You are on the backup site for Any posts, moves, or other changes you make here will not be permanent, because the pages and database from the main site will be backed up here every midnight EST. Additionally, things may not be working right, because this site is also a testbed for newer system software. So, if you are not here to test, develop, or merely read this site, you may want to change .org to .com in the navigation bar and go to the main site.

The Chess Variant Pages

Enter Your Reply

The Comment You're Replying To
Jason L. wrote on 2012-01-16 UTC
I don't think that the original 16 pieces in 8x8 Indian chess has no
relationship with Xiangqi. Only the King moves slightly differently and the
rest of the back rank pieces move the same but can jump in 8x8 chess due to
the pawns being on the 2nd rank.

The difference in pawns is not a strong argument I am putting forth. I am
aware of the fact that a different capturing pawn and different position
pawn is not necessarily directly influenced from Xiangqi. My main point
about game development is that the 1 space moving counselor and 2 space
moving minister don't appear to fit the 8x8 board but they do for the 9x10
intersection board. It's also very unlikely that weird moving pieces would
be developed on a board they don't fit and were fixed by moving to a
slightly different board.

To make this kind of conjecture seems like putting forth something that is
not extremely likely just to make it seem like that is what could have
happened so it probably happened.

I have read Western chess books on Shogi and Xiangqi and I have heard
similar arguments for how Shogi and Xiangqi could have been developed. They
all try to reverse engineer from the 8x8 game. I do think Shogi comes from
an 8x8 variant similar to Makruk with the silver general, but it does not
seem that logical that original 8x8 with 16 pieces could have become
Xiangqi for several reasons I have already stated.

I am not saying that these reasons you are stating don't make sense. I am
saying that in order to make conclusions about Xiangqi, one should look at
China's history regarding the development of the game. The documentation
does not suggest that China exported the game to Persia or India. To my
knowledge there is nothing that suggests that.

I have given you guys several reasons for why Xiangqi's origin is native
to China without making definite but probable conclusions on how it could
have influenced 8x8 chess in other parts of Asia.

Therefore, if Xiangqi can be predated by to an 11 piece arrangement with no
minister that moves 2 spaces, and the general on the 2nd rank like in
Janggi, then it is obviously not taken from 16 piece Indian chess with the
back rank filled, because its very unlikely that pieces would disappear
along the way.

Now the legitimacy of this progression of Xiangqi needs to be confirmed and
I would like to do that myself, but if this progression of Xiangqi is true,
then it does not follow that the board and the pieces are from India or

Also, I have already pointed out that a 9x10 intersection board most likely
does not come from an 8x8 square board. Because if you simply move the
pieces from an 8x8 board to the intersection points, you get 9x9
intersection board. You do not get 9x10.

And the original Xiangqi was 9x10 with no river. I repeat. No river. That
means, the river was added later to separate the 2 armies, so it was not
the addition of the river that made Xiangqi go from 9x9 intersection point
game to 9x10 intersection game.

In Taiwan, they sell Xiangqi boards on a cheap piece of wood with a Weiqi
board on the back. If one looks at the 19x19 Weiqi board and then flips it
over, the comparison would be obvious. Not just because of intersection
points being used for both Weiqi and Xiangqi, but because where did 9x10
come from? Why not 9x9 or 10x10, or 8x9?

It's because 9x10 is precisely 1/4 of a 19x19 Weiqi board. That's the
simplest explanation for where the original 9x10 intersection board with no
river comes from.

If Xiangqi comes from 8x8 chess, then the first version of Xiangqi would
probably be 9x9 intersection board with no river and no palace. But it was

Anyway, I have stated many reasons for why Xiangqi's origin basically
comes from China and there should be nothing wrong with that because all I
am doing is asking Chinese people about the origin of their own game and
reading books and whatever I can find on the subject done by people who can
read Chinese and not just sources from the Western world.

What I am sharing here should be viewed as the other side of the story that
is lacking in Western literature or Western thought you could say. I grew
up in the States, and I was lacking in these views also.

I'm personally disappointed when my quest to learn about the history of
game(s) becomes a political and cultural battlefield for the superiority of
the Western vs. Eastern cultures. I'm not saying that about everyone on
this forum, but just my personal experience with talking to Westerners
about this. It seems very emotional and narrow minded the way that many of
them respond and it seems like they couldn't care less about archeological
findings are the meaning of Chinese characters and how they can change over
the centuries, etc. It seems it can only be about how British ruled the
world and codified things for the rest of the world to enjoy. I love
learning about that also, but it's not the entire history of mankind.

Edit Form

Comment on the page Chaturanga

Quick Markdown Guide

By default, new comments may be entered as Markdown, simple markup syntax designed to be readable and not look like markup. Comments stored as Markdown will be converted to HTML by Parsedown before displaying them. This follows the Github Flavored Markdown Spec with support for Markdown Extra. For a good overview of Markdown in general, check out the Markdown Guide. Here is a quick comparison of some commonly used Markdown with the rendered result:

Top level header: <H1>

Block quote

Second paragraph in block quote

First Paragraph of response. Italics, bold, and bold italics.

Second Paragraph after blank line. Here is some HTML code mixed in with the Markdown, and here is the same <U>HTML code</U> enclosed by backticks.

Secondary Header: <H2>

  • Unordered list item
  • Second unordered list item
  • New unordered list
    • Nested list item

Third Level header <H3>

  1. An ordered list item.
  2. A second ordered list item with the same number.
  3. A third ordered list item.

Alt text for a graphic image

A definition list
A list of terms, each with one or more definitions following it.
An HTML construct using the tags <DL>, <DT> and <DD>.
A term
Its definition after a colon.
A second definition.
A third definition.
Another term following a blank line
The definition of that term.