Section 3: The different stages in the Xiangqi endgame and the different types of endgames
C) fixed endgame scenarios 定勢型殘局:
This is perhaps the last stage of play in the entire game. There would have been enormous casualties for both players such that the actual number of chess pieces left on the board are few.
It is generally accepted that there would be 1-3 attacking pieces left and the outcome of the game can be generally predicted with reasonable confidence. The moves needed to win or to force a draw are generally simple, and not too long. However, in some endgame scenarios, like 1r1h sw 1r2e , a reasonable amount of skill would still be needed for a lengthy endgame, but these are
Fixed endgame scenarios are what their name suggests, as long as a similar formation is reached, one could predict the outcome of the game. (Jim: "定勢" would roughly approximate to tabiat. Another point to note for beginners, the outcome of the game is based on both players the best possible moves.)
The diagram below was a game that I had played in 1994. It is in essence a 1h1lp vs 1h1a endgame which would be a draw under most circumstances. However, black had made some mistakes, allowing red to win.
As can be seen, the arrangement of the pieces on the board is not too complex. Neither are the tactics used to win.
This is one major characteristic of such fixed endgame scenarios.
Common tactics employed in Fixed Endgame Scenarios included:
idle moves, boxing in the opponent's king/chess pieces, capturing the opponent's chess pieces, bullying the opponent's chess pieces such that they are forced to move to undersirable positions, limiting the opponent's king, the actual kill...etc.
In fixed endgame scenarios, the king is often required to assist in the win. Following this line of reasoning, the central and rib files are all the more important in the endgame than any other stage in the endgame.
In the course of an actual game, when a fixed endgame scenario is reached, one would need to compare the actual game to various sure-win scenarios, various drawish endgame scenarios
and endgames whereby positional wins are achievable in order to make the best move available.
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First created: 2nd Sept 2012
Last updated: 2nd Sept 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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