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MLB’s Introduction to Chinese Chess

MLB’s Introduction to Chinese Chess

Premium Imperial Chinese Chess Set with Game Pieces


So you’ve gotten a brand new Chinese chess set, but where do you start?

Aim of the Game

The aim is to checkmate your opponent’s General.

You win when your opponent’s General has no where else to go or is unable to block your attack.

Set Up

Unlike most other games, you will place your pieces on the intersection of the lines, known as points rather than within the squares.

Chariots go in the bottom corners.

Then Knights go next.

Followed by your Elephants.

The Advisors go next.

And then the General.

The Cannons will be placed on the third row, one point away from the side of the board.

Lastly, place your soldiers on every other point in the fourth row.

What does Each Piece Do?

The General

Generals move one square vertically or horizontally

They are also only able to move within the 9 points of his “fortress”.

Generals also cannot face each other in the same line across the board.

The Guard

Guards are worth 2 points, and move one point diagonally.

They also are only able to move within the “fortress”.

The Elephant

Elephants are worth 2 points, and move two points diagonally in any direction.

They cannot jump over pieces, and must stay within their side of the river.

The Horse

Horses are worth 4 points, and move one point vertically or horizontally, and one point diagonally.

They cannot move in a direction if there is a piece blocking it.

The Chariot

Chariots are worth 9 points, and move horizontally or vertically any number of squares.

They cannot jump over pieces.

The Cannon

Cannons are worth 4.5 points, and move like chariots, horizontally or vertically any number of squares.

However, they must jump over exactly one piece if it wants to attack.

The Soldier

Soldiers are worth 1 point before crossing the river, and 2 points after crossing the river.

They move vertically forward one square, but never backwards.

It can move horizontally once it crosses the river.

Have Fun!

You’re all set! Have fun playing with your friends and family while enjoying your mooncakes!

You can also check out our guide on international chess too!


Chess board image credits:

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