Most Xiangqi players can do basic analysis and mostly focus on how to checkmate.
Whereas, Xiangqi Grandmasters rather focus on controlling the board situation. They are dare to sacrifice his main pieces in order to gain the control.
The board position shown below is one of the example.
Red's pieces are nearby opponent's palace and ready to launch the final wave of attack. However, it seems that there is no immediate threat from Red. There is no check in Red's next move.
Further analysis, Black's King is staying on a dangerous position. This advantages go to Red. After deep analysis, Red player has managed to control Black's King movement and checkmate in next few moves.
Below is the definition of Probability derived from wiki.
Probability is the measure of the likelihood that an event will occur. Probability is quantified as a number between 0 and 1 (where 0 indicates impossibility and 1 indicates certainty). The higher the probability of an event, the more certain that the event will occur. A simple example is the tossing of a fair (unbiased) coin. Since the coin is unbiased, the two outcomes ("head" and "tail") are both equally probable; the probability of "head" equals the probability of "tail". Since no other outcomes are possible, the probability is 1/2 (or 50%), of either "head" or "tail". In other words, the probability of "head" is 1 out of 2 outcomes and the probability of "tail" is also 1 out of 2 outcomes, expressed as 0.5 when converted to decimal, with the above-mentioned quantification system.
Another example: Throwing a dice.
When a single die is thrown, there are six possible outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Therefore the probability of any one of them is 1/6.
In general, Probability of an event happening = Number of way it can be happened / Total number of outcomes
However, Probability is Just a Guide
Probability does not tell us exactly what will happen, it is just a guide.
Now back to Covered Xiangqi.
This is very important for a player to understand probability. The player needs to calculate the probability for a covered piece to be discovered during the entire game. Not only that, the player also needs to calculate the probability for his opponent's covered pieces as well.
The probability for next covered piece to be discovered will be changed after a piece was discovered. In other words, the player needs to calculate the probability for each move.
However, bear in mind that probability does not tell you exactly which piece will be discovered. It is just a guide! It only can help you to make a decision whether to discovered any piece or not. The actual outcome still depend on your LUCK, but good calculation in probability will increase your LUCK's level. You have higher chance to discover the piece that you wish if you do your math well!
During the initial setup, each player owns 16 Xiangqi pieces, 15 of them are covered. Only the king is discovered.
Therefore for the first move, the probability to discovered a covered pieces that you wish are as below diagram.
So, based on statistic, mostly you will discover a pawn at the first move!
Let do a simple quiz.
Diagram below shown a Covered Xiangqi's middle game. Black had discover all his pieces, whereas Red still has 2 covered pieces. One covered piece "Pawn Like" stays on File 9, and another discovered piece "Cannon Like" stays on File 2.
Based on the Red's discovered pieces, Red still has a cannon and a horse have not discovered yet.
1) What is the probability for covered piece on File 9 is a Cannon?
2) What is the probability for covered piece on File 2 is a Horse?
3) Based on current situation, Red to move. What is the best move for Red and why?
Same Direction Cannons Opening's Trap: Horse Sacrificed
This is one of the opening trap for Same Direction Cannons variations.
In this game, at the 9th move, Red sacrificed his horse in return managed to launch long-range attack with combination of chariot and cannon. Toward end of the game, Red also played well to save his king from checkmate, and had demonstrated beautiful counter-attack.
The techniques applied in this game are useful for Xiangqi lovers to further develop their midgame skill.
Covered Xiangqi #1 - a difference way of playing Xiangqi game
Covered Xiangqi also known as 揭棋 (in Chinese) orCờ tướng úp (in Vietnamese), is a strategy board game evolves from traditional Xiangqi game. This game is popular at Southern of China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South East Asia.
The mentioned game uses the same Xiangqi board and Xiangqi pieces. The movement for of the pieces are same as traditional Xiangqi game. The game rules are similar. The objective of the Covered Xiangqi game is to capture opponent's King.
Of course there are some differences.
At the initial setup, both kings are facing up and stayed on the original position as in traditional Xiangqi game. On each side, the remaining pieces are mixed randomly and put on the board facing down (covered) on the intersection point same as traditional Xiangqi during initial setup. Since the pieces are facing down (or covered), both players are unable to identify the actual identity of the pieces. The Diagram 1 above describes the initial setup of a Covered Xiangqi game.
When the piece is covered, it movement is same as initial traditional Xiangqi piece stays at initial position. The player needs to move the covered piece same as the initial traditional piece stays at that initial position. Once the piece is moved and discovered, the piece will be facing up and disclosed its original identify. After that, its movement will follow the original discovered piece.
For example, a covered piece on traditional center pawn initial position, its movement is same as a pawn. In other words, it only can move one step forward. After Red moved the piece one step forward, the piece need to be discovered or facing up! Once the piece is discovered, its may became any piece. It can be a pawn or a chariot or a horse or a elephant. In this example, the discovered piece was a horse (Diagram 2). After discovered, the following movement for this discovered piece would be horse.
The main difference within Covered Xiangqi and traditional Xiangqi is:The advisor and elephant pieces are allowed to cross the river to opponent's side and aid on attack.
From time to time, I will start to share with the readers more details on:
1) Basic Opening for Covered Xiangqi
2) Basic Checkmate methods (with combination of advisor and elephant)
Both of the players were China Xiangqi National Champion.
GM Yang GuanLin: Offer his chariot for FREE 4 times
The game position shown below was a battle within GM Li YiTing and GM Yang GuanLin.
In this game, GM Yang GuanLin had demonstrated his superior skill in middle game and endgame, and his ability to manage the complicated situation. He was a dangerous attacking player with a mindset that is bold and fear nothing. GM Yang managed to find the right moment to breakthrough Red's defense by offering his chariot 4 times.
Enjoy the game!
Black to move!
1. ...... R7-3
This was the first attempt for Black to offer his chariot.
A wonderful endgame: Sacrificed Cannon and Horse in order to win the game with two pawns
Black's horse stayed on file 2 was capturing Red's pawn, whereas Black's horse stayed on center file was capturing Red's advisor. It seems that Red was in difficult situation.
The diagram shown the game position for 2017 China Xiangqi Tournament -team event, Xie YeJian (Hunan) against Mi YueJin (Xinjiang) at 60th move. Red was in advantages with additional 2 pawns. However, Red had lose both elephants and under attack by Black's double horses. During this critical moment, Red had demonstrated his ability in complicated calculation and high-skill endgame, sacrificed his cannon and horse and finally defeated his opponent with his last 2 pawns.