Xiangqi (Chinese: 象棋; pinyin: Xiàngqí) is a two-player Chinese board game in the same family as Western chess, chaturanga, shogi, Indian chess and janggi. The present-day form of Xiangqi originated in China and is therefore commonly called Chinese chess in English. Xiangqi is one of the most popular board games in China. Besides China and areas with significant ethnic Chinese communities, Xiangqi is also a popular pastime in Vietnam.
The game represents a battle between two armies, with the object of capturing the enemy’s “general” piece. Distinctive features of Xiangqi include the unique movement of the pao (“cannon”) piece, a rule prohibiting the generals (similar to chess kings) from facing each other directly, and the river and palace board features, which restrict the movement of some pieces.