Friday, March 12, 2010

Elephant Game

Xiangqi, also known as Chinese chess, is a two-player Chinese board game and one of the most popular board games in China. The name Xiangqi means "elephant game," a reference to the bishops. It's a battle between two armies, with the object of capturing the enemy's general. Distinctive features of Xiangqi include the cannon, which must jump to capture, a rule prohibiting the generals from facing each other directly, and areas on the board called the river and palace, which restrict the movement of some pieces. Also, notice the placement of pieces on the intersections of the lines, rather than within the squares as is done in American chess. I stumbled across this scene while strolling through San Francisco's Chinatown and it was really fascinating. It was evident these men took the game very seriously. They were strategic in their moves and the competition was fierce.

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