered in the jump that is captured.
The cannon cannot jump over a cannon (either color).
The cannon cannot capture a cannon.
The cannon cannot make the first move in a game (unlike Chinese Chess).
Note: the Korean Cannon is very different than the Chinese Chess Cannon: the Chinese Chess Cannon moves without taking like a rook, and only jumps when taking a piece. The Korean Chess Cannon always jumps. Also, the Chinese Chess Cannon can jump over another cannon and also can take cannons, while Korean Chess cannons cannot do so.
The next diagram illustrates the movement of the elephant. Note that the positions that are passed by must be empty.
If the Soldier makes it to the last row, it can only move sideways then.
For the curious, the Chinese Chess Soldier is different; it cannot move sideways until after getting to it's 6th row (called after crossing the river) and it cannot move down the diagonal line in the enemy's fortress.
(Some players play with a promotion rule: when a pawn reaches the last row, it promotes to a piece that has
been taken, but not a guard.)
There is no such thing as a stalemate: when a player cannot make a move but he is not in check (i.e., a stalemate position in an orthodox chess game), then the player does not need to mov and just passes a turn. Gollon states that one declares his pass by turning his General over, upside down, on the same spot.
A komi (deduction) for the Blue army is 1.5 points as the Blue army makes the first move and it is an advantage.
If a game becomes a draw game, each player adds up the points of the remaining pieces on board to decide who wins the game. And in that case, the blue army is supposed to deduct 1.5 points from his total points.
A player can make a draw request only when the summation of points of each player is respectively less than 30 points (in a casual janggi game between friends, this pointing system is just ignored and not many Koreans have ever heard of it).
In a casual game, it is customary that older player takes Han (Red Army).
The very first author who made Changgi known to westerners has been Stewart Culin. His book has been reprinted and is highly recommendable for those who love board games with very precious observations.
Culin, Steward, 2009 reprint of an 1895 original: "Korean Games. With Notes on the Corresponding Games of China & Japan". Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1104137205.
More modern Chess Variant books including a section on Changgi are: