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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-05-20
 By Gary K. Gifford. Cannons of Chesstonia. Cannons launch a Pawn, Wazir, Ferz and Stone to increase strategical and tactical play. (12x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anthony Viens wrote on 2018-09-01 UTCAverage ★★★

I just have to say, this is a clever idea.  Very nice.


Gary Gifford wrote on 2010-03-14 UTC
Thanks, Mr. Flowerman for your comment. I think perhaps 'Catapults' would have been even a better name (than Cannons). But then there are the Chinese Cannons of Xianqi that leap, rather than fire a projectile. Anyway, to answer your question, 'Stones cannot be captured and they cannot move other than being launched from a Cannon.' Two things I like about this game are: 1) with the piece shoots, some openings and defenses can have certain weaknesses removed or compensated for; 2) when shooting a piece from a Cannon one must carefully consider the tempo-loss. I won my last game of this, in part, due to an important tempo advantage. I also was able to play a better version of 'Bird's Defense to the Ruy Lopez' due to the Cannon aspect.

Flowerman wrote on 2010-03-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Good game, i should try it. But cannons, wich are not attack is not
realistic... It would be better to call this piece 'Plane with
paratroopers'... By the way, it would be good to make variant of this
game, where are piece called 'cannonball', cannon can attack with it.
Also i have one question... Can pieces capture Go-stone?

Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-04-22 UTC
I looked at a Cannons of Chesstonia game in progress [jejujeju-
rodriguez-2007-101-133] and was surprised to see that no Cannons were visible... This was because the players replaced he cannon images with their loaded projectile.  Though the game can be played that way, it was intended that the Cannons remain visible and that their load be displayed in the white load square (w1 for the White; x8 for Black).  Also, as a reminder, Cannons can move vertically up or down the y file for White [z file for Black] to position a launch. A 3-move sample game in the Rules shows how to load, move, and launch a cannon.  Best regards to all.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-02-22 UTC
'Can a pawn promote to a Ferz or a Wazir ?'

Good question.  Yes. But I imagine such promotions will be seldom seen.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-02-22 UTC
can a pawn promote to a Ferz or a Wazir ?

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-07-19 UTC
Carlos:  You ask, 'Why does the cannon have to launch over a piece? what
was wrong with having it launch to any of the eight squares? too hard to
defend?'  

GKG Reply:  Carlos, thanks for the question.  I could have made the game
as you describe, but I prefer the way it is now because:

a) the Cannons retain some resemblance to Xianqi cannons, i.e., the idea
of leaping over a piece is retained--- though here we are doing it for
placement of a piece, rather than a capture.

b) More important is the offensive/defensive aspect.  If you see that a
Cannon is ready to shoot a piece to a vacant square you actually have a
chance to do something about it.  It can't launch if the row is vacated. 
If you have two or more pawns and/or pieces adjacent on the same row (rank)
then you also can inhibit the opponent.

The Cannon can shoot over friend, or foe... so you can try to set up a
launch with your own piece or pawn.

I have played several games of this and have had fun seting up my own
Cannon launches while also trying to thwart the launches of my opponent.

It is my opinion that good Cannon technique (both offensive and defensive)
adds an interesting level of tactics and strategy to the game.

carlos carlos wrote on 2006-07-19 UTC
why does the cannon have to launch over a piece? what was wrong with having it launch to any of the eight squares? too hard to defend?

Namik Zade wrote on 2006-05-20 UTCGood ★★★★
Very good. Idea is excellent.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2006-05-20 UTC
I'd feel odd being the 1st to rate this game, as I'm mentioned as an
inspiration, but, from reading through it, I'd say this is another
excellent Gary Gifford game that examines the opening by giving a unique
way to set up some pieces. I'd say this do-it-yourself-setup game is more
subtle than Shatranj of Troy (another excellent game) except that he uses a
cannon to fire the pieces onto the board. Many games use drops to vary the
setup. Gary may be exposing this technique as deus ex machina. Pieces
don't just fall from the sky in Gary's games; they are maneuvered to the
spot where they land by the laws of chess as applied in the game. 
I quite enjoy our discussions about games and their nature; both of us get
ideas that turn up in games. I like that Gary says there's no connection
between chess and go*, then designs exquisite chess games that feature the
placement of pieces. Of course, he goes beyond go, which does feature
pieces falling out of the sky; so we can continue the dialogue and the
disagreements. There's more games in this conversation. Enjoy.
***********************************************************************
*Edit: in later discussions, we clarified our positions, and I need to 
clarify them here. Gary says there are plenty of connections between chess
and go; but he does not see them as variants of each other. I have no
problem seeing them that way. Gary tends to see games as sort of quantized,
they come in discrete, different games. I can agree with that idea, but I 
find it more productive to view all games as a continuum, as variants of 
one another. I will say he has put up the first game from this discussion, 
so he's proved his ideas work. I'm still working on mine - currently 
playing mini-go by placing stones that will become either wazirs or ferzes.
Enjoy! Joe

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-05-20 UTC
Jeremy: Thanks a lot - this will work quite well. Many Thanks - Gary

Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-05-20 UTC
Hi Gary. Okay, click on the link again and tell me if I've achieved what you needed. I did make at least deviation. Instead of 'i j' for the last two files, I added 'wy' or some such thing.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-05-20 UTC
Jeremy: Many thanks for the quick posting and quick pre-set creation.  It
is much appreciated.  I do have 2 simple change requests.
1) change the 'a' through 'l' coordinates to:
x z a b c d e f g h i j
This syncronizes the 8x8 coordinates to FIDE boards and so is nicer for
game notation.
2) Make 2 more squares, some light color ... For example: one at the
current 'A8' (which would be new 'x8' and one at current 'L1' (which
would be new 'i1')

These 2 new squares would show what each Cannon was loaded with.  When a
player of black loads a Cannon he (or she) could now play x6-x8 (for
example).  A player of white could play something like i3-i1 to load a
Cannon.

Again, many thanks.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-05-20 UTC
Gary, here is a preset for your new variant, Cannons of Chesstonia. If you like it, I can formally submit it to the Game Courier index.

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