Chinese Chess Information

Edited by Shi-Jim Yen and Jr-Chang Chen
Advised by Shun-Chin Hsu

Introduction

Chinese chess (Xiang Qi) is one of the most popular board games worldwide, being played by approximately one billion people in China, Taiwan and wherever Chinese have settled. Having a long history, the modern form of Chinese chess was popular during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127AD-1279AD). The earliest record of a game and a book on the theory of the game was discovered from that time.

 

The first Chinese chess program seems to have been written in 1982. The first scientific paper on Computer Chinese chess was published in 1981. The earliest computer Chinese chess competition was the Acer cup, which was held in Taiwan every year from 1985 to 1990. The Computer Olympiad is another important tournament. As well as the computer vs. computer competition, since 1999 in Taiwan, a human vs. computer Chinese chess competition (H4C) has also been held. The latter competition allows the strength of computer programs to be compared to that of human players.

 

Chinese chess programming is important in AI area. The game tree complexity of Chinese Chess is about 3895 which is equal to 10150. Compared to other board games, it lies between that of chess and go. In fact, Taiwan Chinese Chess Association (TCCA) has qualified the Chinese chess programs, ELP and ShiGa, as 6-dan level. It is expected that the world’s strongest program will beat the top human master around 2010.

 


Rules of the Game

Asian Rules

An Introduction to Chinese Chess  by Peter Donnelly


Coming Events

l           Computer-computer match

  •            2008: 13th Computer Olympiad. 2008-09-28 to 2008-10-05, Beijing Golden Century Golf Club, Beijing, China. http://www.cs.unimaas.nl/cg2008/.

    l           Human-computer match


    Recent Events

    l           Computer-computer match

  •            2007 World Computer Chinese Chess Championship. July 7-9, 2007. Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan, Taiwan. Registration: http://chess.cjcu.edu.tw.

  •            2007: 12th Computer Olympiad. June 11-June 18, 2007, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. http://www.chessolympiad-torino2006.org/.

  •            2006: 11th Computer Olympiad. May 25-June 1, 2006, Turin, Italy. http://www.chessolympiad-torino2006.org/.

  •            2005:10th Computer Olympiad. September 3-9, 2005, Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. http://www.cs.unimaas.nl/olympiad2005/.

  •            2004: 2004 World Computer Chinese Chess Championship. June 25-26, 2004. National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. http://credit.csie.ncku.edu.tw/credit/chess/content.htm

  •            2004: 9th Computer Olympiad. July 4-12, 2004, Barllan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. http:/www.cs.biu.ac.il/games/.

  •            2003: 8th Computer Olympiad, November 23-27, Graz, Austria www.cs.unimaas.nl/olympiad2003/

  •            2002: 7th Computer Olympiad, July 5-11, Maastricht, The Netherlands www.cs.unimaas.nl/Olympiad2002/

  •            2001: 6th CMG Computer Olympiad, August 18-23, Maastricht, The Netherlands www.cs.unimaas.nl/olympiad/

  •            Human-computer match

    From 1999, a human-computer Chinese chess competition (H4C) has been held at National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. The purpose of this tournament is to compare the strength of Chinese chess program to human players. Details and game records are stated at http://chess.cc.ntu.edu.tw/ (in Chinese). The results are stated as follows.

  •            2008, 9th H4C: Contemplation, ELP, Neuchess and ShiGa vs. three 7-dan players and one 8-dan players. The result is that Contemplation drew by 1-1, ELP won by 1.5-0.5, ShiGa drew by 1-1, XQmaster won by 1.5-0.5.

  •            2007, 8th H4C: Contemplation, Neuchess, ShiGa and XQmaster vs. three 7-dan players and one 8-dan players. The result is that Contemplation won by 1.5-0.5, Neuchess won by 2-0, ShiGa won by 2-0, XQmaster drew by 1-1.

  •            2006, 7th H4C: Contemplation, Neuchess, ShiGa and XQmaster vs. one 6-dan player, two 7-dan players and one 8-dan players. The result is that Contemplation drew by 1-1, Neuchess won by 1.5-0.5, ShiGa won by 2-0, XQmaster won by 2-0.

  •            2005, 6th H4C: Contemplation, ELP, CHWY and ShiGa vs. two 7-dan players and two 6-dan players, the result is that Contemplation lost by 0.5-1.5, ELP lost by 0.5-1.5, CHWY won by 1.5-0.5, ShiGa drew by 1-1.

  •            2004, 5th H4C: ELP and ShiGa vs. one 7-dan player and three 6-dan players, the result is that ELP won by 3-1, ShiGa won by 3.5-0.5.

  •            2003, 4th H4C: ELP and ShiGa vs. four 6-dan players, the result is that ELP lost by 0.5-3.5, ShiGa drew by 2-2.

  •            2001, 3rd H4C: ELP and ShiGa vs. one 6-dan player and three 5-dan players, the result is that ELP won by 2.5-1.5, ShiGa drew by 2-2.

  •            2000, 2nd H4C: ELP vs. two 6-dan players and two 5-dan players, the result is that ELP drew by 4-4.

  •            1999, 1st H4C: ELP vs. five 5-dan players, the result is that ELP won by 6-4.


     

    Game-playing Servers


    Programs


    Bibliography

    English

    • Fang, H., Hsu, T., and Hsu, S.C. (2001). Construction of Chinese Chess Endgame Databases by Retrograde Analysis. Computers and Games, Second International Conference, CG 2000 (eds. T.A. Marsland and I. Frank), pp. 96-114, Vol. 2063 of Lecture Notes in Computer Search. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. ISBN 3-540-43080-6.
    • Fang, H., Hsu, T., and Hsu, S.C. (2003). Indefinite Sequence of Moves in Chinese Chess Endgames. Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Computers and Games (eds. J. Schaeffer and M. Müller). Springer-Verlag, New York, N.Y.
    • Fang H., The Nature of Retrograde Analysis for Chinese Chess – Part 1. ICGA J 28 (2): 91-105 SEP 2005.
    • Fang H., The Nature of Retrograde Analysis for Chinese Chess – Part 2. ICGA J 28 (3): 140-152 SEP 2005.
    • Hsu T.S., Liu P.Y., Verification of endgame databases ICGA J 25 (3): 132-144 SEP 2002.
    • Jacobs, N.J.D. (1989). XIAN, A Chinese Chess Program. Heuristic Programming in Artificial Intelligence: the first computer olympiad (eds. D.N.L. Levy and D.F. Beal), pp. 104-112. Ellis Horwood, Chichester. ISBN 0-7458-0778-X.
    • Lau, H. (1985). Chinese Chess. Charles E. Tuttle Co. Inc.,Rutland, VT
    • Tsao, K.-M., Li, H. and Hsu, S.-C. (1991). Design and Implementation of a Chinese Chess Program. Heuristic Programming in Artificial Intelligence 2: the second computer olympiad (eds. D.N.L. Levy and D.F. Beal), pp. 108-118. Ellis Horwood Ltd., Chichester, UK. ISBN 0-13-382615-5.
    • Wu, R. (2001). Efficient Retrograde Algorithm and its Application to Chinese Chess Endgames. Ph.D. thesis. (Submission due December 2001).
    • Wu, R. and Beal, D.F. (2001a). Computer Analysis of some Chinese Chess Endgames. Advances in Computer Games 9 (eds. H.J. van den Herik and B. Monien), pp. 261-273. IKAT, Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands. ISBN 90 6216 5761.
    • Wu, R. and Beal, D.F. (2001b). Solving Chinese Chess Endgames by Database Construction. Information Sciences, Vol. 135, Nos. 3-4, pp. 207-228. ISSN 0020-0255.
    • Wu R, Beal D.F. (2001c). Fast, memory-efficient retrograde algorithms. ICGA J 24 (3): 147-159 SEP 2001.

    ·         Yen S.J., Chen J.C., Yang T.N. and Hsu S.C. (2004). “Computer Chinese Chess,” ICGA Journal, Vol. 27, No.1, March 2004, pp. 3-18, ISSN 1389-6911.

    Chinese

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