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According to my dictionaries, 着数 zhāoshù means:

  1. a move (as in chess, Go etc)
  2. same as 招数 zhāoshù: "movement in martial arts or on stage; trick, plot, scheme, device"

There's also a 着数 with the reading zhuóshǔ, but it looks like a rare and obsolete term. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I wonder if 着数 is used or known in modern Mandarin (or any other variety of Chinese) in the first sense. In the dictionary, I see a citation for it from the old literature, but I struggle to find modern examples for the "chess move" sense.

And as far as I can see, the much more common form for the "trick" sense is 招数, is that correct?

4 Answers 4

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You are right, The 2nd meaning zhuóshǔ is an obsolete term.

着数 is a very common word, you can find it in chess writings, though 招 is also used, they are interchangeable in this context.

招数 has a wider range of use than 着数, you can use 招 to replace 着 in the chess context. In other contexts, 招 is more common. e.g. 接招, 妙招

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着 has the meaning of 计策,办法, also, it means 放(put, place) and 落(fall, drop) in chess - to place a chessman or make a move (下棋时下一子或走一步).

  • 該你着棋了 - It's your turn (to play)/ It's your move.

  • 這是一着好棋 - It's a good/excellent move.

Note, 招 can't replace 着 in the examples above, and in my opinion, 招数 (the movements/way of motions in martial art) is close but not the same as 着数 (method and tactics of playing chess).

https://www.zdic.net/hans/%E7%9D%80

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Yes, you're right. 着数 is rarely used in modern Chinese, and 招数 is commonly used for "trick".

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Question 1: Is 着数 still used or known in modern Chinese?

Yes. It is not obsolete.

Question 2: Is 着数 the same as 招数? (movement in martial arts, trick)

Yes. In the 现代汉语词典 by 商务出版社 (2012), under 着数, it says 着数 同 招数, and under 招数, it says 招数 同 着数。

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