Northern Westchester Chinese School

Chess++ Class

Instructor: Ifay Chang, Ph.D.

Class Assistants: Jesseon Chang and Jerren Chang

 

Reference Materials

http://www.well.com/user/mmcadams/gointro.html

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/SGBailey/go.htm

http://www.usgo.org/index.asp

http://gobase.org/

http://www.yutopian.com/go/

http://gtl.jeudego.org/

Culture, Civilization and Chess by Ifay Chang

Chess Rules Illustrated by Ifay Chang

 

Instruction Materials

Chinese Chess Set

 

 

Western Chess Set

 

Wei Chi Set (Go)

 

The following instructional materials are included for students to study. Students should refer to these materials when needed. 

Rules of Chinese Chess Vs Western Chess - Ifay Chang

  1. King and the two Royal Guards are confined in the Castle which is located in the lower center of the board. King can move vertically and horizontally one step at a time whereas the royal guards can only move diagonally one step at a time. In King's and royal guard's move, an enemy piece can be captured if the enemy is in its way. The corresponding piece in western chess for royal guard is the bishop, however, the bishop is not confined to the castle and it can move diagonally more than one step at a time.
  2. There are two palace guards called elephants in Chinese. They can only move diagonally two steps at a time but not allowed to cross the dividing river. Their corresponding pieces in western chess are also the bishops. The western chess pieces are placed in the squares of the 8 by 8 chess board marked with squares marked in two different colors whereas the Chinese chess pieces are placed on the intersection of lines on the 8 by 9 chess board where there is a river dividing the two 4 by 8 halves.
  3. There are two knights in Chinese chess almost equivalent to the knights in the western chess. Remember the Chinese knights are placed on line intersections and move semi-diagonally in two steps. The Chinese knights can be blocked from movement by a piece (friend or foe) located next to the knight at the starting point (not the destination point) of the knight's movement. Western knights have no such restriction. They can move to the destination square either by capturing its opponent or if the square is unoccupied.
  4. There are two chariots in Chinese chess (called vehicle in Chinese) which can move freely either vertically or horizontally and they are allowed to capture their enemy at their destination points. Correspondingly, there are two rooks in western chess which can move in the similar manner except in squares rather than on lines.
  5. There are five foot soldiers in Chinese chess placed up front one line before the river divider on alternate vertical lines. These foot soldiers are allowed to move one step forward until they cross the river then they may move horizontally still one step at a time. Whereas in western Chess, there are eight foot soldiers called pawns placed immediately above the king's royal forces. They do block the movement of the king's royal pieces except the two knights. Therefore, one must strategically move the pawns to allow the royal forces to get out. The Chinese 'pawns' do not block the movement of the other pieces as much as in the western chess, therefore the opening move in Chinese chess is not necessarily a pawn move like in the Western chess. The pawns in western chess can become a royal force when they reach the base square of the enemy side. Usually people would like to make them queens since the queen is the most powerful piece in western chess. The Chinese 'pawns' can only go forward and not allowed to move backward.
  6. There is no queen in Chinese chess but the queen in western chess can move and capture freely along vertical, horizontal and diagonal in any color square, hence it is the most powerful piece.
  7. The second important difference in Chinese chess is that there are two cannons in the royal forces initially placed on B3 and H3 on the red side (or white side) and on B* and H8 on the black side as counted from the red (white) side. These position notations are important for chess learners so they could write their moves and study them later to find mistakes or winning moves. Obviously it is less confusing if one set of coordinate notation is used. It is generally agreed that the red (or white) side will make the first move, therefore the coordinates on their side will be used for recording all the moves. The cannons can move freely like the chariots except they can only strike or capture the enemy piece in a hopping move resembling a cannon shoot on the target over a obstructive object.
  8. In Chinese chess the king is confined but in western chess the king can make a move called castling, moving with his rook at the same time in a cross movement to land the king in a more secure position.
  9. In western chess, the pawn can make an en passant move (diagonally to behind the enemy) by capturing the opponent pawn when it makes a two step move trying to sneak by his side.
  10. Rules on Players are very simple:
  1. The red (or white) makes the first move and the black (or blue) follows until one side is defeated or resigned or both sides agree to a draw.
  2. No chatting during the game
  3. No taking back (or undoing) moves once the player's hand leaves the piece that is played.
  4. The game can be played with limited time monitored by a clock or referee. Further rules may be imposed by the referee.

Strategies for winning

  1. There are only two ways to win. One is to win by strategy and making smart moves and the other is to win by recognizing your opponent's mistakes.
  2. There are also only two ways to lose. One is losing by making mistakes and the other is losing to opponent's smart moves.
  3. Win or lose one can learn through the mistakes and the smart moves. So the object of playing chess is to learn and become a better player. If one can become a better player by losing to stronger opponent is no worse than keep winning by beating a weak opponent.
  4. There are numerous strategies and moves in both Chinese and western chess. The only way to master them is by playing and learning.

Chess Nomenclature

  1. Since the Chinese chess and western chess are both interesting strategic board games, we will try to use a consistent nomenclature so we can learn the two games simultaneously.
  2. We will use a similar nomenclature for recording movements. The two diagrams attached show the numbering system for the two chess games for your references. The rows of lines in Chinese chess is numbered from 1 to 10 and the vertical lines are named A to I whereas the rows of squares in western chess is number from 1 to 8 and the columns of squares are named from A to H.
  3. The Chinese chess pieces are :

    1 King, 2 Royal Guards, 2 Elephants, 2 Horses (Knights), 2 Vehicles (Chariots), 2 Cannons and 5 Foot Soldiers (Pawns).

  4. The western chess pieces are :

    1 King, 1 Queen, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights, 2 Rooks and 8 Pawns.

  5. Example of movement: RC: B3 to E3 (moving Red Cannon from B3 to E3) This is one of the typical opening move in Chinese Chess. BH: B1 to C3 (moving black horse from B1 to C3). This is a typical defense move to protect the center pawn when the opponent moves the cannon to the center.

 

These instruction sheets are prepared by Ifay Chang for Northern Westchester Chinese School. Copy Right Reserved 2002.

 

Chinese Chess Game Exercise Sheet

Record of Moves: Cannon Opening (1)

Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue

1. C,h3-e3 H,h10-g8

2. H,g1-f3 H,b10-c8

3. V,i1-h1 V,i10--h10

4. S, c4-c5 S,c7-c6

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10

11.

12.

13.

14.

15

16.

King:K, Guard:G Elephant:E Horse:H Vehicle:V Cannon:C Soldier:S

 

 

 

 

Chinese Chess Game Exercise Sheet

Record of Moves: Cannon Opening (2)

Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue

1. C,h3-e3 H,h10-g8

2. H,g1-f3 V,i10-h10

3. V,i1-h1 H,b10-c8

4. S, c4-c5 S,g7-g6

5. H,b1-c3 E,c10-e8

6. V,h1-h7 C,h8-i8

7. V,h7-g7 V,h10-h8

8.

9.

10

11.

12.

13.

14.

15

16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Chess Game Exercise Sheet

Record of Moves: Cannon Opening (3)

Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue

1. C,h3-e3 H,h10-g8

2. H,g1-f3 S,g7-g6

3. S,c4-c5 H,h10-g8

4. V,i1-h1 V,i10-h10

5. Hb1-c3 E,c10-e8

6. C,b3-b5

7.

8.

9.

10

11.

12.

13.

14.

15

16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Chess Game Exercise Sheet

Record of Moves: Cannon Opening (4)

Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue

1. C,h3-e3 H,h10-g8

2. H,g1-f3 V,i10-h10

3. V,i1-h1 H,b10-c8

4. S, c4-c5 S,g7-g6

5. H,b1-c3 C,b8-b4

6. S,e4-e5 C,h8-h4

7.

8.

9.

10

11.

12.

13.

14.

15

16.

 

 

 

 

NWCS Chess Class Lecture Material (by Ifay Chang, Copyrighted)

 

 

 

Chinese Chess Game Exercise Sheet

Record of Moves:

Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue Red Blue

1. 17 33 49 65

2. 18 34 50 66

3. 19 35 51 67

4. 20 36 52 68

5. 21 37 53 69

6. 22 38 54 70

7. 23 39 55 71

8. 24 40 56 72

9. 25 41 57 73

10 26 42 58 74

11 27 43 59 75

12 28 44 60 76

13 29 45 61 77

14 30 46 62 78

15 31 47 63 79

16 32 48 64 80

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction of Go

 

Go Board

 

A square board with 18 by 18, 324 cells or small squares formed by 19 horizontal and 19 vertical lines. The following diagram shows the board. The Go pieces are in two colors, black (181 pieces) and white (180 pieces) and they are going to be played on the intersection of the lines (cross points) not in the cells. You win by counting the cells you captured.

 

 

 

Go Board

 

For counting purposes, the center of the board (cross point) is called 'Tien Yuan' and the eight other cross points six cells away horizontally, vertically or diagonally are called 'Hsing' or 'star'.

 

Game Rules

 

Black first white second, starting at any cross point. Once the piece is placed on the board, it can not be retracted or changed in position.

Force or 'Chi' of the piece: a piece placed on a cross point, it generally controls 4 'chi' or 'force' in the nearest horizontal and vertical cross points, except when the piece is on an edge (only controls 3 'chi') or at the corner (only controls 2 'chi'). When the same color pieces are connected, they form combined 'chi', for example, two adjacent pieces controls 6 'chi'. Three pieces in a row or column controls 8 'chi' but three pieces in an angle (L shape) controls only 7 'chi'. If the 'chi' or 'force' of any piece was occupied or captured by the opponent pieces, then this piece is dead and must be removed. The strategy of the game is to capture and take away as many opponent pieces as possible. It takes only 2 moves (pieces) to capture a corner single opponent piece, 3 moves to capture and remove a sideline opponent piece and 4 moves to capture and remove an opponent piece in anywhere in the center of the board because it controls 4 'chi'. However, it takes strategy and deep thinking to capture the combined formation and its chi. This is the challenge and fun in GO game.

Challenge of the game: The more pieces are connected the more combined 'chi' they control and hence more difficult for the opponent to capture them all and remove them. So the game spirit is you must attack and defend at the same time while you decide where you will place your piece. The challenge is to make moves that are defending your pieces and their 'chi' and at the same time attacking the opponent pieces and their 'chi'.

Forbidden cross points: if you can not place a piece at a cross point, because if you place it, it (or along with your other adjacent pieces) can be immediately removed then that cross point is a 'forbidden cross point' for you. (all 'chi' positions are occupied by your opponent)

Watch out for False or Tricky Forbidden Cross Points: If you strategically played your pieces, sometimes your forbidden cross point can be a major attacking move to capture all the 'chi' positions of the surrounding opponent pieces that surround this very forbidden cross point (and its adjacent allies). This is very important in Go game. One must be very observant and strategic in placing your pieces and you must watch your opponent's hidden motive.

Indefinite repeat moves are not allowed; one must make a break move before going back to a repeat move. Let's use @ and O represents black and white Go pieces to illustrate a Tricky Forbidden Cross points situation which may lead to a continuous endless repeated moves. But the rule is you must make another move before continue the repeat move. The left diagram below shows black controls one forbidden cross point but the three white pieces surround the black right piece are turning the forbidden cross point into an attacking point. By placing a white piece there, it can remove the right black piece as shown in the right diagram. Of course, this pattern is just a mirror image of the first one so the black can do the same move and reverse the diagram back to the first one again. So can white to repeat what he has done. This can go on forever if the rule is not followed. The rule is simple, you must play another move somewhere else before you can repeat this pattern of moves.

 

                                @ O                                 @ O

                           @      @ O                        @ O      O

                                @ O                                 @ O

 

Winning Score: Winning is not by counting how many pieces you capture rather it is by counting how much territory you control. This will be explained more in detail later.

 

Method of Counting Score: Just count the cross points occupied by your piece or surrounded by your pieces. The following is one way for easy counting.

 

Step 1: You can pick any side to count. Let's say counting black. First arrange the captured area (cross points) into whole number of 10 (for easy counting). You can move or remove the black pieces to make the captured cross points in score of 10. Then total up the captured cross points.

 

Step 2: Count the remaining black pieces not removed.

 

Step 3: Add the above two scores and subtract adjustments. (See Adjustments

Definition below)

 

Adjustment:

 

The first player has a slight advantage in selecting key starting point (picking 'Tien Yuan' or 'Hsing' positions ). Hence, in final score an adjustment of 2 and 3/4 cross points or pieces must be subtracted from the first player's score.

Games can be played between two people with different skill levels (classified by 'Dwang' and 'Gi' ). The higher level player may give a number of pieces (allowance) to the lower level first player to play down first before the competition begins. Then at the end, the lower level first player's score should be adjusted by half of the points or pieces he received from the higher level player. Usually, the first-move adjustment 2 and 3/4 points is not counted if a game is played with 'allowance'. For example, a seasoned player may give a beginner player nine pieces to be placed at the "Tien Yuan" and eight "star" positions. This is called 9-allowance game.

 

Strategic Tips

 

Think of pieces as your soldiers. If soldiers are put in platoons they will be more powerful. If they get cut into pieces they will be weaker. So generally, you would like to have pieces connected rather than get cut off. Conversely, if you can connect the small platoons into larger formation then you will gain power.

Try to develop two forbidden cross points to prevent opponent to reverse the forbidden cross point to attack. The diagram below shows that the black is alive and safe even they are all surrounded by white.

 

          --------O@    @   @O------- edge of the board

                      O@@@@@O

                      OO O O OOO

                      O O

 

These two cross points keeping the black alive are called 'eye' in the Go Game.

Most fundamental: Kill 'Chi' and Capture pieces. The millions of variations are the art

of Go. How to make two 'eyes' to guarantee the formation to be permanently alive is

one of the most important strategies. You must look out for the opportunity to create

such 'two eyes' in your formation. You may memorize a number of patterns and

so you easily follow the right moves to establish such live territory when

opportunities present themselves. Some of these patterns will be discussed below

with diagrams.

Examples of live patterns

 

Straight four (C represents white, D represents black and = represents edge column of the cross points): Black controls the straight four cross points in a column. This is a live formation which will be safe if black does not make mistakes.

 

++++CD=

++++CD=

++++CD=

++++CD=

++++CDD

++++CCC

Angle four (Note V represents an inner crosspoint): Black controls four cross points in a L shape angle. This is also a live formation as shown below.

 

+++CD= = = +CCCCC =

+++CDVDD CDDDDDC

+++CDDDC CDVVVDC

+++CCCCC CDVDDDC

CDDCC+ =

+CC

 

E. Examples of dead patterns

 

Square four

T four

2-3 five

Cross five

2-3-1 six

 

References: See Above

 

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