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Western, Chinese, and Japanese Chess

Updated on January 12, 2011

Many parts of the world play different types of chess-like strategy games. Most of the games follow the similar concept: Each player has pieces that can move in certain ways. The object is to capture the opponent's king by surrounding it so that it can no longer move.

Western Chess

Western chess consists of an 8x8 black and white checker board with pieces such as pawn, rook, horse, bishop, queen, and king. Each piece moves in different way, but each piece can capture any other piece. See rules and tactics on Wikipedia.

Chess is a complex game in which it was once thought that computers can never match the skill shown by chess masters. But as computers advanced, it can now play chess as well as any human player.

In 1997, the IBM computer Deep Blue beat the then world chess champion Garry Kasparov in a six-game match.[reference]

Chinese Chess

Chinese chess is known as Xiangqi. The pieces includes generals, guards, elephant, horse, rook, cannon, and solider. Like Western chess, the board is also an 8x8 grid. But the grid is uncolored, because the pieces move along the lines of the grid instead of on the squares of the grid. There is a few diagonal lines that represents the General's palace where the General can move along. The general is restricted to move only within the palace. There is also a "river" on the board as well which the elephant piece can not cross. Hence this game is also loosely known as "elephant chess". More info can be found on Wikipedia.

Japanese Chess (Shogi)

Japanese chess is a bit different in that it is played on a 9x9 grid instead of 8x8 grid.  Its pieces consisting of king, rook, bishop, gold generals, silver generals, knights, lances, and pawns. It has the interesting rule where captured enemy pieces can be returned to play as allied pieces.


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