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Pao. (Updated!) Moves like rook, but must jump when taking.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on Fri, Oct 17, 2008 10:55 AM UTC:
I have been play-testing the Cannon in a Chess context, and it seems its opening value is about equal,
perhaps slightly less than that of a Knight. When I replace two Knight by two Cannons in the FIDE array,
the Knights win about 52%, which is barey significant. (Giving Pawn odds would result in a 68% victory.)
Replacing the Bishops by Cannons leads to a 58% victory for the Bishops (over a 400-game match),
which is approximately what the Bishop pair wins over two Knights.

Using the Kaufman value N=325 (centiPawn), this means that Cannon = 320. This makes it appreciably
stronger than the other well-known hopper, the Grasshopper, which has a value of 175 cP.

You are right about the mating potential of C+N and C+F. I adapted my tablebase generator to handle
a Cannon. The mate with C+F apparently can only be enforced in te corner of the Ferz color,
and it migt take 59 moves to drive the bare King there. Cannon + Wazir is also a general win,
and goes slightly faster, as the mate can be performed in any corner (41 moves max).
Cannon+Knight is easy by comparizon: only 30 moves. With Cannon+Alfil it is almost always draw.
There are some mating sequences, though (0.5% with wtm, 0.1% btm). The longest takes 13 moves:
White: Kd6, Cc5, Aa7; black: Ka1 (wtm).

Staunton-style Cannon