Xiangqi (Chinese: 象棋, p Xiàngqí), sometimes called Chinese chess, is an strategy board game for two players. It is one of the most popular board games in China, and is in the same family as "Western" (or "international") chess, chaturanga, shogi, Indian chess and janggi. Besides China and areas with significant ethnic Chinese communities, xiangqi (cờ tướng) is also a popular pastime in Vietnam.
The game represents a battle between two armies, with the object of capturing the enemy's general (king). Distinctive features of xiangqi include the cannon (pao), which must jump to capture; a rule prohibiting the generals from facing each other directly; areas on the board called the river and palace, which restrict the movement of some pieces (but enhance that of others); and placement of the pieces on the intersections of the board lines, rather than within the squares.
Xiangqi is played on a board that is nine lines wide and ten lines long. In a manner similar to the game Go (Wéiqí 圍棋), the pieces are played on the intersections, which are known as points. The vertical lines are known as files, while the horizontal lines are known as ranks.
Centered at the first through third and eighth through tenth ranks of the board are two square zones. The three point by three point zone is demarcated by two diagonal lines connecting opposite corners and intersecting at the center point. Each of these areas is known as 宮 gōng, a "palace" or "fortress".