This is volume 3 of The Plum Flower Manual by Wang, or the original Plum Flower Manual.
Volume 1 was dedicated to black using the Screen Horse Defence against Red's Central cannon.
In volume 2, red uses the Cross palace cannon opening against black's left central cannon opening.
In this volume, volume 3, Red uses the elephant opening (which by default, is designated E3+5) and quickly moves his horse H2+4 then H4+6. When the horse makes such moves, it is known as the cross palace horse. This opening is not used very often nowadays, perhaps because of Wang's work in this volume.
Black counters with the left central cannon: 1. E3+5 C8=5. This is a more appropriate counter than C2=5, as black's 2nd file cannon can attack red's 7th file elephant if need be. C2=5 is another topic to be discussed, outside the realms of this volume. The entire volume is dedicated to this opening and defence.
For beginners new to Xiangqi, the Elephant opening was thought to be a weak opening. Red chooses to defend first, then counter according to what black has to offer. It was considered to be less aggressive and gave up the initiative to black. However, in the latter half of the 20th century, GM Hu Ronghua revitalized this opening, adding life to it. It is now considered to be one of the 4 orthodox openings that Red can choose as the first move.
Although there are quite a few variations in the boards, they are not as complex as the previous ones, and easily understood, so I have added them all to one page.
These three games may seem crude by today's standards but they are the backbone and basis of modern day opening theory. And as in the previous games, the kills are spectacular!
On to volume 3 game 3...
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