- Copertina flessibile: 158 pagine
- Editore: Premier Pub Co (febbraio 1996)
- Collana: Chinese Chess
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0963785257
- ISBN-13: 978-0963785251
- Peso di spedizione: 136 g
First Syllabus on Xiangqi: Chinese Chess 1 (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – feb 1996
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Book by Li David H
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su Amazon.com (beta)
If I wanted to introduce a new player to XiangQi, I'd start by asking them if they know how to play Chess (or "Western Chess", as it's known to Chinese Chess players). If they say "No", then I wouldn't loan them my copy of this book. Why? Because this book doesn't really explain the concept of checkmate. That's a pretty major flaw, IMHO.
The whole book is like that. The title of this book should have been "An Introduction to Chinese Chess for players of Western Chess", because that's really what it is. At every step, the author compares the various aspects of XiangQi to their counterparts in Chess, as if that matters to a new XiangQi player. As a Chess player who was new to XiangQi, I learned quite a bit from this book. But if you're a big fan of Chess, you might be annoyed by how much time the author spends commenting on the superiority of XiangQi over Chess.
Of course, this leads to the bigger problem that there are no other beginner's books out there on this game. H.T. Lau's "Chinese Chess" isn't for beginners (no matter what it says on the back cover), and I believe that Sam Sloan's "Chinese Chess for Beginners" is no longer in print, so this one is the best beginner book out there, despite this one major flaw.
That said, this is still a good book in all other respects, and it provides good examples to help the new player learn not only the rules, but also how to play well. I especially like the basic endgame lessons that appear with the introduction of each piece. Also, the two annotated master games at the end are quite good.
The chapter on openings seems a little dumbed down, as he's trying to emphasize that common sense can get you farther than memorization in this game. That approach works because it's a beginner's book, but I hope it doesn't continue in the rest of his books in this series. I've already bought the second book in the series, so I'll see how he handles opening explanations in that one.
I do have one comment in response to a criticism in another review. The author says that by learning the Chinese symbols for the pieces, as introduced in this book, you'll be able to follow the moves of games published in Chinese books. The reviewer thought this was a silly thing to say, since he'd need to be able to read Chinese to read those books. This actually isn't true, which was the author's original point.
To follow the game scores of games written in Chinese, the only Chinese you need to know are the characters for the pieces (used extensively in this book), the numbers 1-9, and 3 other Chinese characters, which are explained on the World XiangQi Federation's web page. Armed with this knowledge, you can download game scores or positions in Chinese from various web sites, and follow along easily. You won't be able to read any of the commentary, obviously, but you'll be able to see the positions that were played in those games.
This book has been invaluable to me and I highly recommend it. I have also bought Mr. Li's second book in the series, "Syllabus on Cannon" (see review) and I have on the way his third book "Syllabus on Elephant".
I believe that with time this series will prove to be an invaluable asset to future Xiangqi learners.
The only minuses are a slightly exaggerated and unwarranted tendency to criticize western chess, and the ocassionally absurd idea which he allows to creep into his writing. For example, on p 13 he says that using Chinese characters for the pieces (as he does in this book) "prepares one to read classical Chinese writings on XiangQi." DUH! Wouldn't I have to know how to read Chinese??
The chinese chess 1 probably is the thinnest that covers the basic playing pieces for the beginner, from chapter 1-6.
After that, from chapter 7-12, novice as well as advance will benefit from it. Very practical, very real, very down to earth.
What I like the most is Dr. Li gives examples to clarify his points, so it's not an abstract or just theory.
You have to read to appreciate his works. It's very practical. A must for the Xiangqi player.
I improve myself after reading his books.
This one is perfect for XiangQi beginners and others too.
Don't hesitate to buy this one !