What Is Co Tuong?


Quick Answer

Co tuong is the Vietnamese name for Chinese chess, known in China as xiangqi. It is one of the most popular board games in eastern and southeast Asia. The name "xiangqi" translates as "elephant game."

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Full Answer

Chinese chess is similar to western chess in that it is a strategy game based on warfare. The game is played on a 9 by 10 board. Each player has an army of 16 men. The round, flat pieces have Chinese characters written on them to indicate their function. The empty center of the board is called the river, and the players set up on either side of it. All the pieces can pass the river except the elephants. The positions at the opposite ends of the board are called the palaces, and the generals and advisers must remain in the palaces. The object of the game is to checkmate the general, which takes the place of the king in western chess.

Some pieces on the board are similar to those in western chess. Pieces known as pawns in the west are known as soldiers in xiangqi. Chariots in Chinese chess move like rooks. Horses move similarly to knights, but they cannot jump other pieces. The ministers, or elephants, are similar to bishops but more confined in their movements. Other pieces have particular functions unique to Chinese chess. Xiangqi tournaments take place all over the world, even in the west. Millions of people also play Chinese chess in virtual games online.

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