Chinese Chess: An Introduction to China's Ancient Game of Strategy

Overview

Chinese chess, or "elephant chess," has intrigued the powerful and the quizzical for centuries. Although its rules are similar to the well-known Western game, subtle and fascinating variations must be mastered in order to understand the strategies it requires.

H. T. Lau breaks the silence of decades of publishing on this game and introduces Chinese chess to Westerners, discussing with the aid of 170 diagrams the board, the movement and values ...

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Chinese Chess: An Introduction to China's Ancient Game of Strategy

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Overview

Chinese chess, or "elephant chess," has intrigued the powerful and the quizzical for centuries. Although its rules are similar to the well-known Western game, subtle and fascinating variations must be mastered in order to understand the strategies it requires.

H. T. Lau breaks the silence of decades of publishing on this game and introduces Chinese chess to Westerners, discussing with the aid of 170 diagrams the board, the movement and values of the pieces, and basic rules for capturing and defeating an opponent.

This book includes eighty mid- and end-game excercises designed to sharpen playing skills, and concludes with two appendixes devoted to the elegantly constructed games found in The Secret Inside the Orange and The Plum-Blossom Meter, two classic seventeenth-century works on Chinese chess.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804835084
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/15/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 495,819
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Part 1 The Basics
1. The Board and the Pieces 15
2. Rules of Play 24
3. Values and Uses of the Pieces 28
4. Notation 31
Part 2 Playing the Game
5. Opening of the Game 37
Lead Moves 37
Response Moves 40
6. The Mid-Game 44
Guidelines for the Mid-Game 44
Sacrifice and Countersacrifice 45
7. The End-Game 56
One Rook 56
One Rook and One Pawn 69
One Rook and Two Pawns 73
One Rook and One Knight 74
One Rook and One Cannon 75
Two Rooks 78
One Knight 79
One Knight and One Pawn 83
One Knight and One Cannon 86
Two Knights 87
Two Knights and One Cannon 90
One Cannon 91
One Cannon and One Pawn 96
One Cannon and Two Pawns 98
Two Cannons 99
One Pawn 102
Two Pawns 102
Three Pawns 104
8. Mid-Game and End-Game Exercises 106
Answers to the Exercises 127
Appendixes
1. The Secret Inside the Orange 165
2. The Plum-Blossom Meter 197
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    Best english book on chinese chess written so far

    If you are looking for a great book to learn about the game, look no further becasue this is the best written book on this game in eng so far. It introduces you to various opening plays, teaches you basic tactics and gaves great mid game and end game execises. Eventhough it might be difficult for beginners to understand the exercises becasue it lacks a little details on explaining them (just gaves you the answer with no explaination), this book is still the best written out in the market right now. So, if you want to improve your game, i recommend you get this book. (NOTE- There are a few minor mistakes on certain pages in the book with game notation)

    42 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2003

    The most comprehensive English book on the game

    The game of Chinese chess, or 'elephant chess' as it is known in Chinese, has been played for centuries. Since, naturally, most of the books heretofore published on this challenging game of strategy have been in the Chinese language, the present book by H. T. Lau renders a welcome service to another large group of game-lovers the world over. Explained with clear examples coupled with about 170 diagrams are the fundamental aspects of Chinese chess - the board, the mode of movement and values of the pieces, and the basic rules. The reader will note that there are interesting variations on the Western chess theme (although no prior knowledge of other forms of chess are necessary for an understanding of this book). Once the basics have been outlined, standard opening strategies are explicated, as are tactics for use once the game gets under way. Strategies used with various combinations of pieces commonly remaining toward the conclusion of the game are described in a chapter devoted to the end-game, which is perhaps the phase that the beginner should master first. This section shows how a player with seemingly few pieces left can win a game, and how a player in what looks like a losing situation can force a draw. Eightly mid- and end-game exercises designed to sharpen the player's skill are presented with answers at the end of the book. Finally, two appendixes are devoted to the elegantly constructed games found in two classic seventeenth-century works on Chinese chess. Here, then, is a book for both the novice and the chess fan who wants to add to his or her repertoire of fun.

    24 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2005

    Great book

    I like this book a lot. When i first started playing, I didn't play smart or strategically, so i was losing a lot. This book helped me play a lot smarter and gave me a lot of possible moves to try. The tactics he provides are good, but you need a board to use with it in order to understand. If you're willing to put in a little time, this book will make you a pretty good player.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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