Section 3: The different stages in the Xiangqi endgame and the different types of endgames
The Xiangqi endgame is made up of millions of midgames in the final stages. Because of this fact, there are many different endgame morphologies giving each endgame a unique character. For classification purposes, the endgame can be further subdivided into four different stages:
A) strategy-oriented endgames 戰略型殘局 : with more chess pieces
B) tactic-oriented endgames 戰術型殘局: with lesser chess pieces
C) fixed endgames scenarios 定勢型殘局: with so few chess pieces that a conclusion can often be arrived at. (Jim: the word "tabiat" in international chess might be apt. Endgame tabiat?!)
D) complex endgames: a minor percentage of these endgames show exceptionally high complexity with cutthroat battles that are comparable to the midgame.
In the evolution of the endgame itself, the following usually takes place:
final stages of midgame --> early stage of the endgame, most commonly strategy-oriented endgames 戰略型殘局 --> tactic-oriented endgame戰術型殘局 --> fixed endgame scenarios定勢型殘局.
Each stage of the endgame will be briefly introduced...
A) strategy-oriented endgames 戰略型殘局
This stage of the endgame normally comes immediately after the midgame. Thus, there is more material as compared to the other endgame stages. Usually, it would be an even game and both sides would be still at a stand-off.
Please refer to the example given below.
This is a good example of a strategy-oriented endgame because there was nothing out of the ordinary, and red did not have any surprise moves. The moves that red had made were based on his correct analysis of the game and the subsequent strategy he followed. This is a sure-win formula.
In strategy-oriented endgames, the important goals to achieve are:
Deployment (運子) : deployment of the chess pieces such that your opponent’s chess pieces are inhibited, so that pawns can be captured…
Simply put, by accurate deployment of your troops, one hopes to make them as versatile as possible, occupy the strategic points on the board, adjust your formation to suit the needs of the game, and to fortify your defenses while increasing your offence.
By inhibiting your opponent’s chess pieces, you try to stall their development, break the linkages that they have, quarantine the important pieces and attack the weaker pieces….
As for targeting the opponent’s pawns, this is exceptionally important in the endgame. It can never be repeated that the quality and quantity of the pawns are a major factor in determining the outcome of the game. This is especially so in strategy-oriented endgame scenarios.
After setting the goals for this stage of the endgame, one tries to play it based on one’s endgame experience and instincts or feel of the game. Enough cannot be said that the experience and instincts for the game must be based on theory with emphasis on the entire game as a whole. Simply put, do not win a battle but lose the war.
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First created: 31th Aug 2012
Last updated: 31th Aug 2012
GM Liu Dianzhong for making learning endgames a much easier job!
Mr Felix Tan for advice in various aspects of the game.
1. <<象棋新編教程--象棋殘局基礎>> by GM Liu Dianzhong 劉殿中, Qi Jinan 齐津安.
2. <<象棋辭典>> by the late legendary Master Tu Jingming 屠景明
3. <<跟我學象棋 初級教程>> by Wang Guodong 王國棟, Fang Shiqing 方仕慶, Li Yangui 李燕貴
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