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Nested Xiang Qi

Introduction

Having produced Nested Chess, a variant hiding within it a disguised form of the relatively FIDE-like Mongolian Chess, I wondered about nesting more distinctive Oriental variants. Here is one doing the same with Xiang Qi. This time I have no corner subvariant as the basic Xiang Qi board does not use a square board and the asymmetry would complicate things. The single array, however, covers a "stepping" subvariant transforming blockabilities and a "leaping" one relaxing them.

By the nature of this variant, its pieces include all those of Taijitu Qi, but together with something resembling the familiar forward-only front rank.

I also have a page for Nested Shogi.

Setup

The Fortresses are the sets of cells:

The River is the 11-cell diagonal halfway between the camps.

Pieces

Pieces fall into three groups. They are similar to the groups in Nested Chess and Nested Shogi but as the bound/unbound divide is less clear I have labelled them with group letters.

Group A:

The KING is the usual royal piece that moves one square in any radial direction and must be kept out of check.
The FERZ moves one step diagonally. A player without a Ferz cannot move their group B pieces, but group C pieces are unaffected.
The WAZIR moves one step orthogonally. A player without a Wazir cannot move their group C pieces, but group B pieces are unaffected.
Group B, formed from transformed Xiang Qi pieces:
The BISHOP moves any distance diagonally through empty intermediate squares. It results from transforming the original Rook.
The ARROW moves like the Bishop, but capturing requires exactly one intervening piece, which may be of either army and is not itself captured. The Arrow results from transforming the original Cannon.
The CAMEL makes any 3:1 move. It results from transforming the original Knight. In the stepping subvariant the move comprises a Ferz step to an empty square followed by a Dabbaba leap; in the leaping subvariant it is an unblockable leap.
The COBBLER moves exactly four steps orthogonally. It results from transforming the original Elephant. In the stepping subvariant the halfway square must be empty, in the leaping subvariant no intermediate square need be empty.
The DABBABA moves exactly two steps orthogonally, and is unblockable. It results from transforming the original Ferz.
The CROSS moves one square on the forward diagonal. The piece results from transforming the original Point. On crossing the River it can also move one step along the sideways diagonals.
Group C:
The ROOK moves any distance orthogonally through empty intermediate squares.
The CANNON moves like the Rook, but capturing requires exactly one intervening piece, which may be of either army and is not itself captured.
The KNIGHT makes any 2:1 move. In the stepping version it is the Xiang Qi Stepping Knight, and the move comprises a Wazir step to an empty square followed by a Ferz step. In the leaping version it is the FIDE Leaping Knight, and the move is an unblockable leap.
The ELEPHANT moves exactly two steps diagonally. In the stepping version it is the Xiang Qi Stepping Elephant, and the halfway square must be empty. In the leaping version it is the Chaturanga Leaping Elephant, and the move is an unblockable leap.
The POINT moves one step on either forward orthogonal. On reaching the far edge diagonal it can move back to the adjoining diagonal of opposite binding.

Rules

Pieces may not move along an edge diagonal. Knights may not move directly to an edge diagonal from the adjoining diagonal of the opposite binding or, in the leaping subvariant, vice versa. This is the one-foot-in-the-grave rule, and the reason why I prevented the original edges being edge diagonals.

There is no initial double-step move, En Passant, Castling, or Cathedralling, as Xiang Qi has none of these.

Kings, Wazirs, Ferzes, and Dabbabas must remain within the Fortress. Elephants and Cobblers may not cross the River. Neither both Kings nor both Ferzes may face each other along a diagonal without an intervening piece, although a King and the enemy Ferz may.

A group B piece capturing in its own Fortress may become a Wazir if the player no longer has one. A group C piece capturing in its own Fortress may become a Ferz if the player no longer has one.

Check, Checkmate, Stalemate, and Bare Facing are as in Xiang Qi.



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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2006-10-13. Web page last updated: 2016-04-06