Chinese Chess Games (notation and practice games)

The board

Game Notation

Two systems of notation are commonly used.
In the traditional system, the files (vertical lines)are numbered 1-9 from right to left for each player separately. As you look at the diagrams, red's 9 file and black's 1 file are at your left. The ranks are not numbered. Moves are indicated in the following syntax.
Name of piece; Original file; Direction ("advances" jin, "retreats" tui, or "sidles" ping); Destination file or Distance
When two pieces of the same kind occupy a file, the number of the original file is replaced by the word "forward" qian or "rear" hou, depending on the relative position of the moving piece to the player who owns it.
The final element is always the destination file for the mandarin, elephant, or horse, and for other pieces when they are "sidling", i.e. moving laterally. Otherwise it is the number of points directly forward or backward that the piece moves.

Some examples:

In books, of course, Chinese characters are used for the names of the pieces and the direction. The file numbers and distances are in Arabic numerals; sometimes Chinese numerals are used for one player files.

The second system of notation identifies the points of board by file and rank, A being the leftmost file (9), and 0 being the rank at the bottom of the diagram. Moves are indicated by start and end points. See board notation below. This notation is used to describe set up positions. Assuming the red side is setting up the game set hence all pieces are positioned and described by the rank and file number from the red side. Hence red king is at King (0, 5) and blue king is at (9, 5); red cannons are at (2, 8) and (2, 2) and blue cannons are at (7, 8) and (7, 2). All counting from the Red side. When game begins however, the moves are described with the first system as shown by the examples above. The counting of the blue moves uses blue side's file number (opposite of the red file, 1 - 9 versus 9 -1).

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0(A)     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I
  (9)     (8)   (7)   (6)   (5)   (4)   (3)   (2)   (1)

The following are two examples of end games great for learning:

Game I setup: (Rank 0 to 9 bottom to top, red base at bottom,  file 9 to 1 from left to right, blue base at top)

Red: King (0,5), R (0, 2), C (2, 2), Bin (3, 1), Bin (7, 4), Bin (8, 6), R (4, 3)

Blue: King (9, 4), R (9, 5), Elephant (7, 5), Pawn (2, 8), Pawn (2, 5), Pawn (1, 6), Pawn (1, 4)

Red's move to win: (suggested move R3+9) Clue: R, C, C, K, R, R mate

Game II set up: (Rank 0 to 9 bottom to top, red base at bottom,  file 9 to 1 from left to right, blue base at top)

Red: King (0,4), R (2, 2), C (0, 2), C (9, 3), Bin (8, 4)

Blue: King (9, 4), R (1, 6), C (8, 9), C (9, 8), Pawn (1, 5)

Red's first move to win: (suggested move R2.5) Clue: R R C R C C mate

Students can set up the above and below end games and play with their selected opponents.

Game III set up: (Rank 0 to 9 bottom to top, red base at bottom,  file 9 to 1 from left to right, blue base at top)

Red King (0,5), Mandarin (0,4) and (1,5), Rook (4, 2)

Blue King (9,4), Mandarin (9, 6) and (8,5) and Elephant (9,7) and (9,5)

Red's first move to win.

Game IV set up: (Rank 0 to 9 bottom to top, red base at bottom,  file 9 to 1 from left to right, blue base at top)

Red King (0,5) and Rook (0, 2)

Blue: King (9, 5), Pawn (4, 6) and (4,5)

Red's first move to win.

Game V set up: (Rank 0 to 9 bottom to top, red base at bottom,  file 9 to 1 from left to right, blue base at top)

Red King (0,5) and Rook (6,6)

Blue: King (9, 5), Mandarin (9,6) and (8,5) and Pawn (4, 6) and (4,5)

Red's first move to win.