Might of the Mandarin Duck Cannons 鸳鸯炮
The Mandarin Duck Cannons (鸳鸯炮 yuān yāng pào) is one of the more famous unorthodox counter in Xiangqi. For an unorthodox counter, it is quite commonly seen against the Central Cannon and is quite established. The counter got its name from the fact that the two Black cannons are always in close proximity to each other, very much like Mandarin Ducks which symbolise unity in the Chinese culture.
Like other unorthodox counters, the Mandarin Duck Cannons has its own temperament. It is considered to be a closed counter whereby Black would maneuver his cannons on the throat rank and cannon rank to counter Red's attack. Congestion can be an issue and often the development of the horses and chariots are affected which is perhaps the reason why it is considered an unorthodox counter.
However, it is still very possible for the unsuspecting enemy to fall into one of its many possible traps. Indeed, if Black were allowed to develop as he pleased, the power of the Black's counter-attack is not to be trifled win. This might be the main reason why it is one of the most popular unorthodx counter attacks there is.
This article would contain a short discussion of how the Mandarin Duck Cannons might be played. The Webmaster had qualms about adding it for fear of misleading the newcomer when learning the fundamentals of Xiangqi opening theory. However, for the sake of inspiration and to prevent being fooled by the counter, the Webmaster has decided to add it anway.
The following content was a summary that the Webmaster found on the internet several years ago. There will be annotations in English and some added comments.
There are two main variations to the Mandarin Duck Cannons: the 7th Pawn Advancement Variation and the 3rd Pawn Advancement Variation.
3rd Pawn Advancement Variation.
7th Pawn Advancement Variation.