The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Cylindrical Chess, our featured variant for March, 2023.

[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ]
[ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ]
[ List Latest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]

Comments/Ratings for a Single Item

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest
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.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-10-31 UTC

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.

To do what?

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?

H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-10-08 UTC

Isn't it a bit strange that we rely on (old and disagreeing) western sources, while in this age of the internet it should be easy to get feedback directly from Korean players? Discussing disagreements between Gollon, Murray and Pritchard might be interesting in an article reviewing their books, but mistakes they might have made do not deserve to be mentioned in a rule description of the game. I never mention the 'Murray Lion' in the Chu Shogi article...

The Fairy-Stockfish developer has included Janggi in his engine now, and claims to have received a lot of feedback during its implementation from Korean amateur and pro Janggi players. I believe him. Which means I consider the current rule implementation in Stockfish to be reliable. Notable point in this are:

  • Turn passing is always unconditionally allowed, not just when it is forced.
  • The Bikjang rule for King facing is not applied in every tournament. If it is not, King facing is legal.
  • If it is, but is declined, it has (indeed) no effect on the possibility to win later for either player.
  • The point-counting tie breaker is not applied in every tournament.

So there are actually four sub-variants, bepending on application of Bikjang and point-counting rule.

It also seems wrong to describe Bikjang as "the Generals checking each other". Check is an imminent loss because of King capture. There is neither loss or King capture here, just a draw offer that can be accepted or declined. The whole idea that King facing is a check seems to be contamination by Xiangqi concepts.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-07-27 UTC

I have just uploaded a major update to this page. While there is still more work to do on it, it seems to be in a mature enough state to replace the previous page.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-07-26 UTC

I just compared this page with Roleigh Martin's article, highlighting any text I found to be the same. It looks like Martin is the principle author of this page, despite his distribution policy that his article should not be altered. I have a new version of this page in the works, which I'll replace this page with when it is in a more finished state.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-07-26 UTC

While it is plausible that Koreans, or in this case Sillans, originally played the game with Chinese equipment, Hwarang was not a drama that made any effort to be historically accurate. Using a board with a river might have just been an oversight in the production of the show.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2018-03-28 UTC
Piece Points
chariots 13
cannons 7
horses 5
elephants 3
guards 3
soldiers 2

These are the values given on wikipedia for the piece values in this game. To me the cannon seems way overrated here. For obvious reasons it should be weaker than it's xiangqi counterpart. In this gmae as I see things the horse should worth a cannon+soldier, maybe a bit less but not the other way around. Maybe this elephant is on par with the Jangg cannon. Am i missing something? Or can I  find more reliable data?

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

There's a reason this regional game has lasted for so long. Perhaps it's even a Classic by CVP standards.

bukovski wrote on 2018-01-30 UTC

I notice that the board has a river like xiangqi.  Would I be correct to think that janggi had this board feature in the past but developed a board without it, or is this another anachronism (or mistake)?  These are nice images that you posted, so thank you.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-01-30 UTC

Here are a couple images of Janggi being played in the Korean historical drama Hwarang, which takes place in ancient Silla around 1500 years ago. This does not mean the game is actually that old. Characters in this drama can also be seen playing soccer. The woman is the queen dowager, who is serving as regent for her son, who is the king. The man is in charge of forming the Hwarang organization.

Diego M. wrote on 2017-08-17 UTC

How do I swap the knight and elephan at the beginning of the game?

Shi Ji wrote on 2016-10-26 UTC

By intuition, the promotion of soldier can affect the strategies of the game drastically. Soldiers would not be sacrificed easily, and exchange of chariots or horses would be played more positively.

Also by intuition, I think the move order gives too much advantage to Chu (the green or blue) who make her setup according to Han's setup and move first.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2012-11-03 UTC
A simple Google traduction of the page given by Yu Ren Dong about promotion in Janggi played in Tokyo gives the following: Experimental implementation 2005/5/13 ~ Local rules for new Tokyo branch (in addition to the existing Official Rules) Gist 1) I am going to introduce, new local rules Tokyo branch is not the official rules of the association headquarters. As a prerequisite, the existing official rules remains the same, for the sake of eventual draw reduction, it is an additional rule was devised, innovation. By performing at a regular meeting of the Tokyo branch on a trial basis, repeated cases of a game to some extent, be reported to the headquarters Association of Seoul those results, new rules, the model and the possibility of one of the rules decrease the eventual draw in a game Changi We will. Please send you should understand the following explanation of the new rules, such as Comments carefree you. I would like to incorporate the views of everybody, we will become even better rule, and it should be established as well as the original rules, Tokyo Branch. I think it is clear enough that this is just an experimentation without any "official" character.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2012-10-25 UTC

Here are a couple pictures of Janggi being played in the Korean drama God of War:

The series takes place in the 1200's during the lifetime of Ghenghis Kahn. I have been watching Korean historical dramas in chronological order, and this is the earliest setting I have seen Janggi appear in. Despite the subtitle in the first image, it is not a checkmate just yet. Red subsequently moved the piece in the top corner of his palace as an Elephant, and Blue made another move. In the second picture, Blue has just moved his Horse at the beginning of the game.

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2011-10-03 UTC
Hello Fergus Duniho. 

Please e-mail to Mr. Song(宋). He is  Korean in Japan.

[email protected]

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2011-10-02 UTC
I can't read Japanese, but I saw some diagrams that showed Pawn promotions. Since this comes from Japan, not Korea, and this is the first time I've heard of this rule, I'm going to assume it's a Japanese amendment to the rules and not part of the official Korean rules. If you know that Koreans also play by this rule, please report what you know about it.

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2011-10-01 UTC
In Changgi Association Tokyo Branch Rules, A Pawn must promote on reaching the 10th rank. A Pawn can promote only to a friendly piece (except for Guards
) that has been captured, and for which it is exchanged. 

Please See

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-12-08 UTC

Here's a Korean Chess problem made from a game I played with Game Courier. I made this with Game Courier's new ability to turn positions in games into fairy chess problems.

Roleigh Martin wrote on 2010-02-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Please change link to Roleigh Martin's rule's page to here:

The link you have is dead.  (the timelesseye link).

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-10-06 UTC
>>How to procure the nice pieces shown on Jose Carillo's photograph on
>>this comment page? Thanks.

Jean-Louis Cazaux,

My pieces just come from a regular plastic set of chess pieces.

The Elephants are Seirawan Elephants.

For the Cannons, I cut off the top portion of the Rooks from a 2nd set (I kept the top of the Rooks to glue on to Knights to make Chancellors).

Finally I drilled holes on the headless Rooks to make them look like Cannons.


Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-10-06 UTC
You are right Nicholas.

I tested the swap command and it was banned. Fergus can you fix it? Thanks.

Meanwhile, this preset for Korean Chess:

Doesn't enforce any rules, and will allow to swap the pieces.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-10-06 UTC
>> In N Korea, the initial positions of Rooks and Elepahnts are changed each other. 
>> It is a different opening setup. 


Thanks Tu Ren Dong.

Is it still legal to swap the Knights with the Elephants on the corners?

Here is a Game Courier preset for the North Korean setup:

Nicholas Wolff wrote on 2009-10-06 UTC

I challenge you to try the swap command.  It doesn't work.  I think three of us have tried to get it to work.  Unless we are using the syntax incorrectly.  Thanks, though!

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-10-06 UTC
Yes, you can use the 'swap' command.

Look at the text at the bottom of the Korean Chess Preset page:

= = =

To swap Elephants and Horses at the beginning of the game, use the swap command. For example, this will swap Elephants and Horses on both sides for Red, then move an Elephant. Follow each swap command with a semicolon, and use coordinates for its arguments. Use it only before your first move.

swap b1 c1; swap g1 h1; E b1-d4

25 comments displayed

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.