Friday, November 03, 2006

The New Chinese Chess Set Is Here!

chinese chess
Well, the new Chinese Chess set is here. Folding black leather box with board and pieces inside, arrived here this afternoon from Yellow Mountain Imports out in California.

chinese chess
Chinese Chess, or Hsiang Ch'i, is a different game from western Chess. Related, but in some ways quite different. I first ran across the game back around age 14 or 15, when I unearthed a Dover reprint of Edward Falkener's Games Ancient and Oriental, and How to Play Them. In high school, early 70s, I made a Chinese Chess set of my own, wooden disks cut from a dowel stick, board woodburned into brown leather. Also almost 20 years ago I ran across an old battered, beaten, and not very well made Chinese Chess set at an Oriental import shop— made in the East, but evidently used, and almost unusable.

When I was in college, one year I had a roommate from Hong Kong who was a grad student in nuclear engineering. Wong and I used to play Chinese Chess, using my homemade set; he usually wiped me.

Now at last I have a nice authentic Chinese Chess set. To go along with my Shogi or Japanese Chess set. And my fanatical fascination with classical board games and card games in general.

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