Sun Zi's Art of War Chapter 06g applied to Xiangqi (Chinese Chess)

Sun Tzu's Chapter 6, titled "Weak Points and Strong", in "The Art of War" is extremely applicable to Xiangqi.
In a nutshell, the chapter stresses the importance of initiative and why it is so important to fight for it.
Chapter Six can be viewed as the "how to" version of achieving the objectives mentioned in the previous two chapters. Several methods are taught.
Another important concept taught in this chapter is when to pick a fight. Sometimes, backing down from a confrontation might be the best action to take.
Sun Tzu also describes another concept of the numbers and stresses the importance of keeping your forces well coordinated and focused.
Finally, the analogy of Water is used, which is probably where Bruce Lee sought inspiration when he said "Be like Water!" This concept stresses the importance of maintaining flexibility.

Ralph Sawyer's The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China is available for sale on The author has not been able to obtain the permission of the publishers and has chosen to use Lionel Giles's version.

This chapter is very very relevant to Xiangqi. The ideas put forward by Sun Tzu's must be fully understood to take your play to another level.

Note: The examples have also been made into short videos with corresponding tags to offer a clearer explanation.
The URL is:









Translation of Sun Zi's Art of War is by Lionel Giles, First Published in 1910.

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Note on the English translations:

There are dozens of English translations of Sun Zi's Art of War. However, in the Webmaster's humble opinion, the best English translation is the one by Ralph D. Sawyer!  Higly recommended! The Webmaster has read many Chinese versions of the book and also three or four English versions.

The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China by Ralph D. Sawyer.
His book can be found on Amazon at the following link:

Another interesting Sun Zi translation is Sun Tzu The Art of War by Stephen E. Kaufmann, a Karate expert. His translation contains some interesting insights.
Kauffman's book can also be found on Amazon at:


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