Students Learn to Play Xiang Qi in Chinese Class


A group of High School seniors enjoyed learning how to play Xiang Qi (Chinese chess) in Chinese class. Chinese chess, or Xiang Qi, is a very popular board game in China and has been played for centuries.

How it’s Played
The pieces are arranged symmetrically, as shown above. Note that some pieces on the Red side bear different characters than their counterparts on the Black side. They are the same pieces—with the same power—on each side. But names on the Red side are subtly more noble than those on the Black side. It’s a fair match, but you could say the Reds are the “good guys.” The set you play on may have slightly more or less variation between the two sides, and may be of colors other than Red and Black. Not to worry; it’s still the same game.

The Pieces
Below are the pieces, their approximate Chinese pronunciations, names translated into English, and equivalents (for the pieces that have one) in our more familiar western chess: