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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]
Charles Gilman wrote on 2011-12-27 UTC
Jason L.: 'Take the middle column of the palace in Xiangqi, and put the counselor on the first rank, the general on the 2nd rank, and the minister on the 3rd rank. That was the original setup. That plus 5 pawns or foot soldiers in the initial positions and a chariot and horse in the corners of the board. There were no other pieces on the back rank. Therefore, out of 9 possible points on the back rank, only 5 of them were occupied.' I was not aware of that. Nor have I seen any evidence from the comments that any other contributor was except you. That would certainly make a difference. If Xiang Qi used a pre-existing board it means that the board wasn't derived from the 8x8 one in the 'two half-boards' that so many here consider intuitive. It does not however mean that the reverse derivation happened either, as the 8x8 board too was a pre-existing one. It means that the half-boards misunderstanding never happened in either direction, and that the boards therefore have no bearing on which game came first. 'How do you argue that a game where the pieces need development is the earlier one and a game where the pieces do not need to be changed is a later one? The chances of that are against game design common sense.' Have you never seen an advertisement selling something as - 'new, improved!'? Think of FIDE Chess. Outside variant circles that is generally considered a game that does not need improvement. The reason is that is a product of improvements of something that did need improving. That how it works. Of course a game that needs improving is older than a game based on it but with improvements made. You are not arguining that because FIDE Chess does not need improvement for most players means that it too is older than Chaturanga, are you? 'You say it can be argued that a game not requiring improvement of the movement of the pieces could have been improved from a predecessor. Where is it then?' We all agree that the predecessor to Xiang Qi with Cannons was Xiang Qi without. As to what the predecessor to that was, most contributors here seem to say Chaturanga, and you yourself say this earlier middle-file-heavy Xiang Qi. 'Please be more specific when you say that the bishop and queen in their modern form had already been around for centuries.' That was not what I said. I was pointing out that those pieces were added to an 8x8 game without them that had, in the form of Chaturanga and Shatranj, existed for many centuries.