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Mao. Moves as knight but cannot jump.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tim Stubbings wrote on Sat, Jul 8, 2006 11:05 AM UTC:
I would just like to clarify that the chinese character for this piece is a horse and the pinyin is ma3 (that is ma pronounced in the third tone - falling then rising). Hope this helps and clarifies the matter for anyone who is the slightest bit interested!

Charles Gilman wrote on Thu, Jun 1, 2006 07:01 AM UTC:
Perhaps it is because I am currently working on a variant combining elements of Shogi and Xiang Qi, but I have noticed another interpretation of the combination of letters 'Mao'. It could be interpreted as transliterating the Japanese for 'Horse King', in characters used (in other combinations but not together) in Shogi. A Knight move composed of two King moves, perhaps - not a bad description.

Steven Marche wrote on Wed, Sep 29, 2004 04:51 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
regardless of any author's spelling of a very simple Chinese Character, the standard Romanization of the horse character is 'ma'. Mao is simply another sound and simply is wrong. Unfortunately, problemists and game afficionados of the past were not linguists, but fortunately there are those of us who are in these modern times. Ma is Ma. Not Mao, or Mao Ze Dong's surname, which means hair or fur, btw.

Charles Gilman wrote on Sun, Jun 22, 2003 09:01 AM UTC:
Ma has many Chinese meanings depending on inflection. Inflected one way it
means horse, inflected another way mother. Thereforte the confusion with
the English 'ma' is entirely appropriate, especially as the English
'mare' means a female horse. There is little connection with the Pao,
except that both pieces are used in Xiang Qi, and still less with the Vao.
They differ from pieces used from India westwards in entirely different
	Two small points: were 'Dawsons' books' written by one writer called
Dawsons or several called Dawson? And why is cat the 'opposite of dog'
when the two beasts have far more in common with each other than with a

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on Sat, May 24, 2003 09:27 PM UTC:
T. R. Dawson was using the name Mao before the communist revolution in China that made Chairman Mao known to the world. Dawson was not using Pinyin, and for all I know, the Mao spelling was correct in the system of transliteration he was using. But when I put 'ma' in a Chinese Romanization Converter on the web, I did not find the 'mao' spelling for it in any system. Odds are that Dawson was very careless about using Chinese names. He made up the name Vao to rhyme with Pao, and he may have wanted to carry on the rhyming gimmick with Mao. To a westerner who doesn't know any better, the Mao spelling would suggest a closer relation with the name Pao for the Cannon. It would also distinguish it from the English word 'Ma,' which means mother.

elenex wrote on Sat, May 24, 2003 07:09 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
the diagram really helps to show the movements of the 'cavalier', which
is hard to describe with words.

'ma' is in fact teh correct term, in both mandarin and cantonese. 
'mao' means cat (as in opposite of dog) in both dialects...

📝Ben Good wrote on Tue, May 20, 2003 11:31 PM UTC:
whether it's originally correct or not, the term mao is standard among problemists and has been for a long time, possibly decades - my copies of Dickens' and Dawsons' books are packed away, so I can't look up if they refer to it or not, maybe somebody else can for me. anyway, the point is, even if there was some translation error way-back-when, that's the name of the piece in english now, and it's extremely unlikely that it will change. it was certainly not an error by the author.

xiangchi beginner wrote on Tue, May 20, 2003 08:32 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Hope I still get to put in my 2 cents worth even after rating the article Good. First of all, a big thank you to the contributor(s) for helping me understand what I think is the most perplexing move in Chinese Chess. I tried Google-ing (search term: 'playing chinese chess' for resource and somewhere at the top was a homepage by a certain Samantha Au of Western Michigan University. It turned out to be extremely terrible, filled with typos and served only to confuse and misguide rather than inform. <p>Anyway, I later stumble upon and all problems solved!!! :)The only thing that irks me is the use of the term 'Mao'. I mean, where on earth did it com from? In what is by far the most common of Chinese dialects, both in Mandarin and in Cantonese the character on the chesspiece is pronounced as 'ma', though the intonation differs slightly between them. Perhaps the 'version' in the's article is used because the author's inability to differentiate its actual meaning and pronunciation from the infamous China Chairman? Dude, those 2 are not related in any way!!

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