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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]
Jason L. wrote on 2012-01-16 UTC
I don't think that the original 16 pieces in 8x8 Indian chess has no relationship with Xiangqi. Only the King moves slightly differently and the rest of the back rank pieces move the same but can jump in 8x8 chess due to the pawns being on the 2nd rank. The difference in pawns is not a strong argument I am putting forth. I am aware of the fact that a different capturing pawn and different position pawn is not necessarily directly influenced from Xiangqi. My main point about game development is that the 1 space moving counselor and 2 space moving minister don't appear to fit the 8x8 board but they do for the 9x10 intersection board. It's also very unlikely that weird moving pieces would be developed on a board they don't fit and were fixed by moving to a slightly different board. To make this kind of conjecture seems like putting forth something that is not extremely likely just to make it seem like that is what could have happened so it probably happened. I have read Western chess books on Shogi and Xiangqi and I have heard similar arguments for how Shogi and Xiangqi could have been developed. They all try to reverse engineer from the 8x8 game. I do think Shogi comes from an 8x8 variant similar to Makruk with the silver general, but it does not seem that logical that original 8x8 with 16 pieces could have become Xiangqi for several reasons I have already stated. I am not saying that these reasons you are stating don't make sense. I am saying that in order to make conclusions about Xiangqi, one should look at China's history regarding the development of the game. The documentation does not suggest that China exported the game to Persia or India. To my knowledge there is nothing that suggests that. I have given you guys several reasons for why Xiangqi's origin is native to China without making definite but probable conclusions on how it could have influenced 8x8 chess in other parts of Asia. Therefore, if Xiangqi can be predated by to an 11 piece arrangement with no minister that moves 2 spaces, and the general on the 2nd rank like in Janggi, then it is obviously not taken from 16 piece Indian chess with the back rank filled, because its very unlikely that pieces would disappear along the way. Now the legitimacy of this progression of Xiangqi needs to be confirmed and I would like to do that myself, but if this progression of Xiangqi is true, then it does not follow that the board and the pieces are from India or Persia. Also, I have already pointed out that a 9x10 intersection board most likely does not come from an 8x8 square board. Because if you simply move the pieces from an 8x8 board to the intersection points, you get 9x9 intersection board. You do not get 9x10. And the original Xiangqi was 9x10 with no river. I repeat. No river. That means, the river was added later to separate the 2 armies, so it was not the addition of the river that made Xiangqi go from 9x9 intersection point game to 9x10 intersection game. In Taiwan, they sell Xiangqi boards on a cheap piece of wood with a Weiqi board on the back. If one looks at the 19x19 Weiqi board and then flips it over, the comparison would be obvious. Not just because of intersection points being used for both Weiqi and Xiangqi, but because where did 9x10 come from? Why not 9x9 or 10x10, or 8x9? It's because 9x10 is precisely 1/4 of a 19x19 Weiqi board. That's the simplest explanation for where the original 9x10 intersection board with no river comes from. If Xiangqi comes from 8x8 chess, then the first version of Xiangqi would probably be 9x9 intersection board with no river and no palace. But it was not. Anyway, I have stated many reasons for why Xiangqi's origin basically comes from China and there should be nothing wrong with that because all I am doing is asking Chinese people about the origin of their own game and reading books and whatever I can find on the subject done by people who can read Chinese and not just sources from the Western world. What I am sharing here should be viewed as the other side of the story that is lacking in Western literature or Western thought you could say. I grew up in the States, and I was lacking in these views also. I'm personally disappointed when my quest to learn about the history of game(s) becomes a political and cultural battlefield for the superiority of the Western vs. Eastern cultures. I'm not saying that about everyone on this forum, but just my personal experience with talking to Westerners about this. It seems very emotional and narrow minded the way that many of them respond and it seems like they couldn't care less about archeological findings are the meaning of Chinese characters and how they can change over the centuries, etc. It seems it can only be about how British ruled the world and codified things for the rest of the world to enjoy. I love learning about that also, but it's not the entire history of mankind.