Chess and Xiangqi


Chess and Xiangqi

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Lionel Vidal    (2007-03-27)
Chess and Xiangqi

A very interresting article in Chesscafe ( by K.Mller on some endgame similarities in chess and xiangqi.

Xiangqi is great chess game (one of the greatest, even if I am quite weak at it; and in any cases, by far the greatest chess game by the number of players :-)): in short time limits (standard is 20 minutes per players) you can't beat that game for a exciting tactical mle... and then if both palyers survive, the endgame is full of subtilities...

BTW *all* K.Mller articles on that site are a must-read! :-)

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-03-27 16:42:53)

I can't motivate myself to learn this game.. :/ .. rules are so strange, even less natural than chess !? Is it really played elsewhere than in China ?

"As of 2005, the world's best human xiangqi players remain better than the world's best computer players. The game-tree complexity of xiangqi is approximately 10^150, so it is projected that a human top player will be defeated before 2010."

Lionel Vidal    (2007-03-27 19:42:35)

The fact that xiangqi is the most played game in china (much more played than Go!) is enough to make it the most played game in the world :-)

But apart from asian countries, you can find many players in the USA, and even in France, where the 2005 world championship was held!

Computers are quite good at xiangqi (the best program is french!) but not good enough yet for the very best players: the game-tree complexity of xiangqi is half way between chess and shogi, but the evaluation functions in xiangqi have specific problems (roughly speaking, the relative values of the pieces evolve much more than in chess during a game). Anyway I agree than in a few years, humans will probably loose in tournament time.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-03-27 20:11:07)

"Many" players in France, really ? .. I don't know a single one, but you of course :)

I wonder how many players exactly, but anyway I can't believe the popularity of this game will increase in future in and out of China...

Lionel Vidal    (2007-03-27 23:09:46)

The number of french xianqi players is of course nothing compare to the number of french chess players (which is BTW quite low compared to other country :-( )... but with the increased interest in China, for mainly economic reasons, xianqi may become more popular here too... consider for instance that the number of chinese language students is greatly increasing these last years...
Of course the popularity of chess will remain certainly much higher!