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Mongolian Chess DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Eastern Asia, Northern Asia


Mongolian Chess is a war game documented in Mongolia during the nineteenth century.


Translation of Ye Mingfeng's work Qiaoxi Zaji: "The board is nine lines by nine, forming sixty-four squares. Each side has sixteen pieces, comprising eight footsoldiers, two chariots, two horses, two elephants, one cannon and one general. The two sides are distinguished by red and black. The general is to the right of center, and the cannon is to the left of center. One square above the general, the chariots, horses and elephants are placed to the left and right. the footsoldiers are placed in front. This is roughly similar to Chinese chess. The pieces are three-dimensional and have no characters on them. The general is carved like a pagoda as a sign of respect for Buddhism. The elephant is carved like a camel or bear, because in the meandering frontiers of the north, there are no elephants. There are many footsoldiers, because there is strength in numbers. There are no scholars, because they are not valued. The pieces are not placed on the lines but on the squares because this would be more secure. The horse always moves sideways for six squares, and the camel sideways for nine. This is because a camel is faster than a horse. Pieces can go all over the board, and there is no river boundary. This is to follow the water and grasses for pastures. The footsoldier moves on square forward each time to the last rank. It captures an enemy piece in front by moving diagonally. After it has backwards, and is promoted to chariot. This is to commend its merit. The pieces all aim to encircle and attack the pagoda, and only when the pagoda has no avenue of escape is there defeat." Lo 2007: 126.



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Mongolian Chess.lud


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Lo 2007: 126.

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Lo, A. 2007. An introduction to board games in Late Imperial China. In I. Finkel (ed), Ancient Board Games in Perspective. London: The British Museum Press. pp. 125–132.



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