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This page is written by the game's inventor, Cyril Veltin.


Xiongqi (Chinese: 熊棋; pinyin: xióngqí) is a strategy board game derived from Xiangqi, the Chinese form of Chess.


Xiongqi starting setup


North Player:

Chinese Name English Name Japanese Name Abbr. Han Character Western Name
熊 (pinyin: xióng) Bear b Bishop
砲 (pinyin: pào) Catapult c Cannon
騛 (pinyin: fēi) Flying rabbit e Empress
馬 (pinyin: mǎ) Knight h Horse
玉 (pinyin: yù) Jade k King
卒 (pinyin: zú) Pawn p Pawn
車 (pinyin: jū) Rook r Rook

South Player:

Chinese Name English Name Japanese Name Abbr. Han Character Western Name
雄 (pinyin: xióng) Hero B Bishop
炮 (pinyin: pào) Cannon C Cannon
妃 (pinyin: fēi) Concubine E Empress
傌 (pinyin: mǎ) Horse H Horse
王 (pinyin: wáng) King K King
兵 (pinyin: bīng) Soldier P Pawn
俥 (pinyin: jū) Chariot R Rook


  1. Board and Setup: Played on an 8x8 chessboard, Xiongqi merges traditional chess setups with influences from Xiangqi.
  2. Unique Pieces:
    • Empress (妃/騛): A combination of a Rook and a Knight in chess, offering versatile movements and strategic options.
    • Bishop (雄/熊): Moves diagonally like in chess, replacing the Elephants from Xiangqi.
  3. Movement and Capture Rules:
    • Pawns move one step forward before crossing the board's midline and gain the ability to move and capture sideways after crossing.
    • The King moves like a chess King and is not confined to a palace area.
  4. Objective: The goal is to checkmate the opponent's King, combining the strategic depths of chess and Xiangqi.
  5. Promotion: As with western chess, a Pawn reaching the eighth rank is promoted as part of its move, allowing the player to replace it with an Empress, Rook, Bishop, Horse, or Cannon of the same color.

Xiongqi is a unique blend of Eastern and Western chess traditions, offering a complex and engaging strategic experience. It retains the essence of both games while introducing new tactical elements, appealing to chess enthusiasts and strategists alike.


For additional information on Xiongqi, please visit

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By Cyril Veltin.

Last revised by Cyril Veltin.

Web page created: 2019-04-28. Web page last updated: 2019-04-28