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Joe Joyce wrote on Thu, Apr 19, 2007 06:22 PM UTC:
A thought-provoking comment, Mats, so I did some looking. XiangQi has 32 pieces on 90 points, for a 36% starting piece density. Shatranj Kamil X has 44 pieces on 100 squares, 44% starting density, so it is more crowded, with about 25% more pieces on board, and the SKX cannons are behind all the other pieces - plus to XQ. But the board has 1 more file [11% increase] for the 2 cannons to operate on, which mitigates this a bit - plus to SKX. Further, while the cannons in XiangQi are forward of the other pieces, they are behind a pawn row that's only 55% filled, and there is no pawn in front of a cannon to start, unlike SKX. To effectively use the cannons in either game requires maneuvering - even. The additional pieces in SKX will give the cannons more opportunities to capture as the game goes on, so they are less effective in the very beginning, but more effective during the game, and their effectiveness lasts much farther into the game, as all agree cannons lose effectiveness in the endgame, where there are so many fewer pieces for them to leap. Also, the larger board favors unlimited sliders over shortrange pieces. In my opinion, the advantage is tilting toward SKX.

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