## CCCC Chess

While looking at the values of pieces, I have found that one piece may be stronger some specific other piece in the opening and midgame, but weaker in the endgame.

The most remarkable example of this was in the form of Cannon Chess played at the Columbia University Chess Club in the mid 1960s.

Cannon Chess has probably been invented many times. Somebody looks at the rules of Xiangqi or of Korean Chess, sees the interesting piece called a Cannon, and asks "what if we play Chess where all the pieces have cannon moves"?

In CCCC Chess, the R, B, and Q use the Cannon rule both for movement and capture, but the Knight is replaced by a WD (Of course, my "WD" notation for pieces didn't exist back then...).

The Cannon rule is that the long-moving piece must jump over some other piece (just one other piece); so in CCCC Chess, White's legal first moves include 1. Ra1-a3, 1. Ra1:a7, 1. Bf1-b5+, 1. Qd1-h5+, and so on.

After 1. Bf1-b5+ c7-c6, the Bishop at b5 cannot retreat to c4, because it needs to jump over some other piece. Instead, it can play 2. Bb5:d7 winning a Pawn.

However, the best move is 1. Qd1-b3!; the idea is to trade the Queen for a WD (from b3, the Q attacks both b8 and g8), which produces a temporary material disadvantage, but as pieces are exchanged off the R, B, and Q become much much weaker, and the endgame value of the WD reigns supreme.

This is the most amazing contrast between the endgame value of one piece and the middlegame value of another that I have ever seen. (Of course, it would be possible to create a greater contrast.)

Here is an endgame study that shows how weak these pieces can get:

```       a     b     c     d     e     f     g     h
+=====+=====+=====+=====+=====+=====+=====+=====+ White to draw
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     | CCCC Chess
8   |  pQ |     |     |     |     |     |     |     | Ralph Betza
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+ March 1997
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
7   |     |     |     |     |   K |     |     |     |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
6   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
5   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
4   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
3   |  *p |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
2   |     |  *k |     |     |     |     |     |     |
+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+
|     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
1   |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
+=====+=====+=====+=====+=====+=====+=====+=====+
```
The solution is easy enough, so try to find it before you scroll down to it.

Solution:
```  1. Ke7-f8  a3-a2  2. pQa8-h8 Kb2-b1  3. Kf8-g7 Kb1-c2
```
Black thinks he'll move his K to f5 and White won't have any moves.
```  4. pQh8-a1 Kc2-b2  5. pQa1-f6 Kb2-c2  6. pQf6-h8 Kc2-b1 7. Kg7-f6
```
And so on...

## And In Closing, May I Say

Even in FIDE chess, there is a contrast between endgame and middlegame values.

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