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The Game of Three Friends. A variant on Chinese Chess for three players. (Cells: 135) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2009-03-22 UTC
O.K.

http://pika.cs.nctu.edu.tw/lit/friendsChess.doc

I had sorted these name of books. Hope these Chineses characters would display properly.

About the rules of Three Friends Chinese Chess:

1. Whoever is first to checkmate one of the others  gains control of that player's forces. 

2. Add Flag and Fire. 

Flags are put on the NW and NE corners of the every palace. 

Fires replace Soliders stationing on the second or the forth column.

3. The triangle zone in the center of broad is named Ocean. Chariot and Horse are not allowed to pass this zone.

Other triangle zone in every conrer are named Mountain and City.  Cannon is not allowed to pass this zone.

4. Other rules are similar to ordinary three-handed chess.

Larry Smith wrote on 2009-03-20 UTC
I have Kanji fonts for my browser and these characters do not show.

David Howe wrote on 2009-03-20 UTC
Yu Ren Dong,

Could you provide romanized titles for some of the books you mentioned. I found the ones for which you gave an ISBN, but for the others, I cannot read their titles or authors because the characters aren't displaying properly. Many thanks!

David Howe wrote on 2009-03-15 UTC
Hi Jean-Louis and Yu Ren Dong, I will have some time in the coming week to work on these two pages (The Game of Three Friends and The Game of Three Kingdoms). I will make your recommended changes, since you both are knowledgeable in this area. Thanks for your corrections.

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2009-03-15 UTC
http://www.chessvariants.org/xiangqivariants.dir/chincrosses.html

I never see the abovementioned variant before. There are so many Chinese who ever invented thier variants.

As I know, I don't know the pattern of ancient Sanguo Qi or Siguo Xiangqi.  In Modern China,  Sanguo Qi or Siguo Xiangqi are often invented many times. Many people think themselfs as the first inventor of  those variants... :)

One of relatively cretive Modern Sanguo Qi is Èý‡ø¤T°êºt«³ Sāngu?yǎny?http://www.sanplay.com/ 


Normal three players Chess with the following exceptions:\\
                      
1. Horses and Elephant have no trap. Since there is no river, Soldiers are promotted. 

2. Cannons are not allowed to move into other player's territory at every player's first move.

3. There is a neutral country called 'º~'(Han), not moving, not belonging to three player until Regicide or Ally. Han has three Chariots, one Cannon, and one General named Emperor Xian of Han. 

4. There are three yellow spots in the Han's palace. Every spot denotes evey closer-distant player respectivly. 

5. Ally: A horse can step one yellow spot denoting other players to ally until the other player is destroy. Simultaneously, the other player will get perpetually the control of Han at once.

6. Regicide :A horse can capture Emperor Xian of Han to get perpetually the control of Han. Simultaneously, other two players will ally at once.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2009-03-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Dear Yu Ren Dong,

Do you have informations on Sanguo Qi (3 Kingdoms Chess) as well?
Some authors mention only 16 pieces (no Flag/Fire/Wind), others give different moves to that piece.
And what about Siguo Xiangqi (4 Kingdoms Chess). Have you ever found something on that in the Chinese sources?
Another strange and mysterious variant is http://www.chessvariants.org/xiangqivariants.dir/chincrosses.html. Anything on this?

Great job!

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2009-03-14 UTC
http://pika.cs.nctu.edu.tw/lit/ThreeFriends2.jpg


Another picture of Three Friends CHinese Chess from ¹Ï»¡¤¤°ê¥j¥N¹CÃÀ.This book provides the following poem of ¾G®Ê¼w, depictting the rules and the tactics about ¤T¤Í´Ñ.

The picture does not show the palace(¤E®c) pattern. In fact there are three palaces in the rules. 


 
¾G®Ê¼w¡m´Ñ¸Ö¡n

¤T¤Íª§¶¯¡A¤@®ü´Â©v¡C­t¤s³s«°¡A³s³s±R±R¡C
±N¤h¬Û¨®¡A°¨¬¶¦C¦P¡C¼W¯q±ÜºX¡A¤h¨¤ªF¦è¡C
¤­§L¥h¤G¡A©ö¤õ¶¡­«¡C¥ý©ú¤j¶Õ¡A¦A¹B¯«¤u¡C
ºû©¼±N«Ó¡Aªk¶H¤E®c¡C§Ú¨®¬J§ð¡A¤s«°Ãä³q¡C
§Ú°¨¥ç¦P¡A¤s«°¶V±q¡C¬¶¹j¨L¬v¡A¤j«Ø©_¥\¡C
¤õ¦V¤p¦y¡A¤@¨B±×¨R¡C¤£³\¦^ÀY¡A´±º¸¾îÁa¡C
ºX¥X¨â¨B¡A«eÅXª½½Ä¡C¤J©¼ÅÉæ¡A§e¤K­±¾W¡C
«ß¬J¦³±ø¡A¥Î¥çµL½a¡C¤T¤H·í§½¡A¼f¶q¿³¦¥¡C
§Ú¥X©¼À³¡A°j°é©l²×¡C¬Û©¼¥ª¥k¡A­¼µê¦Ó¤J¡C
±E±j±E®z¡A¬O¥æ¬O§ð¡C¥ý¿é¤Ï­I¡A¨ó¦P¦V­·¡C
ÀH§Ú©Ò¥Î¡A¦õ§Ú­x®e¡C§L¦æ¸Þ¹D¡AÀÙ¨p°²¤½¡C
¯«¾÷§®ºâ¡A¨M³Ó¦¹¤¤¡C

Now, I understand the move of unpromoted 'ºX' in according to 'ºX¥X¨â¨B¡A«eÅXª½½Ä': 'ºX' only step 2 squares(maybe also 1?) forward. But I could't confirm the promoted piece.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2009-03-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Many many thanks for that image, and all your comments.
I've sent a private mail to you to pursue this conversation further.
Thanks too to chessvariants.org for permitting such encounters!

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2009-03-13 UTC
I had scanned the correct picture of Three Friends Chinese Chess from ��¤¤°ê¶H´Ñ¥vÂO¦Ò.

http://pika.cs.nctu.edu.tw/lit/ThreeFriends.jpg

The triangle zone in the middle of broad is named ®ü. Chariot and Horse are not allowed to pass this zone.

Other triangle zone in conrer are named ¤s and «°.  Cannon is not allowed to pass this zone.

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2009-03-13 UTC
* the Flags go 2 steps (never 1) forward (never otherwise) until they go out of
their territory where they move as Chariots.


Your abovementioned rules is original from ±ç²Ð¥ô 's essy book: ¨â¯ë¬î«BêuÀHµ§ . He lived drung Daoguang Emperor. 

I learned the game from ¹Ï»¡¤¤°ê¥j¥N¹CÃÀ � ,and the Flag moves as the rules in this book. The rules in this book are based from ¬L¥NÂO®Ñ.

I am also confused by two kind version of rules. I decided to choose the version from ¬L¥NÂO®Ñ. As it is older than ¨â¯ë¬î«BêuÀHµ§ . 

* the Fires moves 1 step diagonally forward and cannot retreat. I was not aware of
any promotion after outing their territory.

Right! I am sorry that I increased the power of  Fire for more playablity, and didn't write the change. The Fire does not get any promotion. I have fixed to the original move of Fire.

http://pika.cs.nctu.edu.tw/lit/FriendsChinese.rar


Thanks for your ardent questions.

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2009-03-13 UTC
Thanks. As a Chinese, I am glad that people would be interested in two ancient Chinese Chess varints: Three Friends Chinese Chess(¤T¤Í´Ñ), and Three Kingdoms Chinese Chess(¤T�°ê´Ñ)¡C


Some history information is avaiable from the following link:  

http://www.worldmindmasters.com/zh-hans/comment/reply/133

The detailed rules of the Three Friends Chinese Chess are avaiable from the book ¹Ï»¡¤¤°ê¥j¥N¹CÃÀ ISBN: 9576687039, which records many Chinese Ancient Game.

In this Chinese Chess History book  '��¤¤°ê¶H´Ñ¥vÂO¦Ò' ISBN: 9787101037043, also records the broad of of Three Friends Chinese Chess, but lacks the detailed rules.

Three Kingdoms China Chess was invented during Southern Song Dynasty. Unfortunarely, the inventor's name, the rules books ¤T°ê¹Ï®æ,¤T¶HÀ¸¹Ï and the detailed rules were all lost.   

¾G®Ê¼w, the inventor of Three Friends Chinese Chess, lived in Anhui province during the reign of Kangxi Emperor of Qing Dynasty. He is one of friends of ±i¼é who was known as one of the greatest essay writers in China. 

±i¼é wrote a book called ¬L¥NÂO®Ñ�. The rules of three Friends Chinese Chese were found in ¬L¥NÂO®Ñ�. 

During the reign of Qianlong Emperor, ª÷¾Ç¸Ö�, in his game book:ªª½Þ¶¢¸Ü also mentioned this game. 

I think that ¾G®Ê¼w maybe invended his variant in according to the original broad of the Three Kingdoms Chinese Chess.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2009-03-12 UTCPoor ★
A good illustrated diagram (apparently coming from von Möellendorff, 1876, who was the source used by Murray) is reproduced in David Li's 'The Genealogy of Chess', p273. 
It shows all characters used on all pieces. 
Beware, there is a big mistake here: this game is not The Game of Three Friends, it is The Game of the Three Kingdom, Sanguo Xiangqi !!!

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2009-03-12 UTC
There is a double confusion here. The Game of 3 Friends, Sanyou Qi, is not the one shown here, it is the one shown on The Game of 3 Kingdoms page.
Yu Ren Don's comments applies for Sanyou Qi, so it does not apply to this diagram.
A good source is Andrew LO, « An Introduction to Board Games in Late Imperial China », in Ancient Board Games in Perspective, edited by Irving FINKEL, British Museum Press, 2007.
Looking at Yu Ren Don's Zillions file, it seems to me that he took some liberty on some moves. I understood from Lo that:
* the Flags go 2 steps (never 1) forward (never otherwise) until they go out of their territory where they move as Chariots.
* the Fires moves 1 step diagonally forward and cannot retreat. I was not aware of any promotion after outing their territory.

Anonymous wrote on 2009-03-12 UTC
There is a double confusion here. The Game of 3 Friends, Sanyou Qi, is not the one shown here, it is the one shown on The Game of 3 Kingdoms page.
Yu Ren Don's comments applies for Sanyou Qi, so it does not apply to this diagram.
A good source is Andrew LO, « An Introduction to Board Games in Late Imperial China », in Ancient Board Games in Perspective, edited by Irving FINKEL, British Museum Press, 2007.
Looking at Yu Ren Don's Zillions file, it seems to me that he took some liberty on some moves. I understood from Lo that:
* the Flags go 2 steps (never 1) forward (never otherwise) until they go out of their territory where they move as Chariots.
* the Fires moves 1 step diagonally forward and cannot retreat. I was not aware of any promotion after outing their territory.

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2009-02-24 UTC
This page needs more infromation: 

1. On the broad of this game, there are zones called the Sea and the Hill instead of the River. Horses and Chriots can't cross Ocean; Cannon can't cross Hill.

2. The piece marked X is Banner. Originally, it steps horizontally or vertically two or one square on owner's zone. When it crosses the Ocean or Hill, it will move like Chariot from then on, but never come back owner's zone. 

3. There are only three soldiers on every player's side. Two soilders on c or g file have been replaced by two pieces called Fire. Fire steps forward diagonally. 

4. Three Friends Chinese Chess is originally invented by ¾G®Ê¼w during the reign of Kangxi Emperor.

I had implimented Three Friends Chinese Chess  ¤T¤Í´Ñ, but 2-player version.

http://pika.cs.nctu.edu.tw/lit/FriendsChinese.rar

amxre wrote on 2006-04-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
it looks SOOOO fun!but i hope there will be a 2-player version of this!

James Spratt wrote on 2005-08-09 UTC
Hi, Sean. How about the human politics during play? Do two weak players gang up on the strongest? I've found that typical in Chess for Three.

Sean Humby wrote on 2005-08-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have to say after playing this game, I've gotten a great appreciation
for it. This is the best balanced 3 player chess variant I've ever
played. (And I've tried a few... mostly garbage...) Please note that as
in regular 2player Xiangqi the Generals may 'throw their spears'. Now,
when they are in the middle position they are actually able to check both
other generals at once! The middle ground is prime real estate and
generally quite difficult to hold for any prolonged time.

The only really difficult task is creating the board itself. It took me a
few minutes to figure out how to make a regular hexagon from scratch. ;D

I HIGHLY recommend this game.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-01-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Presumably movement between 2 of the central 5-way junctions can only count as an orthogonal move and not a diagonal one, as there is no change of file. The extra piece could be uniformly called a Camel in European/American usage, as it is a Chinese-style version of the piece generally called a Camel

Anonymous wrote on 2003-10-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
hmm awwwesome.. never seen this before... could be very interesting.. wonder if there are copetitions to make this game more widely known.. would be interesting to have the whole world know of this game..

Sean wrote on 2002-11-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I would love to know how the WIND piece works.

Sam wrote on 2002-07-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This page is really good. Keep up the good work. Oh, if possible could you make a board that is really big so I can print it out and play on it. Thanks.

Ashley George wrote on 2002-06-15 UTC
Note that Wei, Wu and Shu were three warring states in ancient China, not generals.

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