Chinese chess is played between two people. It is a chess game in which one side wins a game by "checkmating" or capturing the opponent's general (marshal). There are hundreds of millions of chess players in the country. This game not only enriches the cultural life of the people and refines their sentiments, but also develops intellectual power, improves thinking, increases the ability for dialectical analysis and develops strength of will.
Chinese chess has a long history. There are historical records of chess being played in the Warring States Period (770-476 BC). Constant changes were made in the shape of the chess pieces during the Three Kingdoms (220-280), and Chinese chess was first introduced into India at that time. During the Sui and Tang dynasties (581-907), we find more historical records about the playing of chess. This can be confirmed by the objects unearthed in archaeological findings. For example, the Suzhou brocades in the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) were decorated with designs of "plucking instruments (music), chess, calligraphy and painting," and chessboards with eight squares by eight squares in chiaroscuro. Bronze chess pieces painted with designs on the reverse side have been unearthed in Kaifeng, Henan Province. Conclusions can be drawn from these objects that the shapes and structure of Chinese chess in the Tang Dynasty were very similar to the early form of the (international) chess. After several hundred years of practice, Chinese chess had its chess pattern finalized in the late years of the Northern Song Dynasty as modern chess: 32 pieces, a chessboard with a neutral boundary river area, and the General and the Marshal placed in the center of the Palace with nine intersections.
Since 1956, Chinese chess has been considered a national sport in China. In recent years, the men's team event, women's singles event and women's team event have been added to the competition program, in addition to the men's singles. The best players are conferred with the title of "master" and "grand master" by the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission (predecessor of the State Sports Administration). The Chinese Chess Association was formed in 1962, together with its corresponding organs. Thanks to the mass activities and organized matches, the playing level has risen very fast, and outstanding chess players have emerged one after the other. The well-known players include Yang Guanlin, Hu Ronghua, Liu Dahua, Zhao Guorong, Li Laiqun, Lu Qin and Xu Yinchuan.