How to Play Xiangqi (Chinese Chess)

This video explains the rules of Chinese Chess, known in Chinese as Xiangqi, making use of both traditional Chinese pieces and the Cambaluc Chinese Chess set, which uses Staunton pieces on a checkered board. This video presumes some knowledge of Chess. So if you don’t know how to play Chess, check out my Chess video first.

Read the rules of Chinese Chess at

Play the Coffee Chinese Chess java applet at

Play Chinese Chess against others on Game Courier at


  1. Why is the black cannon written as “包” but not “炮” or “砲” 🤔

  2. @thadinininon The Indian game was called Chaturanga.

  3. Thanks so much for your video.. Due to research purpose, I really want to get the Cambaluc Chinese Chess set, but I cannot find it anywhere on website. Do you have any ideas where I can go get it? Thanks soo much again ^_^

  4. @laughtpp I got mine on ebay, and my only suggestion is to check ebay from time to time until one turns up.

  5. I'm having a hard time deciding whether you are asian or white. Nice video 😀

  6. I play chess a lot. And now I'm gonna freakin try this! 😛

  7. Is it me or that guy did not have thumbs?

  8. The initial setup of Xiangqi seems to make more sense than Chess, considering that the setup of Xiangqu is symmetrical. Chess seems dyslexic by comparison /:

  9. The myth that chess game orignally came from India or Persia is busted. Notice both chess games resemble very much to each other, with the horse piece in Chinese game and the knight piece move in same right angle concept, for thousands of years the Chinese word character for horse is written in right anglular lines. The rook pieces and the chariot pieces are placed at corners of board, the Chinese word character for chariot in horizonal and vertical lines, the way both rook and chariot move.

  10. Chess game originates in China, not India or Persia like some stupid chess books say. There are too many similarities between the chess game and Chinese Xiangqi, both are hardly anything like India Chaturanga.

    Most of the pieces in both games are very similar in their actions and locations, the India Chaturanga is not even close.

    Both boards consist of 64 squares or 8 x 8, probably related to Chinese I-Ching theory. The India Chaturanga is not anything like these boards.

  11. Welcome to the SPACECHESS.RU starting Russia)))))

  12. from the Space! Welcome to the

  13. Nonsense. Chaturanga is basically like Chess except that instead of a Bishop there is an Elephant that moves two spaces diagonally, and instead of a Queen there is a Councilor that moves one space diagonally. In both respects, Chaturanga is more like Xiangqi than Modern Chess is. Now cut the Chaturanga board in half, separate the two halves slightly, draw some diagonal lines, place the pieces on the intersections, replace three Pawns with two Cannons and an extra Councilor, and you get Xiangqi.

  14. See my response to your other comment. The resemblance between both games points to a common ancestor, which is very likely the Indian Chaturanga or Persian Chatrang. Both games can be played with a Chess set, and they differ from Chess only in how some pieces move. Chess checkered the board and strengthened some pieces. Xiangqi made the Horse and Elephant blockable, added Cannons, confined the King, and moved gameplay to the intersections like in Wei Qi (a.k.a Go).

  15. The most obvious evidence is both the knight(chess) and horse(Xiangi) pieces move in same "L" formation, this is not seen in the Indian Chaturanga or Persian Chatrang games. The "L" formation is based on how Chinese write the character of "horse", this written character dated much earlier than Xiangi and chess game of any kind.

    Also note both knight(chess) and horse(Xiangi) are located at same second square from each corner, with the rook (chess) and chariort(Xiangi) located on each corner.

  16. The bishop more resembles the cannon(or cannon ball) in Xiangi. Have you ever heard of a flying bishop? Obvious not. Have you heard of running castle like in the rook? Not. The rook piece moves exacly like the chariot piece in Chinese Xiangi, and both rook and chariot are located at each corner of board, exact same locations, and exactly next to knight(chess) and horse(Xiangi).

    Both boards are 64 squares, or 8 x 8. This is very likely based on ancient Chinese I-ching theory far predated chess

  17. Chaturanga board is different than chess and Xiangi. Both the chess board and Xiangi board are 64 squares or 8 x 8, this board concept is very likely based on Ba Gua(the eight trigrams) and the 64 Gua(64 hexagrams) in ancient Chinese I-ching theory.

    You're trying to fit the Chaturanga into the puzzle when it's obviously different than chess in many ways, at same time you ignore the solid evidences are obvious between the chess and Xiangi.

  18. The Chinese Go game dated earlier than Xiangi and chess. The Go game pieces are placed on intersection lines instead of directly inside the squares, this is why Xiangi pieces are placed in same way on intersection lines. Go predated Xiangi, Xiangi predated chess. These signs are very obvious. No need to argue when solid evidences are there for all to see.

  19. People who don't know Chinese or its writing can easily see how the "horse" is written on the horse piece. Notice the "L" formation in the Chinese character for horse, that is same formation how both the knight(chess) and horse(Xiangi) move. Is there any reason the knight(chess) moves in "L" formation if it was not a copy of the horse in Chinese game?

  20. The Chinese horse character is a pictogram of a horse, not a movement diagram for the piece. The "L" formation is just a coincidence. Besides, the Chinese horse moves diagonally, then orthogonally, not in the L shaped path westerners are taught the Knight moves in. The Knight in Chess moves the same as the Knight in Chatrang and Chaturanga.

  21. The Bishop in Chess moves in the same directions as the Elephant in Chaturanga and in Xiang Qi, differing from both by moving any number of spaces, as the Rook does. It is the diagonal counterpart to the Rook, and it has no more in common with the Cannon than it already has with the Rook. The Rook in Chess, aside from castling, moves the same as the Chariot in Chaturanga and begins in the same positions.

  22. I am not going to waste anymore of my time debating with you on chess origin from China. Here's a well written article on The Origin of Chess by Sam Sloan.

    In case you don't know who is Sam Sloan, he is one of world's best xiangi players, and a high level chess player. He has served on Executive Board of the United States Chess Federation (USCF). You can find out more at Wikipedia.

    Remove all the spaces: /origin. htm

  23. You don't get my point at all. The "L" formation in Chinese writing for horse might very well be the reason why the horse piece moves in "L" formation. You say it's not, then please tell me if you invented xiangi or not? If you didn't invent xiangi then please provide any anicent record or evidence to the reason for "L" formation move.

    Regardless pictogram or not, the "L" formation is the main structure in Chinese written word for horse.

  24. any retail store can order the Cambaluc Chinese chess set from Alliance Distributors, which distributes the set for Elephant Chess Club

  25. I pretty much learned the same thing from my Dad  couple minutes ago xD.. But Its cool to see a modern chess lookin xiangqi set… Now I need to find my dad's xiangqi set..

  26. Ministers and elephants seem extremely weak. The two of them have a total of nine squares that they can access.

  27. How do you draw that chinese chess board on the mousepad ?

  28. ✊🏾👍🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾♟️♟️♟️

  29. i was about to set it up on my western check board but than i realized it only got 8 sides

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *