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Comments by Jeyoon Jung

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Gwangsanghui(광상희). A large, historical variant of Janggi, with two more generals that lead each flank and 6 more kinds of pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-14 UTC

I think this is a good time to talk about piece values. In Janggi, it is much more difficult to checkmate than in other games. In chess, the existence of promotion and the usage of the king as an offensive piece makes it so that an advantage of a pawn can be a win. In Xiangqi, due to the flying general rule and the royal piece being a Wazir, plus the fact that stalemate is a win, makes mating with a pawn a possible task.

However, in Janggi, the king is never an offensive piece, it is much more mobile, and the counsellors are stronger as well. Because of this it is impossible to mate a lone king with a single piece. Two pieces are hard to win even if the opponent has a single counsellor. And in Gwangsanghui, there are many defensive pieces, so mating a king might be even harder. Imagine being a rook up, but drawing because you cannot mate! If we decide to determine the winner by comparing points like in Janggi, it will be crucial to assign the right values to each piece.

In Janggi the piece values are as follows: the chariot is 13 points, the cannon is 7, the horse is 5, the elephant and counsellor are both 3, and the pawns are 2.

I'm suspecting that the elephant is somewhat better here because of the bigger board, but I'm not sure. Maybe it's about half a point better.

I think a good approach would be comparing pieces to other games, as many pieces here are very common. One thing that can mess up the calculation is the more open board of Janggi. Maybe the power of the rooks are boosted much more than the leapers? If so, how much? Or are they boosted the same amount? Research is definitely required.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-11 UTC

Though a sensible meaning for “前鋒出兵未交” (lit. “Until the Vanguard dispatches troops they [who?] don't meet” afaict?) in isolation (as suggested by the full stops) eludes me on a first attempt.

It seems like it means the spearman is dispatched, not the spearman dispatches. 未 should be interpreted as "not" and 交 as "fight", so I translated it as "The spearman goes out but does not fight." Also, the text separates everything with full stops, so no need to worry about it.

Incidentally re the position of the infantry and cavalry, “步與騎相間” does seem to mean “infantry and cavalry alternate”…

It just means that they are placed with a space in between. It seems that we cannot infer that they alternate.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-11 UTC

Dear Jeyoon. I can't understand to whom you are answering. Are you referring to the elements I gave in my comments or to someone/something else?

Sorry for the ambiguity. I was referring to your comment in which you posted your translation of the original text.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-11 UTC

I think I found out what you translated into the opening phase. It says "if both sides' setup is ready, the spearman goes out but does not fight." I think you interpreted setup as an opening phase, but it seems to mean the placement of the pieces and nothing else. And for the  "the soldiers lines meeting each other", it seems like a misinterpretation as well. The original says 前鋒出兵未交. Here, 出兵 means sending out a troop, but you translated it as two seperate words, "go out" and "soldier." Combined with the latter half, 未 meaning "until" or "not", 交 meaning "meet" and the next sentence which says spearmen do not kill each other, you translated it as "until the soldiers meet they do not fight", while the original intended meaning is "Spearmen go out once the armies are set up but do not fight. They do not kill each other."

Hope this clears everything up. I only had so much time to translate, so apologies for the long wait. Took me more time than I expected.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-11 UTC

Alright, I went and asked an expert about the interpretation for the original text. I have confirmed these things:

  • The ambush moves as a Camel.
  • The text doesn't state how the infantry and cavalry are placed: they can be separated completely or alternated in groups of three. They are grouped by three and they are placed one rank further of the forward spearman, but no more.
  • The ambush's power is terribly ambiguous. It only moves when capturing or cannot capture or be captured at all; it can do lion capture or normal capture.
  • The astrologer moves in four directions, so no Queen movement.

It seems that the points people disagree on are definitely ambiguous. I didn't have time to ask everything, so I'll post again after getting all the answers.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-09 UTC

As for the name for the Guerrilla, I settled for Guerrilla. The original name 유격 is something like hit and run or moving attack, and it fits the name Guerrilla. Also, I found that in the Joseon era guerrilla tactics were used often because of the mountainous terrain. So apparently Guerilla fits the original name and the contemporary era.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-09 UTC

Interesting. All of the Korean sources I were relying on all match my translations with the infantry/cavalry setup. The text doesn't mention which case it is, just that it has soldiers in groups of three.

I definitely see where you're coming from for the move-only ambush, because the original text says "no capture no start/move/fire". This is a common way of phrasing a "if a then b" sentence but it is sometimes just an "a and b" sentence. The former would mean capture only, and the latter would mean move only.

Finally, for the opening phase, I'm not sure about that. I think the original just means when the board setup is complete rather than actually being able to maneuver before attacking.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-08 UTC

In ancient times, there were astrologers who were astronomers and future tellers combined. They assisted the king in making decisions both in peacetime and in wartime. Knowing the weather for the coming days would give you an upper hand in warfare. I believe this is the reason that astrologers are included in it.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-08 UTC

Wanderer doesn't give that military feel, but thank you for the suggestions. I think I'll stick to Guerilla until I think of a better name.

Also the Guerilla is a piece that feels quick but not clumsy when moving. Once its path is clear to a certain square the piece does not have to dance around like the horse or elephant. I think that they named this piece 유격 for this reason.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-07 UTC

Seems like I overlooked the tactical implications of this piece. An ambush capturing and moving into the center will be much more powerful: in fact, it might be even stronger because of the leveling effect. I could see masters sacrificing a piece to develop the ambush into the center.

Also, regarding the names of pieces, I am not satisfied with the name of the guerilla. I called it the guerilla because it is the best one word translation I could find, but it sounds slightly off. The original name 유격 means "moving attack." Anyone have suggestions for a new name?

Also I think my submission is ready for publication.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-07 UTC

Also, after re-reading and translating the whole script, I wonder: what happens if White moves his spearman to block the other spearman? The script says that the spearman must be moved forward first, so is that move illegal? I'm starting to suspect that the author did not playtest this game...

I originally based this article on the research that another Korean did. So rereading the script and translating it made me see the ambiguity much clearer. Because of the way Chinese script is written, which means almost no structure in sentences at all, it's hard to make sense of the text. For example, the description for the ambush is written like "no capture no start/go". There is a ton of ambiguity because of this, and the few Koreans that researched it disagree a lot. I really need a reliable translation source.

Regarding the ambush, I think that however the text is interpreted the piece just seems like bad design. Having a piece that only defends 8 points and does nothing else or have that piece move only when the opponent blunders doesn't seem like a good piece at all. The only good thing this piece has is the fact that it doesn't have a passthrough space, as it is the only leaper that doesn't have it mentioned. Some say that its movement handicap actually means that it cannot capture nor be captured, but why would you name it the ambush anyways if it cannot attack? Maybe in practical play we should just make it a normal/lame Camel.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-07 UTC

Thanks for finding the errors! And yes, the diagram seems to be reversed. I'll change it. I also picked the wrong character for the Guerilla in the text.

The flank capture takes all pieces currently in that area, and the restricted pieces seem to stay in their respective restrictions. The original text is very short and not so descriptive, and there are very, very vague rules. I plan to take the text to a much more reliable translation source so that I didn't mess any of the translations up.


Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-06 UTC

The piece that moves like the FIDE Mad Queen is restricted to the 3 rows which contain Palaces.

I'd assume you mean the astrologer, but there is nothing that implies that it is a ranging piece. Plus, there is no diagonal ranging piece to be found; I believe it is safe to see it as a Wazir.

I would assume the vice-royal “Generals” on each flank were originally restricted to the Wazir move, like the Xiang-Qi King, but the Koreans added the diagonal palace moves.

I think that the Xiangqi version of the Palace had orthogonal lines for the King and diagonal lines to show the movement of the counsellor, but when it became Janggi they just mixed it up.

There is a piece that moves like the Chu Shogi Lion, but restricted to diagonal movement. I assume that the Chinese borrowed the Lion from the Japanese, and added it into “Guang-Xiang-Qi”, but the Koreans found it too powerful, and weakened its move to diagonal directions only.

That, I believe is a misinterpretation. I think you read about this in the Chaturanga Family, as it says that the astrologer is a limited queen and the ambush is a lion ferz. It seems that the author was wrong with the interpretation. The original says that the ambush moves as 日半, not 半日. The cavalry is described as 半日, which is correctly half a 日. However, 日半 should be interpreted as a 日 plus half a 日, making a camel's move. The lion capture will probably come from the phrase "it ambushes again after capture". It seems that this phrase is there to clarify as the sentence before uses the character 發, which can be interpreted as both 'start' and 'move'.


Janggi - 장기 - Korean Chess. The variant of chess played in Korea. (9x10, Cells: 90) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-06 UTC

Found that you can submit other things as Game Pages and write a comment to the editor. Sorry for bothering you.


Gwangsanghui(광상희). A large, historical variant of Janggi, with two more generals that lead each flank and 6 more kinds of pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-11-06 UTC

Oh, hello. Seems that I did not notice the comments coming in. I only need to fix the image links, and the descriptions for the pieces are all done. Someone requested the research that some Koreans did with Gwangsanghui, so might as well post it here.

https://blog.naver.com/dndudwp99/222055921690

https://blog.naver.com/dndudwp99/222057419626

https://blog.naver.com/dndudwp99/222058289723

It is in Korean, and Google Translate is terrible at Korean, so beware if you don't speak Korean. Still, the images might be enough to understand.

As far as I know, Gwangsanghui is only recorded in the book 광상희지, written by 남유용, a scholar in the Joseon era. The book is in a collection of books called 뇌연집, and the king did publish the series later on, so maybe it was actually played. Who knows. 

By the way, do you want me to translate the manuscript in English and put it in the document as well?


Janggi - 장기 - Korean Chess. The variant of chess played in Korea. (9x10, Cells: 90) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeyoon Jung wrote on 2021-10-31 UTC

I am a native Korean, and so far it seems that people seem to disagree about the rules. The Fairy Stockfish one is mostly correct:

Bikjang is only a draw offer: it is not a check as in Xiangqi. Draw offers can be declined and has no effect on later play. Turn passing is always allowed, so no zugzwang. In official tournaments hosted by the Janggi counterpart of FIDE, the 1.5 point tiebreaker is always applied.

Also a note on the etymology of the word "Bikjang": "Bikjang" seems to have come from the word "Bi-Jang"(pronounced bee-jang) which is the pronunciation of the word "flying generals" in Korean. So yes, the Bikjang rule comes from Xiangqi, but it was changed to a draw offer with other rules as well.

One more thing. I am a relatively new person to the CVP, and I believe I saw some articles detailing some strategies in oriental games. However, I cannot find an option to do that. I'm sorry if this is an inappropriate place to post this, but can anyone tell me how to do so?


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