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Jason L. wrote on 2012-01-27 UTC
From what I read, the original concept was no 3x3 palace, but just a 9x10 intersection board with the general in the center file on the 2nd rank by himself with the 1 space diagonal moving counselor right behind him on the first rank. In this formation, the counselor can reach all sides of the general. Supposedly, the 3x3 palace came later to restrict the general from leaving the center of the board where he belongs. Then the 2 space minister in front of the general was added. The another counselor and another minister at some point.

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