The Chess Variant Pages

A Xiangqi Variant

In the Xiangqi FAQ, Stephen Leary gave the following description of a Xiangqi variant.
Here is another Xiangqi variant, as given in Xiangqi Review (Volume II, Number 5). You only use half the board, but all 32 pieces.

Turn over all 32 pieces, so you can't see what they are, and mix them all well. Then put them all face-down on the *squares* of a half-board--not on the intersections, on the squares, like in orthodox chess.

After deciding who goes first, the first player chooses a piece to turn over, which constitutes one move. Then the second player turns over a piece. The players then alternate, either turning over another piece or making a move with a piece already turned up.

All the pieces move the same way--one square up, down, right, or left, but not diagonally. You can move a piece onto any adjacent empty square, or onto an adjacent square occupied by another piece by capturing that piece, if legal. The captured piece is then removed from the board. Moving is compulsory, capturing not.

The men rank in this order:

King -> Rook -> Horse -> Cannon -> Bishop -> Guard -> Pawn -->> King

Each piece can take any piece that's equal or lower in rank. The exception is that a pawn *can* take a king!

A game is won when you have captured all men from your opponent, or when he resigns. Checkmating the king doesn't end the game, draws are rare.

Material gain is the highest objective. Be careful when capturing that your piece isn't trapped or lost to another higher piece.

There is no checking or hitting violations, no repetition prohibitions. Force your opponent to take risks by having to turn over unknown pieces next to his. In some positions, the rook may even be worth more than the king.

Taken from Stephen Leary's FAQ for Chinese chess.
WWW page created: 1995 or 1996. Last modified: March 9, 1998.