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

External Link: Mortar Chess

The Mortar moves like a knight, but cannot capture 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 is 3, that is, the same as a bishop (preliminary estimate). 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. A cannon, like in Asian chess games, has always been missing in the Western piece set, while it clearly adds flavour to the game. The Mortar is a form of cannon which is highly suited for this context. Compared with the Chinese Cannon, it is more maneuverable in congested situations. 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). A Zillions program and more information is here.

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By M Winther.
Web page created: 2006-09-12. Web page last updated: 2006-09-12