Giveaway of the Day - Chinese Chess Soul

Chinese Chess Soul
October 27, 2012

Chinese Chess Soul is an excellent master level and popular Chinese Chess Game software. Either you are a beginner or expert, you will have fun and excitement playing it.

Key features:

  • Beautiful and easy to use interface.
  • Small, medium, large piece sets; change pieces and boards easily.
  • Play game from any beginning positions,play against the computer or a friend.
  • Arena match game model, Computer adjusts its level to meet your level and record your scores.
  • Play against the computer or a friend, Demo function-computer plays with himself.
  • A basic rule system can (optionally) keep plugins from perpetually checking and chasing.
User Rating: Rate It!
  • 182 (49%) 
  • 187 (51%)
System Requirements: Windows 95/ 98/ Me/ NT/ 2000/ XP/ 2003 Server/ Vista; Language: English
Publisher: Chinese Chess Soul Inc.
File Size: 11 MB
Price: $34.95

This software was available as a giveaway on October 27, 2012, this giveaway is not available any more. You can download the trial version of this software at

Terms and conditions

Please note that the software you download and install during the Giveaway period comes with the following important limitations: 1) No free technical support; 2) No free upgrades to future versions; 3) Strictly personal usage.


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  1. In Brief:

    Chinese Chess Soul is a master level and popular Chinese Chess Game. Designed for both beginner or expert. The computer automatically adjusts its level (according to the developer) to meet your level and record your scores. It’s one of the oldest and most popular board games in China. Both Chinese Chess and International Chess evolved from the original chess game of India called Chaturanga.

    Chinese Chess Soul


    The downloaded Chinese Chess zip file should be 11.9Mb in size and when installed to the default path mentioned below is 9.59Mb

    Installation is a breeze; the unzipped setup file installs Chinese Chess to the following path:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Chinese Chess Soul\

    Once installed you can delete the wrapped setup file (for those that are new to the giveaway project that’s the orange colored file with a key symbol on the icon; you can also delete the Setup.gcd security file and once registered the read me document.

    Today’s game comes with a registration code and name which you’ll find in the read me document .


    Unlike most game giveaways their is a desktop icon created during installation. There’s also a shortcut installed to the Start Menu Programs list. You’ll also find an uninstaller. I don’t know the arrangement for Win 8 yet.


    Chinese Chess, or xiangqi, is an ancient game of intelligence. People often know some philosophy of life to raise their awareness of ability, thinking and have fun through a chess board. You can play against computer or a friend. All your family members can join in.

    Chinese Chess Soul is also an excellent master level and popular Chinese Chess Game software. Whoever you are, beginner or expert, you will have FUN and EXCITING playing with her. You and your family can be enjoy by beating computer and improving chess level; Arena match game model, Computer adjusts its level to meet your level and record your scores.

    The variations in the pieces, their movements, and the board layout make Chinese Chess Soul an exciting and challenging game. Now download Chinese Chess Soul and lead your army filled with Mandarins, Elephants, Horses, Chariots, Cannons, and Soldiers, fight, attack, and checkmate.

    Reference: accessed HERE Oct 2012


    The Game:

    Chinese Chess Soul is a master level and popular Chinese Chess Game. Designed for both beginner or expert. The computer automatically adjusts its level (according to the developer) to meet your level and record your scores. It’s one of the oldest and most popular board games in China. Both Chinese Chess and International Chess evolved from the original chess game of India called Chaturanga. The name Xiangqi (“shEang chE”) is Mandarin for “Elephant Chess” or “Picture Game”, depending on how you interpret it.

    The pieces are arranged symmetrically. Some pieces on the Red side bear different characters than their counterparts on the Black side. They are the same pieces — with the same power — on each side. But names on the Red side are subtly more noble than those on the Black side. It’s a fair match, but you could say the Reds are the “good guys.”
    The following images shows the approximate Chinese pronunciation for each of the pieces and the equivalents from Western chess:

    The Moves:

    Unlike most other forms of chess, the Chinese game is played on the points of intersecting lines, rather than on the squares of the board.

    The Governor/General moves one space at a time left, right, forward or backward. He is confined to the nine point fortress, on his side of the board. (The four square area with diagonal lines cutting across the outer corners of the four squares)

    The Minister/Elephant moves exactly two points in any diagonal direction. This piece can be blocked by another piece on the intervening square (A and B in diagram) and is not allowed to cross the river, which runs between the two sides of the board.

    The Horse moves first one point along the horizontal/vertical lines, and then one point diagonally. Similar to the knight in western chess, but this horse can be blocked by an intervening piece. The horse in the diagram can not move to the points marked by the red X’s; it is blocked by the Black pawn.

    The Chariot moves exactly like the rook in western chess: as many spaces as it wishes horizontally or vertically, until it meets another piece or the edge of the board.

    The Foot Soldier moves one point forward. After it crosses the river, it may also move to the right and left, but never backward. Unlike the pawn in western chess, this piece captures just as it moves normally (see diagram). It does not promote upon reaching the far end of the board.

    The object of this game is to force capture of the enemy Governor/General (King). This may be by checkmate (he is under attack and has no means of escape) or by stalemate (he is not under immediate threat, but there is no legal, safe move).

    Except for the Cannon/Catapult (see above for image), a piece captures by using its normal move, and landing on a point occupied by an enemy piece. The captured piece is removed from the board and the capturing piece takes its place. The Cannon/Catapult also takes the place of its captured piece, but must use one intervening piece, as shown in the discussion of its unique move.

    When the Governor/General (King) is being threatened with capture, he is said to be in “check,” and the player must move in such a way that the Governor/General is no longer threatened. If he can not, he has lost the game.

    It is not allowed to give perpetual check, or a perpetual attack. If the game is repeating its position, the player forcing the repetition must do something else.

    There is a special rule about the Governors/Generals. The two may never face each other on the same line across the board, with no intervening pieces between them. It is said that they may not “see” each other. This becomes important, especially in the end game, as the position of one Governor/General limits the movements of the other, and can “protect” a piece invading the enemy fortress.

    The River, which creates a space between the two sides of the board, is generally ignored — as if it were filled in with lines, completing a board of 9 x 10 points. It only effects the moves of the Elephants, who can not cross it, and the Foot Soldiers, who gain more power of move after crossing it.

    In tournament play, to begin the game, Red moves first.

    Reference accessed HERE Oct 2012

    You can see two You Tube videos (part 1 & 2) on how to play Chinese Chess HERE and HERE

    Once the game is launched choose your side by clicking either red or black. Once you’ve finished your move click ” move now” button to allow the AI to play.

    If you want to start a new game click on “game”.

    There’s also an arena match mode where the computer adjusts its level to meet your level of play. To choose this option select ”start” in the arena match option. Scores are recorded automatically. If you quit in the middle of a game, you still can continue to play your last game by logging in your user name next time you start your arena mode

    Key Features:

    • Small, medium, large piece sets, change pieces and boards just easy.
    • Play against the computer or a friend.
    • Adjust computer’s level anytime.
    • Huge Open Book including tens of thousands of GM’s openings and lots of Chinese Chess
    • Play game from any beginning positions.
    • Arena match game model, Computer adjusts its level to meet your level and record your scores.
    • Create your own opening book.
    • Demo function: computer plays with himself. Watch two AI engines play against each other. You can set up an “Engine Battle” to watch them duke it out over multiple games, alternating colors each game, and saving all games to a file for later analysis.
    • Get context-specific help on the program and on the basic rules of Chinese Chess from the extensive built-in help manual.
    • A basic rule system can (optionally) keep plugins from perpetually checking and chasing.
    • Display the game’s moves in WXF or ICCS notation. When the game is over, each move of the game can be reviewed. The games can be saved in WXF file format.
    • Shortcut keys and menus to help you find any functions you want.
    • Small, medium, large piece sets, change pieces and boards just easy
    • Adjust computer’s level anytime
    • Play game from any beginning positions

    Video & Images:

    You can see a couple of videos showing game play plus a video from a grand master showing opening moves moves HERE, HERE

      and HERE


      I assume most community members can play chess, or at least know chess moves. Todays game is basically a Chinese equivalent of our Western game with some differences. The game comes with a help link that takes you to the developers site whee you’ll find a poorly written set of instructions that defies interpretation. I had to look elsewhere for clear instructions on how to play the game. That apart this game is actually well designed. There’s a confusing array of menus that I’m sure if you like the game you’ll soon come to know. :)

      I used to play chess a lot before computer gaming took over back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I still have an electronic board with magnetic pieces up in the loft, but it hasn’t been used in over 20 years so am looking forwards to checking this version out over the coming weeks.


      Gameplay – 9

      Graphics – 7

      Replayability – 9

      Originality – 9

      Instructions/help – 1

      Totals 35 out of 50 which is equivalent to 7 out of 10


      More Games

      If today’s game doesn’t take your fancy then check out the game discussion forums and the free games synopsis. We’ve posted a couple of thousand free games over the last four years, many of which are excellent alternatives to their commercial cousins.

      Steam has several games on sale at the moment including the 24 hr Steam deal which today is a futuristic vehicular sport combat game called Metal Drift (this changes to another game at 6pm GMT) and this weekends deals are both on play for free all weekend (until Monday) then, if you think they are worth purchasing you’ll get 75% off the usual price.

      Left 4 Dead 2

      Rock of Ages.

      I’ve also posted several links to sites where you’ll find loads of decent game deals. Just look in the Game Discussion sticky section for the thread.

      This months Alawar game is The Curse of Montezuma. for those that are new to the game giveaway project you will need Alawar’s free game box to be able to download their free monthly game. this months is an excellent match three. You can download the game box HERE.

      Oh yeah, nearly forgot, the next Indie Royale bundle is now available called the Indie Royale Halloween bundle (minimum price at the moment is less than $4) which you can find HERE and the Indie Gala X is still available with 10 excellent strategy games HERE (they’ve added another game since last week). You can get all ten games for less than $6. There’s a new Groupee’s Halloween themed bundle called ‘The bundle of the Damned. to get all game sin the bundle you p[ay around $4, or just for the main games you can paty as little as $1. you’ll find the groupee’s bundle HERE (Blindside, Anna, Post Mortem plus music and a movie). The Greenlight bundle has several games included. you can get the first four (Pixel blocked, Omegalodon, Startaxis: Light Hunter for as little as $1 or for $5 or more you’ll find an extra five games including the excellent Dawn of Fantasy and a DLC for Awesomenauts. Click HERE for details. There’s a huge SFI Super bundle (Strategy First) that contains almost 30 excellent strategy games such as 9th Company (based on the Russian film of the same name about a group of raw recruits that undergoe training then are sent to Afghanistan) Disciples II, Iron Warriors (tank strategy sim), Jagged alliance II, Emergency III etc. The usual cost of these games totals over $400; however, you pay only $9.95. You can find the SFI deal HERE. You need a discount code for the bundle. to get the code you need to be registered and allow Strategy first to send you news letters (If you are already registered you should have received an email about 2 weeks ago detailing the offer. Unfortunately I cannot post the discount code here. Also check out the latest game available on IndieGame stand HERE. You can pay as much as you want but no less than $1. The present bundle is Magabyte Punch that includes download links (once you’ve created a free account) for Windows and Mac versions of the game plus you get a Desura key. There are several $5 bundles available from the Indie bundle site HERE, each bundle has three games. There’s quite a few decent deals over on Desura HERE Virtually all of the bundles mentioned above include a combination of Steam and Desura keys as well as DRM free copies or a combination of 1, 2 or all three. Sometimes you also get a choice of operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, android) .

      Finally you’ll find details of all the bundles still available over in the first two pages of the game discussion forums as well as several of the main game distributors that seem to have permanent sales HERE



      If you have any problems with the game, either installation issues or getting the game to work check out the FAQ’s section over in the Game discussion forums. you can find it HERE

      If you are posting requests for help late in the day I would suggest posting in the main giveaway forums in the game Game Discussion . If you’ve installed the game but it won’t work for some reason, it should still be registered, so someone may be able to help at another time. Unfortunately if your problem is actually installing it then once the giveaway period is over there’s nothing that can be done until the game is given away again (though that isn’t guaranteed). It’s always worth checking out the free games sites as sometimes the games we get here are also available for free from them as well.

      Request for Help:

      Developers rely on good feedback to improve their games. If you download this game please take some time once you’ve played it a while to leave some constructive feedback either positive or negative. The more constructive feedback we get, the more likely developers are going to give more games away. The giveaway site already has a very good standing with the search engines. Developers want their products out there on the WWW, this site has the potential to do that. The game giveaway project gives away on average between 9 to 17 thousand downloads for each game depending upon what genre and how obscure the game is. That’s a lot of homes these games are being downloaded into and a lot of ‘potential’ cash that’s being lost by the developers. If we get better games because of better feedback, the community are likely to continue to benefit from the generosity of the developers. Satisfied community members are then more likely to visit the home sites of those developers and purchase games that they may not have bothered with before they discovered the developer via the game giveaway site, thus giving the developers more incentives to give away even more decent games.

      Please leave some feedback once you’ve checked the game out. It can be positive or negative, but please explain what your reasons were for the feedback you post. You could also leave suggestions for improving the game, for example, this game could do with more block types for the levels editor, add more power-ups, describing the ones you think would be suitable, add some mini games (which seem all the rage in some arcade games now) or enable the user to be able to change the in game music easily.

      Thank you in advance to all those who take the time to post a constructive comment.


      Whiterabbit aka Stephen

      Comment by Whiterabbit-uk — October 27th, 2012 at 3:01 am
    • Hmm,this is Chess in Chinese version.
      Easy to handle,have lot’s of fun.

      Comment by Tom — October 27th, 2012 at 3:04 am
    • Maker claims to have award from Softpedia but software isn’t listed on their site.

      Comment by nzchris — October 27th, 2012 at 3:14 am

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