Sun Zi's Art of War Chapter 08c applied to Xiangqi (Chinese Chess)

Chapter 8 of Sun Zi's Art of War is Variation in Tactics. It emphasizes adapting tactics, understanding advantages and disadvantages, and recognizing dangerous situations. In Xiangqi (Chinese Chess), this translates to positioning, luring opponents, and adjusting strategies based on the game's flow. Players must grasp the significance of various moves, anticipate their opponent's intentions, and avoid rash decisions. By utilizing effective variations, understanding opponents' strengths and weaknesses, and staying mindful of potential pitfalls, Xiangqi players create a harmonious blend of offense and defense that maximizes their chances of success.

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. It has been added to Youtube as a playlist.
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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