Chapter 3a: Capturing Material 捉
Capturing material can be generally defined as the process of :
- threatening an enemy piece
- attacking that same enemy piece piece
- forcing enemy material to become trapped or forcing the opponent to concede
- capturing the piece and removing it from the board.
This tactic is one of the most commonly used ways of weakening the opponent in Xiangqi. Most captures are easy and direct but there are still various principles to adhere for using this tactic in special situations.
In this chapter, the capture tactic is discussed under the following settings:
- Going into dangerous territory to capture material
- Forcing and capturing trapped material
- Capturing material by leveraging the situation 借势
In the first two situations, going into dangerous territory is a common theme sof further clarification is required.
We all know that under most circumstances, it would not be advisable to send your troops into perilous territory. The strategy books dictate that.
At the beginning of the game, the XiangQi board is basically divided into two factions for both players. So, the enemys side of the board can be considered to be dangerous territory as a general. Each chess piece would also have its own sphere of influence, controlling various files/ranks/points on the board. These spheres of influence can combine together to become dangerous territory for the enemy and one would normally avoid moving material there.
As the battle goes on, however, there will be direct confrontations to fight for territory. If one were overly cautious or conservative and dared not tread into dangerous territory, the fight would be over soon. That is why, in actual play, one must always adjust to the situation on hand, analyse it well and adopt the correct approach.
Forcing and capturing trapped material
The next topic would discuss the situation whereby there is indeed danger when entering enemy territory. When the offending piece advances recklessly, the King would be attacked mercilessly. There are two different scenarios and a few examples will be given.
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李海鸣 和 林秦. 象棋战术初步. 北京 : 新华书店北京发行, 1986. 7015.2281.