The following example that we’ll discuss is called “wrong direction” as the name indicates, one of the players must have made a huge directional mistake. red’s first move, is E3+5
in tradition, since most players tends to pick the pieces on the right side. therefore E3+5 is the accustomed move.
of course, there is no difference from E7+5, it’s just customary. if Black is to mount a Cannon in response, he should choose the Cannon of the same side as the Elephant; C8=5, is more accurate, a correct variation. however, some players feel that their right hand side is more convenient. therefore, C2=5 is played this move causes completely wrong direction for the rest of the game. as we know, the positional advantage between players is built up gradually starting from the first move. players should pay attention even to the first move, and consider whether it can establish a good foundation for future positions. the most significant weakness of this move is that, it’s likely to allows Red to maximize the efficiency of E3+5. following that, Red H8+7;
Black H2+3 Red then R9=8;
Black then R1=2 Black is persistent, and played the “Central Cannon, develops Knight, and R1=2” trilogy, disregard of what Red played. this way Black will face strong responses by Red. next Red plays H2+3
this move is the most solid response. now we can clearly see:
Red established the “screen-horse defense with stationary pawns” formation. the only difference from “screen-horse defense” is that Red has also connected Elephants. in comparison, this Elephant move is very efficient. that’s because for red, this E3+5 is rational to the formation: with A4+5, Red Rook can advance from 4th file. if it’s the E7+5 direction instead, in comparison, Black still has chances to struggle. because after E7+5, it’s not too easy for red to open up his right Rook. the Rook may need to take an indirect route. so, although the positions look similar, the changes in direction will make a huge difference. after that, Black mainly has 3 responses. we’ll discuss that briefly, to illustrate that black’s C2=5 is a bad move. 1) black R2+6
black chooses to attack by pushing in a Rook. red can then play P3+1
this move sucessfully supports the left Knight. here black shouldn’t R2=3, since black will become passive.
Red H3+4 guarding Knight with Cannon while enabling this Knight attack initiative. if black pushes pawn, the situation will be worse. Red C8+4
next would be C8=7, black will be unable to deal with that. therefore, black don’t have time to play R2=3 so, black decides to attack from the central file.
red can C2+1, enhancing defense. black develops knight, red then connects advisor. here, red has built an active-defensive formation.
although red didn’t initiate an attack, red’s formation is very solid, and flexible / energetic.
once the counterattack begins, it will be quite difficult for black. we’ll look further at a few moves:
black advance knight, red can develop 4th file Rook. if black C8=7, red can now gain this P7+1 initiative.
black can only retreat Rook. here Red can choose C2+3
and can eliminate this connected knight when necessary. as we know, “riverside connected knights” (盤河馬) are vulnerable to this cannon attack, especially when there is a 4th file Rook the knights are easily under attacks. let’s say if black pushes pawn, then red will have this move,
black’s in the danger of losing material. if black pushes central pawn, red can take.
if cannon captures, red cannon captures a knight. followed by this attack, black’s position is awkward.
of course, this is just a brief illustration. the situation of this position: black’s attacking strength is insufficient, and his defense is not solid. the future development favours red. above is the discussion of the R2+6 variation.
black’s first choice: launching an attack, is not successful. another choice for black is 2) P3+1
now if black choose to push the 7th file pawn instead, it will be easier for red.
if black develops knight, red can move cannon across river to strike first. red has the initiative. since this position is already very flexible / energetic, even for the latter side, not to say that red already played an extra E3+5. if black R2+6, red can abandon a knight.
allowing black to capture that. of course, red can also play C2+4 first.
C2+4 is more solid. both choices are playable for Red. viewers can refer to the “screen-horse defense” openings, to see that E3+5 is highly efficient. in comparison, P3+1 is better than P7+1 for black,
but red can still maintain an initiative. after that, black usually plays H8+9
if black C8+4, trying to counterattack, red can consider to exchange pawns, or continue development, opening up 4th file Rook. red’s pieces development is faster. black’s situation is likely to be passive. if black H8+9, red can restrain black Rook with Cannon in this position, red isn’t worried about H3+4,
since red has this C2+4 tactics. this is a typical counterattack move. if black pushes pawn, red can check first,
if black moves advisor, red can simply takes, if black Rook takes, red Rook takes,
black H4-2, red C5=1 as we can see, it’s again a “rim cannon fork”.
once cannon takes pawn, red regains a piece. so, due to C2+4, black’s central pawn is vulnerable.
therefore, black is unable to play H3+4 black can only C8=7, trying to threaten red’s 3rd file. here, we can see how this E3+5 is fully efficient. now red don’t have to play H3+2,
otherwise black has H3+4, since red cannon is blocked. red can R1=2, developing right Rook.
because when black pushes pawn, red isn’t worried, due to this E3+5 red H3+4 is better.
H3+2 will lose control of the center, allowing black H3+4. when black takes, red elephant can capture. this way, if black opens vertical rook,
the rook will be restrained by red cannon. therefore black rook has to develop horizontally. red then C2=4, limiting black rook’s destination.
when black R9=4, red can E3-5 in this position, red’s pieces are in a good formation, and are well coordinated. black has no means to counterattack against that.