Chinese Chess


Xiaoying Mei, Reporter

According to The British Chess Review, “No apology is required on bringing the game of Chess before public notice as an object well worthy of cultivation and attention.”  Well, I have to say, not only Chess but also Chinese Chess!

Xiangqi (elephant chess)  is a popular Chinese chess that is more common than Go Game in China. Xiangqi evolved, from an ancient Chinese game called Liubo, which was invented 3,500 years ago. Similar to chess, the objective of  Xiangqi is to “Jiangjun,” which checkmates the opponent’s king by placing it under an inescapable threat of capture. The play scenario on the chessboard imitates various historical wars which happened during past dynasties, especially in the Spring and Autumn period, which is a period  from approximately 771 and 476 BC in China.

In every play of Xiangqi  are the vivid performance of ancient wars in China, showing the thorough application of strategy and tactics of martial art, as written in The Art of  War, a famous book referring to martial art in ancient China. Every type of piece symbolizes martial art equipment from ancient China, which is why generals or kings often play and study Xiangqi. However, unlike the professionals and amateurs, they play not just for fun or interest, but more for the serious preparation of war. As the old saying goes, “One careless move loses the whole game.” In a war, one careless move may need a whole country, or thousands of deaths, to pay the price.

Nowadays, people plays Xiangqi to sharpen their skills on how to think logically, carefully, and thoroughly. In a way, by playing Xiangqi, people could learn from the scenarios of game and apply their tactics on daily work, dealing with business and politics issues with more consideration and calmness. For example, when playing Xiangqi, you have to prepare backup for every invasive move, looking further to the opponent’s side and predicting the next move of your opponent- avoiding any inescapable dilemma. And it is the same logic and method, no matter with business or politics, isn’t it?

Xiangqi is the essence of wisdom inherited from ancient times. It is a game that will tell you: One careless move, sorry, game over!