Introduction to the
Opposite Direct Cannons p01
What the Ancient Manuals Offer

After introducing the Reserved Opposite Direction Boards, I have received quite favorable response. Some have asked me to do more, so I decided to go into more detail into this ancient opening.
The Opposite Direction Cannons ( 1. C2=5 C2=5...) is an interesting entity. When I started out playing this game many years ago, one of the things I would do was to copy what the opponent played, move for move, as I was clueless as to what to play, hoping to find an opening.
This was of course a futile attempt. This is not advisable as Red has a one move advantage by default (by moving first). If black were to copy red move for move, there would arise a situation whereby black would be checked by red and he would be unable to copy Black's moves. By then, Red would have developed his side of the board so much that Black would left helpless.
However, the Opposite Direction Cannons (abbreviated ODC)  is a good place to start learning the opening. Although the original form of the ODC very seldom played now, its derivations are still pretty much in use, mainly the Halfway ODC or the Reserved ODC, and they provide an interesting and aggressive alternative against the Central Cannon vs Screen Horse Opening, which is still the most played opening.
Characterisitics of the ODC include:
1. A natural tendency for both sides to concentrate their forces on one side of the opponent's board.
2. This would lead to a fast paced game and the game is more often than not decided early into the midgame, but Red would have the advantage most of the time.
3. Speed of development of the chess pieces takes precedence (at least most of the time) over the defensive formations.
4. It would be hard for Red to control where the game is going and even harder for Black to try to seize the initiative from red.
5. A natural black counter for aggressive players who hate to drag the game.
Although it is seldom seen in actual competition now, you have to know the basics of this opening to further understand its evolution and transition to the more current derivations: the Reserved ODC and the Halfway ODC.

We start with the ancient manuals, of course. Ancient Manuals, in particular The Secret in the Tangerine and The Plum Flower Manuals have had extensive coverage of this opening. The beginner is encouraged to enjoy them as ALL the professional Xiangqi players have done. Below is a concise introduction to the ODC in relation to the ancient manuals, that I have found in my library.
We begin with the Big Variation of the ODC....
I have included two boards for your perusal to compare variations.
Enjoy. 

On to page 02 to of the ODC saga ...

First created : 5th Mar 2012
Last modified: 5th Mar 2012
Acknowledgements: None yet
References:

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. <<列手炮新編>> by GM Wang Jialiang, and Yang Dian

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