object of this game is to force capture of the
enemy Governor/General (King). This may be by checkmate (he is
under attack and has no means of escape) or by stalemate (he is
not under immediate threat, but there is no legal, safe move).
for the Cannon/Catapult (see above), a piece captures
by using its normal move, and landing on a point occupied by an
enemy piece. The captured piece is removed from the board and
the capturing piece takes its place. The Cannon/Catapult also
takes the place of its captured piece, but must use one intervening
piece, as shown in the discussion of its unique move.
the Governor/General (King) is being threatened with capture,
he is said to be in “check,” and
the player must move in such a way that the Governor/General is
no longer threatened. If he can not, he has lost the game.
is not allowed to give perpetual check, or a
perpetual attack. If the game is repeating its position, the player
forcing the repetition must do something else.
is a special rule about the Governors/Generals. The two may never
face each other on the same line across the board, with
no intervening pieces between them. It is said that they may not
“see” each other. This becomes important, especially
in the end game, as the position of one Governor/General limits
the movements of the other, and can “protect” a piece
invading the enemy fortress.
River, which creates a space between the two
sides of the board, is generally ignored — as if it were
filled in with lines, completing a board of 9 x 10 points. It
only effects the moves of the Elephants, who can not cross it,
and the Foot Soldiers, who gain more power of move after crossing
tournament play, to begin the game, Red moves