How to play Chinese Chess

Learn the rules to the board game Chinese Chess quickly and concisely – This video has no distractions, just the rules.

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The object of the game is to get your opponent’s general in a position where it is left with no option but to be captured in the next move, this is called a checkmate. Layout the board and each player picks a color and places their pieces on the intersecting lines as shown. Take note that the symbols for each color are slightly different.

On each side of the board, against the back edge, is a 3 by 3 area with an “X” shape, that called the palace. In the center of the board, dividing the two opposing sides, is the river. Pieces may cross the river if their movement allows.

Pick a player to go first then turns alternate. On your turn, you must move 1 piece, then your opponent goes. Pieces can capture opponent’s pieces by using their normal moves and landing on a point occupied by an enemy piece. Captured pieces are removed from the game and may no longer be used.

The General may move one point either vertically or horizontally, but not diagonally, and is confined to the nine points within the palace. Also, a general may not move into a column, which is occupied by the enemy general, unless there is at least one piece positioned in between.

The Guard moves one point diagonally and is confined to the palace.

The elephant moves exactly two points in any diagonal direction and may not jump over intervening pieces or cross the river.

The horse moves one point horizontally or vertically to a vacant point, and then one point diagonally. It may not jump another piece.

The Chariot moves as many points as it wishes horizontally or vertically. It cannot jump over pieces in its path.

The Cannon moves as many points as it wishes horizontally or vertically. To capture, however, a cannon must jump over exactly one piece, of any color, along its line of movement.

The Soldier moves one point forward towards the enemy’s side of the board. Once a soldier has crossed the river, it is allowed to move 1 point forward or one point horizontally. A soldier may never move backward.

If your general is in danger of being captured on the next move, that general is in check, and your opponent must say “check”. You must now either move your General out of check, block the check, or capture the piece threatening check. If you are unable to do so without escaping capture on the following turn, then your opponent has checkmated you and they win the game.

If you force your opponent to repeat their move by repeating your move a second time, you must break the cycle with a different move on your next turn. If you check your opponent three times in a row in a way that repeats their positions, then your opponent must forfeit, and you win.


  1. As a Chinese, I'm good at Chinese chess and I always can play normal chess. Welcome to ask anything about Chinese or Chinese chess😏

  2. I think there is also a rule that you can not check below the general horizontally

  3. I love xiangqi. It feels a lot puzzlier trying to put together a check without the aid of really any diagonals.

  4. wow, it's more different from Korean Chess than I expected, despite the identical pieces!

  5. Thank you! I think I just need to learn those Chinese words before I play this game lol

  6. Regular Chess 🤝 Chinese Chess: Horses have a funky way of moving

  7. I did play this until the time I was blink, and I can't remember which one is my Chariot since the piece written in Chinese

  8. Chinese chess is very interesting for me. I from Vietnam. 🇻🇳🇻🇳🇻🇳

  9. why did my father not tell me about the "cannot be in the same column as the enemy general unless you're blocked"

  10. I used to see many oldman playing this in my local coffee shop… And i never know the rules until now

  11. You mentioned 3 ways to get out of check, but the cannon capturing by jumping over a piece between itself and the piece it captures implies a 4th way to get out of check, which is to move the piece that is between the cannon and your general so that there is no longer a piece between the cannon and your general.

  12. there's one thing he forgot to say. and it is very important. general can't capture soldier.

  13. Very interesting. Specifically because a few buddies of mine learned korean chess a few years back. It uses the same board and pieces, but slightly different rules. I'd be curious to see a video comparing the two, since translated rules leave some questions wanting.

  14. I'm Chinese and it's funny because Chess and XiangQi(Chinese Chess) has many similarities.
    In China, we tend to call a rook in chess a "chariot", and a bishop "elephant", because they have similar moves

  15. I like how you explain the use of 🐎 horse馬… it’s easy understand by foreigner…

  16. im here to learn this thing so when i get older i get to play this while drinking a tea and act like a retired general or a wise man.

  17. Wait, the repetition rules are kinda vague. You cannot repeat moves more than twice, but if you force your opponent to repeat the same three times with (the same or varied checks?), they must forfeit? There needs to be more clarification.

  18. Was this based off of chess, was chess based off this, were they both based on something else, or were they both original ideas?

  19. One more important rule: If you have no legal move can make, you loss, instead of a stalemate.

    I always think that the rule of no legal move in the chess end up with stalemate is unreasonable…

    Also, when the soldier got the bottom line of the opposing side, it does nothing, it cannot be promoted like the chess.

  20. The piece "elephant" should not be called as an elephant, instead, it is similar to a prime minister, which is a human, according to the Chinese word 相

  21. I dont ever having announce checkmate I thought it was an online thing

  22. Finally now I realize that the Horse/Knight in Chinese chess doesn't move in an L but rather in a half Y

  23. What if they have flying general in modern chess?

  24. Honestly I feel like making perpetual check illegal kind of takes away from the chess mood. Western chess considers such a situation a draw as neither side can make progress, and that rule is good since it forces the winning side to stay alert and gives the losing side a chance to at least draw the game. Perhaps the movements of the general and advisor may have resulted in the exploitation of such a rule in the past; I don't know as I haven't played the game enough times, but yeah, those are my thoughts on it.

  25. So basically

  26. there is another rule for the solider instead of forcing the solider to move diagonally or vertically after crossing the river some people (including my friends and I) have the solider move left, right, or forward

  27. Video proposal: Dark Chinese chess
    It's like the 960 version of chinese chess.

  28. Vietnamese people just like me also play Chinese chess🇻🇳🇨🇳

  29. You forgot "The rules are the same as regular chess, except for these changes". LOL

  30. 5d chinese sovereign faerie chessplus with multiverse time travel

  31. pao is very tricky
    horsy was nerfed horsy can’t cross other pieces

  32. If you don't understand chinese, then use traditional pieces instead.

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