Computers have impacted the lives of everyone in more than one ways. It is the same with Xiangqi. In the past, the only way to improve was to play, analyze your games post-mortem, read and see Xiangqi articles, and seek help from experts.
Computer programs have made the process much easier. There are two types of computer programs that will be discussed in this section.
- Xiangqi engines
- Programs for post-mortem analysis
The first would be computer programs that can be used to record your games, view the games of grandmasters and masters alike, take notes et cetera. They are very powerful and if you know how to use them, they can ease your learning curve quite a bit. Such programs are called Xiangqi engines.
The Xiangqi engine used on this site is CCbridge and in the Webmaster's opinion, is the best program of its kind hands down. You would be able to view games of experts, make notes, see variations, upload and down computer programs et cetera. Unfortunately, CCbridge is in Chinese which would make it difficult for the non-Chinese. The Webmaster has made a few videos on CCbridge to help interested readers and also came up with a short manual to help non-native Chinese speakers with CCBridge. Click here for the article.
Prior to CCbridge, there were other programs like cccoffee, xqwizard, Jeremy Craner's Qian Hong et cetera. All these programs have their pros and cons and are similar, but perhaps not as powerful as CCbridge. Please google for these other Xiangqi engines if you are interested. Or you may visit a very old webpage by Y.C Cheok, who can be reached at [email protected] Click here for page 01, 02 and 03.
AI for post-mortem analysis
In the past, post-mortem analysis could be difficult, especially for the newbie. However, the invention of Deep Blue sparked its counterpart in Xiangqi. Today, computer programs are being used by pros and amateurs alike to improve their game.
As mentioned in the article on Tian Tian Xiangqi, the app comes with a built in computer program to help with your post-mortem analysis.
There have been tournaments for Xiangqi programs whereby each program is pit against another program and Xiangqi is played. Perhaps the most well-known tournament would be the Chu He Han Jie Xiangqi AI Tournament. Click here for a newspaper report on the event. So far, two Chinese programs have been winner and runner up of the event: 象棋名手 and 象棋龙卷风. The former won the first event, while the latter won the second and third event. Both programs are available commercially. 象棋龙卷风 is also known as SAchess.
SAchess had its own website, www.sachess.com , where there was a free, low-level engine that would be sufficient to help your analysis. Unfortunately, the link does not seem to work anymore, but the facebook page is still present. The Webmaster had been to the third event and witnessed the the final match that was played.