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I'm putting all my xiangqi problems here in my blog so they don't clutter up the problem forum. I've included algebraic coordinates in case you want to leave your solution in a comment. You can find xiangqi rules here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiangqi
Red to move and mate in 1.
This problem is super easy, but illustrates an important rule in xiangqi that differs from chess. Extra credit if you can figure out what that rule is.
There are many differences between xiangqi and international chess. One of the best is that instead of playing on the squares, you play on the intersection of the lines. This gives the game a very very fast feel to it. The pieces predominantly move forward, backwards, and side to side, except for the guards. There also is no castling, which in my opinion is a stupid rule. What general in battle decides to change his position while his troops are static? The reason the king in xiangqi is called general is some emperor in china found out about someone playing and they were put to death for calling the king, king. There is also less focus on taking material early on and establishing dominance in the center. It is best to set your pieces up early on rather than all this business about piece values and center occupying. The queen has also been eliminated. In what military system in this world is the queen basically the commander in chief? The Italians did people a big disservice in the late 1400's giving the queen so much power. There are only two guards and two elephants(bishops) which are used to defend in xiangqi. And the two cannons are very cool because you can use your opponents pieces like gun mounts to blast them. I prefer to play xiangqi over international chess, however I play international chess because of the sheer volume of reading available, if for no other reason.
an interesting new xiangqi site for english speakers:
Thanks, firecow, for taking the time to figure this out, especially since you started out not knowing anything about the game. Xiangqi is a very open game. I think chess players who enjoy open positions with a lot of attacking possibilities would enjoy xiangqi. Some people are put off by the necessity of learning the Chinese characters for the pieces in xiangqi, but it really takes just a few minutes.
I live in California, and xiangqi is very popular with the Asian community here. It is especially huge in Portsmouth Square in San Francisco's Chinatown. The games there are particularly loud and vociferous, attracting large crowds.
For more information about xiangqi I recommend the World Xiangqi Federation website. It contains a very good rule set, championship games, and other goodies. You can even play against a Java-based computer opponent: http://www.wxf.org .
Aww... I just read about Xiangqi on wikipedia and figured it out, but I was too slow. I've never seen this game before but it looks interesting. I like the obstacles on the board.
Excellent, and you get extra credit for explaining the rule ! Unlike chess, in xiangqi a stalemate is not a draw; the stalemated player loses.
H8+6 or in algebraic notation Hb8-d9
Black General can't move to e9 because it would expose him to red's General line of sight (which is forbiden), and so black loses a game because of a following Xiangqi rule : 'A player with no legal moves left loses.'
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