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General recommendations

The following is a passage from GM Liu Dianzhong's book on midgame. It is a very nice and succint summary of what you should do and what you should not do or avoid in midgame. I have translated it as best as possible. 

To my knowledge, I think that this is the first ever English website discussing this topic. I will need help translating the different tactics used and I am sure I will have to rewrite this section over many times. If you have ANY better translations for the tactics in English, please tell me ASAP by emailing me at or . I do not wish to rewrite this section a million times.  

General guidelines for midgame play (condensed from ref 8)

The following are the principles suggested by GM Liu Dianzhong. I highly recommend following his advice.
1. 先求主动控局 再求谋势得子
  Aim to control the game first before striving to gain positional advantage. Only when these two are met goals are met will you strive to gain material advantage. GM Liu stresses the importance of positive thinking and aggressive play in his passage on this subject.
2. 抢位封禁立于得先 紧逼闪击有益取势
   When both sides have similar material and neither side has the distinct advantage, whoever gets the better position first will normally have the scales tipped in his favor. Under such circumstances, it is more important to control the important positions first and then maneuver your pieces so that a clear advantage is earned. Think of it like a python having wrapped around its prey and strangling the prey.
3. 急攻要有后援 弃子需要得先 谋子不教落后
   When attacking swiftly, there must be backup. When sacrificing, you must gain initiative or it would be a waste. When plotting for an opponent’s piece, you cannot lose initiative to gain it.
4. 死子不急吃 弃子不贪取
   Do not take your opponent’s trapped pieces hastily, and NEVER be greedy to consume your opponent’s sacrifices.
5. 强子兑之 弱子攻之
   When the advantage is to your side, try to simplify the game by exchanging away the major pieces such that you enter the endgame with a clear advantage.
   When on the losing side, try to attack back and play aggressively, hoping to force a draw or even turn the tables.
6. 避捉不如对捉 退手不如佯攻
   When one of your pieces is threatened by your opponent, it is better to try to capture material of similar value rather than run and escape. This is because when escaping, moving your threatened chess piece might result in a loss of initiative.  When on the losing end, try to attack back and not just defend passively. Sometimes a draw can be forced or the tables might even be turned.
7. 集中优势兵力 打击对方弱处
   Concentrate all your attacking forces and use it to attack your opponent’s weak side.
8. 优势求简胜 势劣细谋和
   When at an advantage, try to go for the simple win and not complex ones. When at a disadvantage, try to aim for a draw first.
9. 利用棋规棋典
   Know your competition rules well and try to use them to your advantage.
10. 协调配合 默契灵活
    Try to balance the major pieces on your board such that they can help in both attacking and defending and even help to develop other pieces. Simply put, try to increase the efficiency of your pieces.  

Last updated: 4th September 2011

1)Mr Peter Sung for his invaluable help. is the url where the free ebooks can be downloaded at the WXF website.
2) Mr Harvey Blume for providing more material.
3) Mr Chris Hankinson for suggesting and explaining certain terms whilst discussing


1. Basic Xiangqi Tactics, Free Ebook found at the World Xiangqi Federation
2. <<象棋基本战术>> by 程明松. Approved by the Chinese Xiangqi Federation.
3. <<象棋入门>> by 刘国斌, 徐家亮, 韩宽 . Approved by the Chinese Xiangqi Federation.
4. <<象棋辞典>> by 屠景明, 杨柏玮
5. <<象棋入门>> by 马正福, 李浭
6. <<象棋入门>> by 朱宝位
7. <<象棋形势判断>> by 黄少龙   
8.<<象棋中局战法>> by 刘殿中 齐津安
9. <<象棋实战技法>> by 傅宝胜

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