The Chess Variant Pages
Custom Search



Enter Your Reply

The Comment You're Replying To
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2021-04-04 UTC

I have this book and as an historian myself I am in close contact with Jim Png. We had a very long conversation just today. Coincidence. Jim Png is not saying that chess has been invented in China. I know that this issue is a complex one, too complex maybe for in hurry readers. What is explained here is that xiangqi had predecessors as a game, deep in ancient history. This is known and recognised by modern historians. What it is unknown is the relationship between these ancient mentions of xiangqi and the xiangqi that is known after Cen Shun story in the 9th century. Maybe it was another game, maybe not. The great merit of Jim Png is the meticulously collection of all testimonies from ancient Chinese texts and his trial to bring that to us. He does (because he is preparing another book) a work much valuable than many other writers have tried to do before him about Chinese Chess. And much more also that so many writers who are continuing to ignore a possible Chinese contribution just because they have once been told that chess had been invented in India and it cannot be otherwise.

Yes the connexion with liubo is puzzling and stimulating. Not only because the liubo board had a central "water" and there is a river in xiangqi. The rules of Liubo are still unknown, they are just guessed, and maybe more than one game was played with this material. There are 6 pieces per side, 1 being more important. There is 1 general and 5 pawns in xq. The liubo board is heavily marked, as the one for xq. Is that a coincidence or the trace of an influence? The fact that Janggi, which is not known before the 16th century, has no river is of course not a proof at all against a relation between liubo and xiangqi! Liubo disappeared just when xiangqi started to grow and this deserves some further studies.

I consider Jim Png as the person with the highest knowledge on history of Chinese games we have today.


Edit Form

Comment on the page The History of Chess Variants

Quick Markdown Guide

By default, new comments may be entered as Markdown, simple markup syntax designed to be readable and not look like markup. Comments stored as Markdown will be converted to HTML by Parsedown before displaying them. This follows the Github Flavored Markdown Spec with support for Markdown Extra. For a good overview of Markdown in general, check out the Markdown Guide. Here is a quick comparison of some commonly used Markdown with the rendered result:

Top level header: <H1>

Block quote

Second paragraph in block quote

First Paragraph of response. Italics, bold, and bold italics.

Second Paragraph after blank line. Here is some HTML code mixed in with the Markdown, and here is the same <U>HTML code</U> enclosed by backticks.

Secondary Header: <H2>

  • Unordered list item
  • Second unordered list item
  • New unordered list
    • Nested list item

Third Level header <H3>

  1. An ordered list item.
  2. A second ordered list item with the same number.
  3. A third ordered list item.

Alt text for a graphic image

A definition list
A list of terms, each with one or more definitions following it.
An HTML construct using the tags <DL>, <DT> and <DD>.
A term
Its definition after a colon.
A second definition.
A third definition.
Another term following a blank line
The definition of that term.