Get started with Chinese chess China board game app

In an earlier post, we introduced the free Chinese chess Xiangqi game app. Beginners are often clueless and do not know how to get started. Today, we will discuss how to use this app to learn Chinese chess from the first beginning.

Basic rules first

First of all, you have to learn the basic theory and rules of Chinese chess. The app provides basic chess guides for beginners. Run the Xiangqi app on your iPhone or iPad, click on Me button in the bottom right.

Chinese Chess – China board game app

Then choose Help & Guide > Chess guide of Chinese Chess. Here you will be learning object of the chess game, the pieces, the board, move rule of the pieces, basic kills and other basic theory.

A chess student must initially become immersed in the fundamentals in order to have any potential to reach a high level of skill. He or she will learn the principles of endgame, middlegame and opening play. Initially one or two critical themes will be considered at once, but over time the intuition learns to integrate more and more principles inot a sense of flow. Eventually the foundation is so deeply internalized that it is no longer consciously considered, but is lived. This process continuously cycles along as deeper layers of the art soaked in.

— by Josh Waitzkin

Endgames study second

So, now that you know the rules it is time to start getting some practice. Just like Western chess, a Chinese chess or Xiangqi game, can be divided into three phases, the opening, the middlegame, and the endgame. Each phase has its own characteristics. The opening phase is perhaps the phase of the game where beginners are most interested in. However it is often not the best place to get started. There are so many opening systems and variations. In the Endgame phase, however few pieces are left on the board, less complicated than the opening and midgame phases.

Bruce and I also spent a lot of time studying endgames, where the board is nearly empty and high-level principles combine with deep calculations to create fascinating battles.

— by Josh Waitzkin
Chinese Chess – China board game - endgame sample

Open the free Xiangqi app on your iPhone or iPad, choose Play Endgames, you will then get a long list of hundreds of endgames, puzzles to learn.

Chinese Chess – China board game - endgames library

For example, you can start from 4000 Endgame Puzzles > Classic Levels or Level 1 Beginner to Hard.

Chinese Chess – China board game - endgame levels - beginner, easy, hard, expert, master

You may find many endgame puzzles are locked. It is because you have to solve one puzzle to proceed and unlock more puzzles or endgames.

Endgame compositions offer a dizzying array of tactics to learn. Some require the player to be aggressive and others that require the player to adopt a defensive stance. Whenever you need help, tap on Suggest button, the chess app will show you the best move to help you win the game. Tactics that are commonly seen would include sacrificing material, trading pieces, and maneuvering the pieces. It may be difficult in the beginning. Don’t give up. Remember that practice makes perfect.

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