A relatively new counter against the mighty Elephant opening is the Right Palcorner Cannon. It started in the 90's and has gradually proven itself to be a reliable counter.
When Red plays the Elephant Opening, generally speaking, he chooses to stability and development of his pieces over a quick attack. The main battlefield would be the midgame and endgame and it is a favourite of many grandmasters who prefer to fight it out.
Playing the Right Palcorner cannon is likewise. Both sides refuse to show their eventual formations early and try to develop their sides while looking for an opportunity to win the game.
This opening was played with unusually high frequency in the late 90's. It was also the same in the 5 Rams Cup Tournament at the turn of the century. In fact, it was even more played than the central cannon opening and screen horse defense.
The 7th Pawn was initially advanced but black seemed to be able to gain the upperhand back in the 90's. Then, somebody tried to the 3rd Pawn Advancement and lo and behold, it gave red much needed control of the game. The reader is advised to go to the board on ECCO A26 as well to view that board first before viewing this one to understand more.
In this page, red plays the screen horses and black plays the single horse defense. But the key for black's advantage is R1=2, R2+4 followed by R2=4! This riverbank chariot causes all sorts of troublle for red!
The moves give represent the generally "orthodox" moves that have been proven over time in many competitions. However, I do advise the reader to form his conclusions about the various formations as there is no sure-win opening variation in Xiangqi, and different formations may be treated the differently by different people.
I do not expect that anyone will be a master of this opening after going through the boards but at least , do not make the basic mistakes or go against the principles of this opening.
I have based this board primarily on Master 阎文清 and Master 张强's work after briefly checking it against different manuals by different authors.
The two interactive boards given are the same , so that you can compare the various formations of the game and not get lost.
PS: Black's Right Palcorner Cannon was so successful against the elephant opening that GM Liu Dianzhong said that it actually caused a decrease in the usage of the Elephant opening at the turn of the century.
First created : 18th Jan 2012
Last modified: 18th Jan 2012
Acknowledgements: None yet
1. <<象棋实战技法>> by 傅宝胜
2. <<象棋步局精要>> by 刘殿中 齐津安
3. Various internet sources.
4. <<布局定式与战理>> 阎文清 张强 . Some of the videos that you see on this site by HK Jimmy are based on this book or other books in a series of books by the same authors. Perhaps one of the best series of books on openings in the past 2 decades.
5. <<相兵类布局大全>> by 杨典 et al
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