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Chinese ChessA ~ Z

Introducing the Chinese Chess (Xiang Qi)

There are many sayings about the origin of Chinese chess. Some believe that it was invented by Shennongshi, a legendary God of farming; while others insist that the game appeared during the Warring States Period (476B.C.-221B.C.) for there's vivid description in Chuci, Quyuan's poem. However, the most widely accepted saying goes that the game was invented by Emperor Shun to educate his younger brother Xiang, hence the chess was named Xiangqi. Chinese Chess is a kind of strategic military game associated with battle affairs. In the early times, it was very popular among the aristocracy. After a long time practice, Chinese Chess was set close to the modern form at the end of Northern Song Dynasty. That's 32 chess pieces in total, and the chess board with boundary river as well as the rules of the game. It became a widespread game in Southern Song Dynasty. The men of letters such as Li Qingzhao and statesmen such as Wen Tianxiang at that time were fans of Chinese Chess. What's more, the book on the technique and skills came into being. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Chinese Chess was loved by every walk of life. In 1956, Chinese Chess became a national sport game.

Although many people believe that International Chess was invented by Indian, some still hold fast the idea that the game was the invention of ancient Chinese. However, there is no clearly difference between the two. Influenced by different history and geography, the two games have distinctive ways in moving the chess pieces, representing different cultural backgrounds and characteristics. As a form of traditional Chinese culture, Chinese Chess is very popular both at home and abroad. It is estimated that as many as half a billion people know how to play the game. In China , you can see people playing the chess along the street with onlookers gathered around. Here's a saying for onlookers, watching without telling, a true gentleman. Chinese Chess is easy to play, however a good practice is quite necessary. Playing Chinese Chess is a good chance to pick one's brain.


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