In Flexible Chinese Chess (F-Xiangqi) the rules are the same as in orthodox Xiangqi except that the horses are initially placed outside the board. Any empty square on the first rank can serve as initial square, creating great opening flexibility without departing from standard opening strategy. The horses can be introduced via any empty square on the first rank and move immediately, effectively a double-move. Pieces can be introduced at any time, provided that a move exists that originates from the first rank. For instance, if the red elephant has already moved away, a horse can be introduced via c1, thus reaching the square d3, for instance (provided that it is empty). Another way of formulating the rule is that the horses are potentially present on the empty first rank squares. Flexible Chinese Chess is intended as an alternative to standard Chinese Chess, radically increasing the ramification of openings. By waiting a few moves before introducing an external piece, a player can hide his intentions.
In this position, red can move any of his horses to any of the marked squares.
• You can download my free Flexible Chinese Chess program here (updated 2012-02-13), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it (I recommend the download version).
• See also Chinese Chess.
• Don't miss my other chess variants.
© M. Winther, 2012, February.