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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-05-03
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Chaturanga. The first known variant of chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Ayer wrote on 2011-02-05 UTC
Jason L. asks, 'But what if there are historical documents or artifacts in China that suggest that Xiangqi has been around since 2nd century B.C.? What if the similarities between the early Indian version and Xiangqi were the result of influence from the other way around?

Are there any such documents? Last fall someone argued in the English Wikipedia that Chinese chess is the earliest and original version, but the only substantial source offered was a Chinese document at http://ent.veryeast.cn/ent/26/2006-4/23/0642309574393496.htm . Can you translate this for us?

Prof. David Li stated that Xiangqi was invented about 200 B.C., but in the first section of his book, in which he described this invention, he adduced not a single source of any type.

'Just because European scholars had no access to Chinese documents but did with Indian archives, that does not mean it can be assumed that the first game was from India. It seems since China was not a part of the British empire, then its archives can be ignored and only regions of the world which are a part of Britain's sphere of influence can be deemed as inventing anything.' Britain was heavily involved in China in the nineteenth century, and quite influential, and British savants could probably have gotten access to Chinese documents. We are aware that China invented many things, including gunpowder and rockets.

'How come no Westerner or scientist has noticed the similarities between Weiqi and Xiangqi?' I don't know about Weiqi, but Gerhard Josten, of the Initiative Group Koenigstein, argued in his essay 'Chess--A Living Fossil' that the ancient Chinese pastime of Liubo was one of the ingredients that went into chaturanga.

'Also if one assumes it went from India to China, it is unlikely that pieces would become more restricted. This is a misnomer.' A misnomer is an inaccurate name. Probably 'This is a fallacy' was meant.

'So when the Chinese come forward with so called records, they are refuted by European chess historians as being inaccurate!' What records?