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This page is written by the game's inventor, M Winther.

External Link: Howitzer Chess

The Howitzer moves like a nightrider, that is, can make continuous knight-moves in the same direction. But it cannot capture in this way. In order to capture it makes an orthogonal "cannon" capture-jump. It jumps over any piece and lands, like a cannonball, on the enemy piece farther back, provided that any intermediate squares are empty. This piece is probably new. Its value, it seems, corresponds to a rook. The unusual H-shaped board makes it possible to introduce this piece without giving it undue advantage in the opening, thus avoiding monotonous opening strategies. The nightrider moves gives the Howitzer an extreme mobility in congested middlegame positions. As it combines mobility with the power of the cannon capture, it is ideal for king-attacks in the middlegame. It introduces new tactical motives in a traditional context. This piece is not to be confused with its namesake in Ralph Betza's Spacious Cannoneers army (the name is so good so it can be re-used). The board's extra corner squares (the trenches) are exactly what the majesty has always asked for. The notorious problem of the weak first rank, and the sudden rook mate, is thereby solved. A Zillions program and more information is here.

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By M Winther.
Web page created: 2006-09-13. Web page last updated: 2006-09-13