By default, the horse opening is given to H2+3, although some may prefer to move H8+7. This is also more commonly used. The side horse opening (H2+1 or H8+9) is much less commonly seen, although it is categorized under horse openings too. The horse opening is also considered an orthodox opening.
The idea behind the horse opening is to slowly and surely maneuver your pieces into a desired opening position you are familiar with. As the Central Cannon vs Screen Horse openings have been studied to an extreme extent, horse openings provide an opportunity to pit your mid-game skills or end-game skills before falling victim to a trap in the opening. There are still flying daggers or opening traps but not as many as the cannon openings.
To date, there has not been an official English translation of this move. I took the liberty to call it the proper horse (正马, H2+3 or H8+7) whilst H2+1 or H8+9 the side horse opening (边马).
As the formation of your side is not fixed, the proper horse opening can transform into the single horse opening单提马, the sandwich horse opening 反宫马, the screen horse opening and cannon openings. You get to adjust your opening strategy based on your opponents and hope to get an advantage.
Compared to other openings, there is less drama in the opening. Horse openings tend to have their action in complex mid-games or end-games. For opponents who have already memorized everything about the cannon openings, the horse opening provides an alternative surprise.
As I am sure you will get lost again, I have pasted 3 boards for you look through the variations.
Again, I will find time to annotate some of the moves, after playing mahjong...there is too much to do...Anyway, enjoy!!!!!!!
This is the url where I found the crazy openings.
First created: April 2011
Last updated: 22nd Nov 2011
Dongwan Jianke for making this neat summary.
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