Saola the Chinese Chess (Xiangqi) Challenger

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    I. What is Saola- The Chinese Chess Challenger (SCCC)?

    SCCC is the strongest Chinese Chess (Xiangqi) playing software on the market. A lot of time and efforts have been invested into the software giving it the best values in terms of playing strength and entertainment. With its unmatched strength and added features, SCCC will benefit professionals and amateurs alike.

    Strength: the strength of SCCC is between Expert and Master levels, with an estimated rating between 2000 to 2200. A simplified version of Saola plays as a robot (in table VSL) at Club CXQ and is ranked in the top 20. From an independent test conducted by the manufacturer, SCCC beat both Chinese Chess Heroes I (top level) and Chinese Chess Master III (top level: old man).

    II. System Requirements

    Pentium and Windows 98 or higher

    III. Main Features

    User Interface- Professional and user friendly interface
  • Board Styles: Fully scalable boards with different colors and patterns of wood and marble.
  • Pieces Styles: Three styles of chess pieces including traditional, ideographic, and western styles.
  • Toolbars: SCCC is equipped with various toolbars and panels that can be formatted.
  • Making Moves: Two ways to make a move, either by drag-and-drop or by click-and-click (click on the origin and the destiny)
  • Board View: The board can be flipped and / or rotated the give the best view
  • Game Information: gives accurate info on move list, score chart and timer
  • Copy and Paste: Games can be copied to and from a clipboard.
  • Print Game: Board positions and move lists can be printed directly from the software

  • Features for beginners and intermediate players:
  • Move guide: shows all legal moves of a selected piece, including opening moves.
  • Capture Warnings: all pieces under the opponent's attack are marked. This function can help low and intermediate players improve their rating by as much as 100-150 points.
  • Spy Computing: gives an illustration of what the computer is planning to play at any moment. This function can help players improve their rating by as much as 200-300 points.
  • Score Chart: gives a summary of the computed scores of all the moves, allowing one to have an overview of the game, displaying good and bad and the critical moments of the game.
  • Hints: Saola gives reasonably good advice when one is lost as what to do.
  • Speed-Up the Game: On can limit the computational depth and/or time of the computer to speed up the game. Of course this reduces the strength of the computer. There is no time limit for human.

  • For Expert Players:
  • CCF Support: one can exchange game and position files with your favorite PC chess program with built-in CCF (Chinese Chess Format, including WXF).
  • Commentaries and Remarks can be added with ease.
  • Editing Games: games can be edited in text form. The program understands most popular notations.
  • Position Setup: any game position can be set up.
  • Thinking in Human Time: in selecting this function, the computer can benefit from human time.
  • Opening Positions: The book contains 7,000 opening positions.
  • Opening Analysis: Examine opening positions in a tree diagram with over 1.2 million nodes.
  • Tournament Mode: This mode allows a player to practice in tournament environment with, time limits (running out of time is considered a loss) and no take-back of moves.
  • Fully Automated Analysis with text annotations and variations
  • 'Analysis on Fly': This function is used for analysis of live games. Modern masters' moves are often difficult to comprehend. With this function, the player gains increased understanding and enjoyment of these games.
  • Find Solution: perform infinite analysis on current position to find the best move.
  • Adjustments: Many parameters of the program can be adjusted to understand more about the engine and customize it.

  • Database Features:
  • Select an existing or create a new database; add/retreat/delete any games(s) to or from the database
  • Add multi games into a database.
  • Retract a database and save as a file (one game / file) or as a text database.
  • Merge two databases into a bigger one
  • Search games with many criteria
  • Statistics

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    For other Software on Chinese Chess:


    Game Playing Endgame Strategy



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