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L. Lynn Smith wrote on 2003-12-30 UTC
Allow me to put up my two-cents-worth.

With 1. e8, Black's only response is Me9.  This resulting position in
Black's palace is very secure for the Soldier since neither the General
nor Mandarin can capture it.

Red needs only to 'push' Black into a stalemate position.  The Elephant
does not directly contribute to the resulting win but allows Red to make
necessary moves without losing positional advantage.  Remember that
repeating a position merely to avoid a capture is not allowed.

If Red was to start with an Elephant move, Ec1 or Ec5 or Eg1 or Eg5, Black
has only the option of another Mandarin move.  Moving the General will
only result in a quick death.  Example:  2. ... Gf10   3. xe9+   

But an Elephant move by Red at this point will allow Black to draw out the
game several more moves than necessary.  Red responds with Ge1 instead of
Gd2 to create the needed central file threat which will 'push' Black's
General to one side of the 'palace'.

Whatever Black's reply, Red must now create the potential for a stalemate
or repeated positon.  Either will give Red the win.

If Black was to then reply with Gd10 or Gf10 for the second turn, Red
quickly wins with a capture of the Mandarin.

When Black replies with Md8 or Mf8, a capture by the Soldier seals
Black's fate.  If Black then moves the General to the same file as the
Soldier, Red need only move the Elephant to win.  If Black steps the
General forward, a move of Red's General to the exposed file will now
leave Black with only one option.  If Black steps the lone General to the
exposed file, Red will respond with an Elephant move and follow with two
Soldier moves.  Thus a move of the Mandarin to either forward positions
will result in a win for Red by turn 4, 5 or 6, respectivefully.

All that remains for Black's second move is Md10 or Mf10.  We'll look at
Md10 but the following can be mirrored on Mf10.  Red will then preform an
Elephant move.  Now the Mandarin is trapped in its corner, for to move
back would result in its immediate capture and Black's loss in the next

Black must now follow with 3. ...  Gf10.  Red then follows with a return
of the Elephant to e3 since this will also prevent Black from moving its
General back to e10 because this would repeat the position at the end of
turn 2.

If Black was to then reply Me9, Red would capture it and effect an
immediate win.  Once again, Black is left with only one option, 4. ... 

Red would then move the Elephant again, this time back to its previous
position.  This prevents Black from making 5. ...   Gf10, repeating the
position at the end of turn 3.  So, Black is left with only Me9.  And Red
follows with its capture.

Black cannot take the Soldier on e9 because it will expose it to the
opponent General.  It has only the option of either f8 or f10.  Either
will result in Black's loss on turn 7, when Red merely makes another
Elephant move.

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