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XiangQi Engine Battles!

Thanks to my new Youtube Channel ( I’ve witnessed many interesting games between engines.

The main problem is that while watching the game, I cannot stop and ask questions… So I created this article to share a position from the first game of a match between XieXiemaster running on an I7 12th generation and Chinese Chess Extreme running on a Galaxy Note 10:

Game 1 Between XieXieMaster and Chinese Chess Extreme

(I gave the following name to the pieces: The General is called King=K, because for International chess playesr can be easier to read the algebraic notation with name of the pieces they know. the bodyguards of the King also called Advisor were called Minister=M, the Elephant=E, Rook=R for the Chariot, Cannon=C, Knight the Horse is used the letter N like in International chess, and the Soldier is called Pawn=P)

Move 18 Should Black take on G3?

Not moving the pieces, like in a real tournament game., try to answer this question!

Let’s see my analysis: 18…Rxg3; 19.Rxc8 now Red is threatening a checkmate. 19…Kd10; 20.Rxc10,Kd9. But like Lasker (2nd world chess champion) said: if you see a good move look for a better one,

watching the position I understood that Black has a huge problem, because if the Cannon on C8 is moved then the checkmate can be even faster. 18…Rxg3; 19.Kd1!! Cc7; 20.Rd6 and the checkmate seems inevitable.

To avoid the checkmate Black needs to give up the rook to gain a tempo, give check with the cannon covering the D file, and then move the king. Example: 19.Kd1, Rd3; 20.Mxd3,Cd8; 21.Mde2, Kd10. Black will lose, since Red’s material advantage is huge.

Yet, while playing the game between the 2 engines I didn’t have the time to understand why the Ng3 was poisoned, because the engines were playing with 10-15 seconds per move, and yet creating really nice games. I’d like to show how such analysis was important in understanding the remainder of the game:

Black continued with: 19…Rc1; 20.Md1, Cc9; 21.E5e3,Rc2; 22.Pc5,Rf2;

now in XiangQi one doesn’t see strategy because thanks to the open files, the game is quite sharp, but this move is a strategic mistake, because the rook is on the wrong side, and as we saw in the previous analysis it was needed to prevent red from getting control of the D file and threaten a checkmate. I guess everyone already guessed what happened: 22.pe5,Rf3; 23.Mde2! the rook is cut out!

The game continued with: 23…Rxg3 24. Kd1 Rg7 25.Pe6 and now we understand Why XieXieMaster played Pe5, it was a prophylactic move to defend the cannon once attacked by the rook.

Now the game is over, of course Black can continue to move, but it’s in zugzwang, and at a certain point will have to give up the rook to avoid the checkmate losing the game.

This article and the analysis were created on the beautiful beaches of Ocho Rios Jamaica!

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