XQ notations

There is a simple way for recording XQ games or moves. Each move is basically made up of 4 components. The first component is basically an alphabet to present the chess piece moved. According to WXF (World Xiangqi Federation, the official site on Xiangqi), the notations for the various pieces are as follows :

Piece Notation Name Abbreviation
General King K
Advisor/queen Advisor A
Elephant/minister Elephant E
Horse/Knight Horse H
Car/Chariot/Rook chaRiot R
Cannon Cannon C
Soldier/Pawn Pawn P


Again, I repeat:
The first component is basically an alphabet to present the chess piece moved.
The second component is the file which the chess piece is located.
The third component refers to the movement of the piece: forward is denoted by “+” , backwards is denoted by “-” and traversing the same horizontal column is denoted by “.”. There are some variations to the notations for traversing though. In most Chinese XQ manuals, it can be represented by “=” or nothing at all , just simply C25. I am more comfortable with “=” but all 3 notations are acceptable.
The fourth or last component denotes the number of steps moved

Before we go on, a few terms are to be clarified again.
File --> the vertical line on which a piece is located. The files are numbered. For red, the files begin on the RIGHT and are numbered from 1-9 respectively. For black, the files also begin on the RIGHT but, on black's right hand side and are numbered from 1-9 respectively. Therefore, Red's 4th file is equivalent to Black's 6th file! Please remember that! Everything is relative...
Rank --> the horizontal line on which a piece is located.

I do vaguely remember something like this: the pawn nearest to your opponent’s king is given the notation of “底” and 底卒平4  di3zu2ping2si4, would mean that the foremost pawn checking red’s king in the above set-up. The second foremost black pawn would move to the 4th file with a move record of 低卒平4; whilst the middle pawn moving to the 4th file would have a notation of 中卒平4. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the denotations of the other two uppermost pawns. 
Luckily, such situations seldom or ever happen in Xiangqi. And more often than not, they appear only once in a while in Xiangqi endgame compositions. Hopefully, one day, someone will email me the article I had seen years ago…

Last updated: 21st July
2011         To the next article: The Anatomy of Xiangqi 01
Acknowledgements:
1) Mr Peter Sung of the WXF who has helped me so much, especially in this article. The examples that I used in the viewers were modified from the article found in WXF, at the url given below. (ref 3).
2) Mr Jeremy Craner. Credit and praise must be given to Jeremy Craner for helping me out in this article especially with the tandem pawn situation. His help has been invaluable and I thank him again
3) Igor for pointing out to me a few mistakes and prompting me to re-do the page.
4) Michael for pointing out a few typing erros toward the end of the page.

References:

1. In English, WXQ website http://www.wxf.org/xq/computer/wxf_notation.html , the official notations

2. In English , but you have to download the pdf.  Basic Xiangqi Checkmate Methods, Game 3 Returning a check after warding off a check (Fig 23).
Basic Xiangqi Checkmate Methods and a few other Xq manuals are free for download in pdf at
http://99.237.250.152/wxf/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=13 

3. In English, and buried somewhere in the WXF, the official notations of the WXF http://www.wxf.org/xq/computer/wxf_notation.html .

 

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