Tenjiku shogi

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Tenjiku shogi (天竺将棋 tenjiku shōgi, or 天竺大将棋 tenjiku dai shōgi "exotic chess") is a large-board variant of shogi (Japanese chess). The game dates back to the 15th or 16th century and was based on the earlier chu shogi, which itself was based on dai shogi.

Rules of the game[edit]

Objective[edit]

The objective of the game is to capture the opponent's king and, if present, the crown prince, which counts as a second king. Unlike standard shogi, captured pieces may not be dropped back into play by the capturing player.

Game equipment[edit]

Two players, Black and White (or 先手 sente and 後手 gote), play on a board composed of squares in a grid of 16 ranks (rows) by 16 files (columns) with a total of 256 squares. The squares are undifferentiated by marking or color. A pair of dots may be placed just beyond the fifth rank on each side to mark the promotion zones and aid in the initial setup of the two camps.

Each player has a set of 78 wedge-shaped pieces of 36 types. In all, the players must remember 45 moves for these pieces. The pieces are of slightly different sizes. From largest to smallest (roughly most to least powerful) they are:

Several of the English names were chosen to correspond to rough equivalents in Western chess, rather than as translations of the Japanese names.

Each piece has its name in the form of one or two kanji written on its face. On the reverse side of some pieces are two or three other characters, often in a different color such as red; this reverse side is turned up to indicate that the piece has been promoted during play. The pieces of the two sides do not differ in color, but instead each piece is shaped like a wedge, and faces forward, toward the opposing side. This shows who controls the piece during play.

Table of pieces[edit]

Listed below are the pieces of the game and, if they promote, which pieces they promote to. Pieces marked with an *asterisk are only available with promotion.

Piece Kanji Rōmaji Abbrev. Promotes to
Bishop 角行 kakugyō B dragon horse
Bishop general 角将 kakushō BG vice general
Blind tiger 盲虎 mōko BT flying stag
Chariot soldier 車兵 shahei CS heavenly tetrarch
Copper general 銅将 dōshō C side mover
*Crown prince 太子 taishi CP
Dog inu D multi general
Dragon horse 龍馬 ryūme DH horned falcon
Dragon king 龍王 ryūō DK soaring eagle
Drunk elephant 酔象 suizō DE crown prince
Ferocious leopard 猛豹 mōhyō FL bishop
Fire demon 火鬼 kaki FD
*Flying ox 飛牛 higyū FO
*Flying stag 飛鹿 hiroku FS 鹿
*Free boar 奔猪 honcho FB
Free eagle 奔鷲 honjū FE
Free king 奔王 honnō FK free eagle
Gold general 金将 kinshō G rook
Great general 大将 taishō GG
*Heavenly tetrarch 四天王 shitennō HT
Horned falcon 角鷹 kakuō HF bishop general
Iron general 鉄将 tesshō I vertical soldier
King (Black) 玉将 gyokushō K
King (White) 王将 ōshō K
Kirin 麒麟 kirin Kr lion
Knight 桂馬 keima N side soldier
Lance 香車 kyōsha L white horse
Lion 獅子 shishi Ln lion hawk
Lion hawk 獅鷹 shiō, shitaka LH
*Multi general 雜将 suishō MG
Pawn 歩兵 fuhyō P gold general
Phoenix 鳳凰 hōō Ph free king
Reverse chariot 反車 hensha RC whale
Rook 飛車 hisha R dragon king
Rook general 飛将 hishō RG great general
Side mover 横行 ōgyō SM free boar
Side soldier 横兵 ōhei SS water buffalo
Silver general 銀将 ginshō S vertical mover
Soaring eagle 飛鷲 hijū SE rook general
Vertical mover 竪行 shugyō VM flying ox
Vertical soldier 竪兵 shuhei VS chariot soldier
Vice general 副将 fukushō VG
Water buffalo 水牛 suigyū WB fire demon
*Whale 鯨鯢 keigei W
*White horse 白駒 hokku WH

The promotions can be summarized as series of promotion chains, as follows. Within each block below, a piece (except the kings) promotes to the piece above it. Pieces at the top of each block do not promote (and if in italics, and with an *asterisk, as stated before, these appear only upon promotion). Note that pieces may only promote once. For example, a gold general promotes to a rook, and a rook promotes to a dragon king, but a gold general promoted to a rook cannot promote a second time to a dragon king. This is clear from the equipment, for each piece only has two sides.

Jeweled general 玉将 *Crown prince 太子
King general 王将 ↑ Drunk elephant ↑ 酔象
Vice general 副将 Great general 大将
↑ Bishop general ↑ 角将 ↑ Rook general ↑ 飛将
↑ Horned falcon ↑ 角鷹 ↑ Soaring eagle ↑ 飛鷲
↑ Dragon horse ↑ 龍馬 ↑ Dragon king ↑ 龍王
↑ Bishop ↑ 角行 ↑ Rook ↑ 飛車
↑ Ferocious leopard ↑ 猛豹 ↑ Gold general ↑ 金将
↑ Pawn ↑ 歩兵
Fire demon 火鬼 *Heavenly tetrarch 四天王
↑ Water buffalo ↑ 水牛 ↑ Chariot soldier ↑車兵
↑ Side soldier ↑ 横兵 ↑ Vertical soldier ↑ 竪兵
↑ Knight ↑ 桂馬 ↑ Iron general ↑ 鉄将
Free eagle 奔鷲 Lion hawk 獅鷹
↑ Free king ↑ 奔王 ↑ Lion ↑ 獅子
↑ Phoenix ↑ 鳳凰 ↑ Kirin ↑ 麒麟
*Free boar 奔猪 *Flying ox 飛牛
↑ Side mover ↑ 横行 ↑ Vertical mover ↑ 竪行
↑ Copper general ↑ 銅将 ↑ Silver general ↑ 銀将
*Multi general 雜将 *Flying stag 飛鹿
↑ Dog ↑ 犬 ↑ Blind tiger ↑ 盲虎
*White horse 白駒 *Whale 鯨鯢
↑ Lance ↑ 香車 ↑ Reverse chariot ↑ 反車

Setup[edit]

The initial setup of the board is as follows. See below for a description of the types of moves involved.

Color coding
Range-jumping pieces
Ranging pieces (move of free eagle not clear)
Multiple-capture pieces (move of lion-hawk not clear)
Jumping pieces
Pieces which are restricted to stepping moves
Burning pieces (the fire demons)
16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1  

















 

 





 

 
















































 
 
                         
 
 
                             
 
 
                             
 
 
                             
 
 
                             
 
 
                         




















































 

 





 

 


















16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1  
L N FL I C S G DE K G S C I FL N L a
RC   CS CS   BT Ph FK Ln Kr BT   CS CS   RC b
SS VS B DH DK WB FD FE LH FD WB DK DH B VS SS c
SM VM R HF SE BG RG VG GG RG BG SE HF R VM SM d
p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p e
        D             D         f
                                g
                                h
                                i
                                j
        D             D         k
p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p l
SM VM R HF SE BG RG GG VG RG BG SE HF R VM SM m
SS VS B DH DK WB FD LH FE FD WB DK DH B VS SS n
RC   CS CS   BT Kr Ln FK Ph BT   CS CS   RC o
L N FL I C S G K DE G S C I FL N L p
 
Legend
B: Bishop BG: Bishop General BT: Blind Tiger
C: Copper General CS: Chariot Soldier D: Dog
DE: Drunk Elephant DH: Dragon Horse DK: Dragon King
FD: Fire Demon FE: Free Eagle FK: Free King
FL: Fierce Leopard G: Gold General GG: Great General
HF: Horned Falcon I: Iron General K: King
Kr: Kirin L: Lance LH: Lion Hawk
Ln: Lion N: Knight p: Pawn
Ph: Phoenix R: Rook RC: Reverse Chariot
RG: Rook General S: Silver General SE: Soaring Eagle
SM: Side Mover SS: Side Soldier VG: Vice General
VM: Vertical Mover VS: Vertical Soldier WB: Water Buffalo

Game play[edit]

Two players alternate making a move, with Black moving first. (The pieces are not differentiated by color; the traditional chess terms "Black" and "White" are only used to indicate who plays first, and to differentiate the sides during discussions of the game.) A move consists of moving a piece either to an empty square on the board or to a square occupied by an opposing piece, thus capturing that piece; and optionally of promoting the moving piece, if all or part of its move lies in the promotion zone. Each of these options is detailed below.

Despite the large size of the board and number of pieces, tenjiku shogi games are often quicker than smaller shogi variants because of the higher average power of the pieces. Good use of the fire demons can make for a short game. Unlike many shogi variants, the very first move can have a very profound effect on the outcome of the game, and indeed it is sometimes wondered whether playing first is an automatic win, barring any mistakes.

Movement and capture[edit]

Tenjiku shogi pieces that occur in chu shogi or dai shogi move as they do in that game, although the pieces from dai shogi promote differently.

An opposing piece is captured by displacement: That is, if a piece moves to a square occupied by an opposing piece, the opposing piece is displaced and removed from the board. A piece cannot move to a square occupied by a friendly piece, that is, by another piece controlled by the moving player. The one exception to this is the unique burn of the fire demon.

Each piece on the game moves in a characteristic pattern. Pieces move either orthogonally (that is, forward, backward, left, or right, in the direction of one of the arms of a plus sign, +), or diagonally (in the direction of one of the arms of a multiplication sign, ×). The vice general, fire demon, lion hawk, lion, and knight are exceptions, in that they do not move, or are not required to move, in a straight line.

Many pieces are capable of several kinds of movement, with the type of movement most often depending on the direction. The movement categories are:

Step movers and limited range movers[edit]

Some pieces are limited to moving one square at a time. If a friendly piece occupies an adjacent square, the moving piece may not move in that direction; if an opposing piece is there, it may be displaced and captured.

The step movers are the king, drunk elephant, blind tiger, ferocious leopard, gold general, silver general, copper general, iron general, dog, and pawn. Other pieces may step in certain directions, but move differently in other directions.

Other pieces have a limited range of two squares along a straight line. The water buffalo, chariot soldier, vertical soldier, and side soldier may move one or two squares in certain directions. They can only move to the second square if the first is unoccupied. They may capture on either square, but must stop where they capture.

Area movers[edit]

The lion, lion hawk, vice general, and fire demon may take multiple (2 to 3) steps in a single turn. These do not have to be in a line, so these pieces can potentially reach every square within two or three steps of the starting square, not just squares along one of the diagonals or orthogonals. Such moves are also useful to get around obstructions. An area mover must stop where it captures.

Jumping pieces[edit]

Some pieces can jump, or in the case of the knight can only jump: They pass over an intervening piece, whether friend or foe, with no effect on either. These are the free eagle, lion, soaring eagle, horned falcon, tetrarch, kirin, phoenix, and knight. (The lion hawk has this ability in some versions of the game.) These jumps all have a range of two squares: that is, the first square is passed over, and the piece lands (and captures) on the second. The knight jumps between the diagonals and orthogonals, and the lion (and lion hawk) may do so.

Ranging pieces[edit]

Many pieces can move any number of empty squares along a straight orthogonal or diagonal line, limited only by the edge of the board. If an opposing piece intervenes, it may be captured by moving to that square and removing it from the board. A ranging piece must stop where it captures, and cannot bypass a piece that is in its way. If a friendly piece intervenes, the moving piece is limited to a distance that stops short of the intervening piece; if the friendly piece is adjacent, it cannot move in that direction at all.

The ranging pieces are the great general, vice general, rook general, bishop general, free eagle, soaring eagle, horned falcon, free king, water buffalo, chariot soldier, fire demon, lion hawk, dragon king, dragon horse, rook, bishop, vertical mover, side mover, reverse chariot, vertical soldier, side soldier and lance.

Range jumping pieces[edit]

A few powerful pieces may jump over any number of pieces, friend or foe, along a diagonal or orthogonal, but only when making a capture.[citation needed] These are the great general, vice general, rook general, and bishop general.

However, they may only jump over other pieces of lower rank, whether friend or foe. None may jump a king or crown prince of either side. The relevant ranking is:

  1. King, crown prince
  2. Great general
  3. Vice general
  4. Rook general, bishop general

That is, bishop and rook generals cannot jump any other range-jumping piece.

Some descriptions of the game do not limit this ability to moves making a capture. However, most mention that these pieces have two types of move, ranging and range jumping, suggesting that the capture rule may have been mistakenly omitted.[citation needed]

Multiple captures[edit]

The lion, soaring eagle, horned falcon, and in some rule variants the lion hawk, have sequential multiple-capture abilities, called "lion moves". The fire demon can "burn" multiple pieces simultaneously. These unusual moves are described below.

Other[edit]

The heavenly tetrarch cannot move to an adjacent square, and has other idiosyncrasies; the fire demon 'burns' adjacent pieces. This is best described below.

Repeated board positions[edit]

A player is not allowed to make a move that would return the board to a previous position, with the same player to move. This rule prevents games from entering into a repeated loop.

Promotion[edit]

Tenjiku shogi pieces that occur in chu shogi promote as they do in that game, with the exceptions of the lion and free king, which do not promote in chu shogi.

A player's promotion zone consists of the five far ranks, at the original line of the opponent's pawns and beyond. As a promotable piece ends a move within the promotion zone—including moves entering, leaving, or moving entirely within the zone,—it has the option of "promoting" to a more powerful rank. (Pieces which take multiple steps per move may promote by crossing into the promotion zone and back out again.) Promotion is effected by turning the piece over after it moves, revealing the name of its promoted rank. Promotion is not mandatory if the unpromoted piece could move further on a later turn, and in some cases it may be beneficial to leave the piece unpromoted. Promotion is permanent and promoted pieces may not revert to their original rank.

Promoting a piece has the effect of changing how that piece moves. See above for what each piece promotes to and below for how they move.

The king, great general, vice general, free eagle, lion hawk, and fire demon do not promote, nor can already promoted pieces promote further.

If a piece which cannot retreat or move to the side advances to the far rank, so that it would otherwise have no further legal move, it is forced to promote. These pieces are the pawn, knight, iron general, and lance. Similarly, a knight reaching the penultimate rank must promote.

If a piece does not promote when it first has the opportunity, it may not promote on its subsequent turn unless it captures or is forced to promote. Thereafter it may promote normally.

Movement diagrams[edit]

In the diagrams below, the different types of moves are coded by symbol and by color: Blue for step moves, green for multiple capture, red for range moves, yellow for jumps, and orange for ranging jumps.

Notation
Jumps to this square, bypassing any intervening piece.
Steps a limited number of squares along a straight line.
Steps within an area, not restricted to a straight line. Must stop upon capture.
Jumps to this square, then continues as a step mover.
Steps a limited number of squares within an area, and may capture more than once.
! igui (capture without moving). Counts for two steps.
May jump directly to this square, or reach it through a multiple move.
Ranges along a straight line, crossing any number of empty squares
Jumps to this square, then continues as a range mover.
Jumps along a straight line, crossing any number of squares.

In TSA rules, it may only jump when making a capture, otherwise it moves as a ranging piece. According to Japanese Wikipedia, it may always jump.

Burns any adjacent enemy pieces wherever it stops (background color indicates movement).

Individual pieces[edit]

Pieces are arranged in this section so that, if they promote, they promote into the piece above them. Piece names with a grey background are present at the start of the game; those with a blue background only appear with promotion. Betza's funny notation has been included in brackets for easier reference, with the extension that the letter d indicates doublemove pieces, dh indicates limited doublemove pieces (doublemove pieces that must continue on the same path they started on, moving either forwards or backwards) and dd indicates doublemove pieces that must stop once they capture. dn represents pieces that may move n times per turn, dhn indicates limited n-move pieces, and ddn indicates single-capture n-move pieces. pp indicates cannon-like pieces that can jump an unlimited number of pieces, and pn indicates cannon-like pieces that can only jump n pieces. x (for shooting, the equivalent of igui in Western chess variants) denotes igui power without the power to move to the igui squares, and tt represents pieces which must continue on the same direction when changing movement.

Jeweled general (inferior player's king) 玉将 gyokushō Crown prince 太子 taishi
             
             
       
       
       
             
             
  • Step: The king can step one square in any direction, orthogonal or diagonal. (K)

Note: The king can move into check at any time.

             
             
       
       
       
             
             
  • Step: The crown prince can move one square in any direction. (K)

Note: The crown prince can move into check at any time.

King general (superior player's king) 王将 ōshō Drunk elephant 酔象 suizō
             
             
       
       
       
             
             
  • Step: The king can step one square in any direction, orthogonal or diagonal. (K)

Note: The king can move into check at any time.

             
             
       
       
         
             
             
  • Step: The drunken elephant can move one square in any direction except directly backward, giving it seven directions of movement. (FfrlW)
Vice general 副将 fukushō Great general 大将 taishō
The vice general may make either a range-jumping move or an area move on any one turn.
         
         
         
           
         
         
         
  • Range jump: When making a capture, the vice general can jump any number of lower-ranking pieces along any one diagonal. Otherwise it ranges without jumping.
It cannot jump a king, crown prince, great general, or another vice general.
  • Area move: The vice general can step in any direction, orthogonal or diagonal, up to three times in one turn. That is, it can step in another direction after its first or second step. It need not take all three steps. It must stop when it captures. (KddKdd3KmBcppB, ignoring restrictions on what it can jump)
It can return to the square it started from, allowing the player to "skip" a turn.
       
       
       
       
       
       
  • Range jump: When making a capture, the great general can jump any number of lower-ranking pieces in any one of the eight directions. Otherwise it ranges without jumping. (mQcppQ, ignoring restrictions on what it can jump)
It cannot jump a king, crown prince, or another great general.
Bishop general 角将 kakushō Rook general 飛将 hishō
         
         
         
           
         
         
         
  • Range jump: When making a capture, the bishop general can jump any number of lower-ranking pieces along any diagonal. Otherwise it ranges without jumping. (mBcppB, ignoring restrictions on what it can jump)
It cannot jump a king, crown prince, or another range-jumping general.
           
           
           
           
           
           
  • Range jump: When making a capture, the rook general can jump any number of lower-ranking pieces along any orthogonal. Otherwise it ranges without jumping. (mRcppR, ignoring restrictions on what it can jump)
It cannot jump a king, crown prince, or another range-jumping general.
Horned falcon 角鷹 kakuō Soaring eagle 飛鷲 hijū
         
       
    !    
       
       
       
  • Range: The horned falcon can move any number of free squares along any direction except directly forwards.
  • Lion move: It can step twice, or jump two squares, directly forward, capturing up to two pieces. This power includes igui and skipping a turn (see "Lion"). (BrlbRdhfWfD)
           
       
    ! !    
       
       
       
  • Range: The soaring eagle can move any number of free squares in any direction except diagonally forward.
  • Lion move: It can step twice, or jump two squares, diagonally forward, capturing up to two pieces. This power includes igui and skipping a turn (see "Lion"). (RbBdhfFfA)
Dragon horse 龍馬 ryūme Dragon king 龍王 ryūō
The dragon horse moves as either a bishop or a king.
         
         
       
       
       
         
         
  • Range: It can move any number of free squares along any of the four diagonal directions.
  • Step: It can move one square in any orthogonal direction. (WB)
The dragon king moves as either a rook or a king.
           
           
       
       
           
           
  • Range: It can move any number of free squares along any of the four orthogonal directions.
  • Step: It can move one square in any diagonal direction. (FR)
Bishop 角行 kakugyō Rook 飛車 hisha
         
         
         
           
         
         
         
  • Range: The bishop can move any number of free squares along any of the four diagonal directions. (B)

Because it cannot move orthogonally, an unpromoted bishop can only reach half the squares on the board.

           
           
           
           
           
           
  • Range: The rook can move any number of free squares along any of the four orthogonal directions. (R)
Ferocious leopard 猛豹 mōhyō Gold general 金将 kinshō
             
             
       
           
       
             
             
  • Step: The leopard can step one square in the four diagonal directions, or directly forward or backward, giving it six directions of movement. (FfbW)
That is, it can move to any of the six adjacent squares ahead or behind it.
             
             
       
       
           
             
             
  • Step: The gold general can step one square in the four orthogonal directions, or diagonally forward, giving it six directions of movement. (WfF)
It cannot move diagonally backward.
  Pawn 歩兵 fuhyō
 
             
             
           
           
             
             
             
  • Step: A pawn can step one square directly forward. (fW)

Since a pawn cannot move backward or to the sides, it must promote when it reaches the far rank. However, in practice, pawns are promoted whenever possible.

Fire demon 火鬼 kaki Heavenly tetrarch 四天王shitennō
The fire demon may either make a range move or an area move on any one turn. In addition, it has the power to "burn".
         
         
       
       
         
         
  • Range: It can move any number of free squares in the four diagonal directions, or to the sides.
Note: This is the move stated by the Shōgi Zushiki and Sho Shōgi Zushiki. However, Western sources have a ranging move along the file instead of along the rank.
  • Area move: It can step in any direction up to three times per turn. It can change direction after its first or second step, and it need not take all three steps. However, unlike the lion, it must stop when it captures.
It can return to the square it started from, allowing the player to "skip" a turn, but does not have the lion power of igui.
  • Burn: Wherever the fire demon stops, all adjacent opposing pieces except fire demons are removed from the board, in addition to any piece on the square it lands on. That is, a fire demon can capture up to eight pieces per turn (one it displaces, and seven it burns on adjacent squares).
  • Passive burn: Any piece stopping next to an opposing fire demon is removed from the board (after making its capture, if any). Such suicide moves do not count as a turn for the stationary player: The fire demon passively burns opposing pieces that land on adjacent squares without using up a turn. (BrlRKddKdd3K + burns)

Conflict between fire demons: When one fire demon lands next to another, it is the only the moving piece that is immolated. The stationary fire demon survives, as do all other adjacent pieces. (These are the TSA rules. In Colin Adams' book, the stationary fire demon survives the suicide move, but all other adjacent enemy pieces are immolated.)

The tetrarch cannot move to any adjacent square, and is not blocked from moving by pieces on those squares, but it can capture such pieces without moving.
       
       
    ! ! !    
! !
    ! ! !    
       
       
  • Igui: It can capture a piece on any adjacent square without moving. (See "Lion" above.)
  • Range: It can move any number of free squares along any one of the four diagonals or along the orthogonal file, skipping any intervening piece on the adjacent square. (It is not a range jumper and cannot jump any other piece.)
  • Limited range: It can move two or three squares orthogonally sideways. Although it skips any intervening piece on the first square, it cannot jump a piece on the second square. If it captures on the second square, it must stop there. (tt[AB]fbtt[DR]rltt[DW]xK)

Note: Western sources do not have the orthogonal range move. (tt[AB]rltt[DW]xK)

In English this piece is usually pluralized as 'Heavenly Tetrarchs', as this could refer to all four tetrarchs (the Four Heavenly Kings).

Water buffalo 水牛 suigyū Chariot soldier 車兵 shahei
         
       
       
       
       
         
  • Range: The water buffalo can move any number of free squares in the four diagonal directions, or orthogonally sideways.
  • Limited range: It can move one or two squares directly forward or backward. (BrlRfbR2)

Note: Since a piece promotes when its move is finished, the water buffalo does not burn surrounding pieces upon promotion to fire demon.

       
       
       
   
       
       
       
  • Range: The chariot soldier can move any number of free squares in the four diagonal directions, or directly forward or backward.
  • Limited range: It can move one or two squares sideways. (BfbRrlR2)
Side soldier 横兵 ōhei Vertical soldier 竪兵 shuhei
             
           
           
横兵
           
             
             
  • Range: The side soldier can move any number of free squares orthogonally sideways.
  • Limited range: It can move one or two squares directly forward.
  • Step: It can move one square directly backward. (rlRfR2bW)
           
           
           
  竪兵  
           
             
             
  • Range: The vertical soldier can move any number of free squares orthogonally forward.
  • Limited range: It can move one or two squares orthogonally sideways.
  • Step: It can move one square directly backward. (fRrlR2bW)
Knight 桂馬 keima Iron general 鉄将 tesshō
             
         
             
           
             
             
             
  • Jump: The knight jumps at an angle intermediate between orthogonal and diagonal, amounting to one square forward plus one square diagonally forward, in a single motion. That is, it has a choice of two forward destinations. It ignores any intervening piece on the way to its destination. (ffN)

Since a knight cannot move backward or to the sides, it must promote when it reaches the penultimate rank.

             
             
       
           
             
             
             
  • Step: The iron general can move one square forward, either orthogonally or diagonally, giving it three directions of movement. (fK)

Since an iron general cannot move backward or to the sides, it must promote when it reaches the far rank.

Free eagle 奔鷲 honjū Lion hawk 獅鷹 shiō
Move according to Edo-era sources:
       
       
    ! !    
奔鷲
    ! !    
       
       
  • Range: The free eagle can move any number of free squares in any direction.
  • Double move: It can move twice as a cat-sword (one square in any diagonal direction). (QdFDA)

Based on descriptions of the lion having a double king move, it is thought that the double cat-sword move includes jumping a piece.

The lion hawk can either move as a bishop, or "like" a lion. There is disagreement as to how like a lion it was intended to be.

According to Japanese Wikipedia, and "Modern" Western move:

         
   
  ! ! !  
  ! 獅鷹 !  
  ! ! !  
   
         
  • Range: The lion hawk can move any number of free squares in the four diagonal directions. (BKNADdK)
  • Lion move: It can move as a lion, with the jump, igui, and multiple-capture abilities. (See below for details.)
Move in English-language sources
       
       
       
奔鷲
       
       
       
  • Range: The free eagle can move any number of free squares in any of the eight directions, orthogonal or diagonal.
  • Jump: It can jump to the second square in any orthogonal direction. (QD)

Note: If the two cat-sword moves are required to be in different directions, as one of the Edo sources appears to state, and are interpreted as a jump to the second square rather than two actual steps, this is the result.

Move according to TSA rules:
         
   
   
  獅鷹  
   
   
         
  • Range: The lion hawk can move any number of free squares in the four diagonal directions.
  • Area move: It can step in any direction up to twice per turn. That is, it can change directions after its first step, and it need not take both steps. This allows it to "skip" a turn. However, it must stop when it captures, and cannot take a second piece, nor may it jump. (BKddK)
Free king 奔王 honnō Lion 獅子 shishi
The free king moves like a queen in chess.
       
       
       
       
       
       
  • Range: The free king can move any number of free squares in any of the eight directions, orthogonal or diagonal. (Q)
The lion has a special movement ability commonly called a 'lion move' or 'lion power'. It is shown here in two diagrams for clarity.
             
   
   
   
   
   
             
             
   
  ! ! !  
  ! !  
  ! ! !  
   
             
  • Double move: The lion can step in any direction, and capture, up to twice in a turn. This move is equivalent to two turns for a king.
    • Unlike area movers, the lion can continue after a capture on the first step, capturing up to two pieces on each turn.
    • By moving back to its starting square, it can effectively capture a piece on an adjacent square without moving. This is called 居喰い igui "stationary feeding".
    • It can also do the same to an empty square, without capturing anything. This is traditionally indicated by tapping the lion and leaving it in place.
    • A lion next to the promotion zone can make a similar move into and out of the zone, promoting without appearing to move.
  • Jump: A lion can jump anywhere within a distance of two squares: That is, anywhere it could reach in two step moves on an empty board, though of course it cannot land on a square occupied by a friendly piece. This is equivalent to jumping in any of the eight diagonal or orthogonal directions, or making any of the jumps of a knight in Western chess. (KNADdK)

Note: The restrictions when capturing a lion in chu shogi do not apply in tenjiku shogi.

Phoenix 鳳凰 hōō Kirin 麒麟 kirin
             
         
           
       
           
         
             
  • Step: The phoenix can move one square in one of the four orthogonal directions.
  • Jump: It can jump to the second square in one of the four diagonal directions. (WA)
             
           
         
       
         
           
             
  • Step: The kirin can move one square in one of the four diagonal directions.
  • Jump: It can jump to the second square in one of the four orthogonal directions. (FD)

Note: Because of its unusual movement, an unpromoted kirin can only reach half the squares on the board.

Free boar 奔猪 honcho Flying ox 飛牛 higyū
         
         
         
         
         
         
  • Range: The free boar can range any number of free squares along any one of the four diagonal directions, or directly to either side, giving it six directions of movement. (BrlR)
       
       
       
           
       
       
       
  • Range: The flying ox can move any number of free squares along any one of the four diagonal directions, or directly forward or backward, giving it six directions of movement. (BfbR)
Side mover 横行 ōgyō Vertical mover 竪行 shugyō
             
             
           
           
             
             
  • Range: The side mover can move any number of free squares orthogonally sideways.
  • Step: It can move one square directly forward or backward. (rlRW)
           
           
           
       
           
           
           
  • Range: The vertical mover can move any number of free squares orthogonally forward or backward.
  • Step: It can move one square orthogonally sideways. (fbRW)
Copper general 銅将 dōshō Silver general 銀将 ginshō
             
             
       
           
           
             
             
  • Step: The copper general can move one square directly forward or backward, or one square diagonally forward, giving it four directions of movement. (fFfbW)
             
             
       
           
         
             
             
  • Step: The silver general can move one square in the four diagonal directions, or directly forward, giving it five directions of movement. (FfW)
Multi general 雜将 suishō Flying stag 飛鹿 hiroku
           
           
           
           
         
         
         
  • Range: The multi general can move any number of free squares directly forward or diagonally backward, giving it three directions of movement. (fRbB)
           
           
       
    鹿    
       
           
           
  • Range: The flying stag can move any number of free squares directly forward or backward.
  • Step: It can move one square in any direction. (fbRK)
Doginu Blind tiger 盲虎 mōko
             
             
           
           
         
             
             
  • Step: The dog can move one square directly forward, or diagonally backward, giving it three directions of movement. (fWbF)
             
             
         
       
       
             
             
  • Step: The blind tiger can move one square in any direction except directly forward, giving it seven directions of movement. (FrlbW)
White horse 白駒 hokku Whale 鯨鯢 keigei
       
       
       
           
           
           
           
  • Range: The white horse can move any number of free squares orthogonally forward or backward, or diagonally forward, giving it four directions of movement. (fbRfB)
           
           
           
           
       
       
       
  • Range: The whale can move any number of free squares orthogonally forward or backward, or diagonally backward, giving it four directions of movement. (fbRbB)
Lance 香車 kyōsha Reverse chariot 反車 hensha
           
           
           
           
             
             
             
  • Range: The lance can move any number of free squares directly forward, giving it only one direction of movement. (fR)

Since a lance cannot move backward or to the sides, it must promote when it reaches the far rank.

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
  • Range: The reverse chariot can move any number of free squares orthogonally forward or backward, giving it two directions of movement. (fbR)

Check and mate[edit]

When a player makes a move, such that the opponent's only remaining king or crown prince could be captured on the following move, the move is said to give check; the king or crown prince is said to be in check. If a player's last king or crown prince is in check and no legal move by that player will get it out of check, the checking move is also mate, and effectively wins the game.

Unlike Western chess, a player need not move out of check in tenjiku shogi, and indeed may even move into check. Although obviously not often a good idea, a player with more than one royal may occasionally sacrifice one of these pieces as part of a gambit.

A player is not allowed to give perpetual check to the sole objective piece. This is not a rule, but a consequence of the repetition rule.

Game end[edit]

A player who captures the opponent's sole remaining king or crown prince wins the game. Alternatively, a player that is reduced to just the king or crown prince loses—unless he can do the same to his opponent immediately thereafter, in which case the game is a draw.[1]

In practice these winning conditions are rarely fulfilled, as a player will typically resign when checkmated, as otherwise when loss is inevitable.

A player who makes an illegal move loses immediately. (This rule may be relaxed in casual games.)

Repetition (千日手 sennichite) is not allowed.

The game reaches an impasse (持将棋 jishōgi) if all kings and crown princes have advanced into their respective promotion zones and neither player can hope to mate the other or to gain any further material.[citation needed]

Handicaps[edit]

Games between players of disparate strength are often played with handicaps. In a handicap game, one or more of White's pieces is removed before the start of play, and White plays the first move of the game.

Alternatively, a strong piece of one player may be removed in exchange for one or more of the other player’s weaker pieces.

Game notation[edit]

The method used in English-language texts to express shogi moves was established by George Hodges in 1976. It is derived from the algebraic notation used for chess, but modifications have been made for tenjiku shogi.

A typical example is P-8g. The first letter represents the piece moved (see above). Promoted pieces have a + added in front of the letter. e.g., +P for a promoted pawn. The designation of the piece is followed by a symbol indicating the type of move: - for an ordinary move or x for a capture. Next is the designation for the square on which the piece lands. This consists of a number representing the file and a lowercase letter representing the rank, with 1a being the top right corner (as seen from Black's point of view) and 16p being the bottom left corner. (This method of designating squares is based on Japanese convention, which, however, uses Japanese numerals instead of letters. For example, the square 2c is denoted by 2三 in Japanese.)

If a lion, horned falcon, soaring eagle or Heavenly Tetrarch captures by igui, or the fire demon burns, the square of the piece being captured is used instead of the destination square, and this is preceded by the symbol !. A piece moving next to a fire demon (suicide move) is followed by a *. If a double or triple capture is made, than subsequent captures are added after the first capture.

If a move entitles the player to promote the piece, then a + is added to the end to signify that the promotion was taken, or an = to indicate that it was declined. For example, Nx7d= indicates a knight capturing on 7d without promoting.

In cases where the above notation would be ambiguous, the designation of the start square is added after the designation for the piece in order to make clear which piece is meant.

Moves are commonly numbered as in chess.

In handicap games White plays first, so Black's move 1 is replaced by an ellipsis.

Notes on disputed moves[edit]

  • Lion hawk
The Shogi Association (TSA) rules interpreted "like a lion" to mean that the lion hawk did not have the full lion powers of jump and double capture, but only a two-step area move. This interpretation was never made in Japanese articles on tenjiku shogi, and has largely been abandoned in the West as well. Giving the lion hawk full lion powers brings the piece more into line with the rest of the game, though both versions are playable.[citation needed]
  • Free eagle
Western sources[citation needed] give the free eagle the move of a free king plus the ability to jump to the second square along an orthogonal.
Japanese Wikipedia states 斜めの場合は飛び越えては行けないが、縦横の場合は駒を飛び越えて行ける "it cannot jump on the diagonals, but can jump pieces on the orthogonals." The diagram shows an orthogonal range jump, but the free eagle does not appear in the ranking list of range-jumping pieces.
However, the Edo-era Sho Shōgi Zushiki states that it moves 如奔王亦猫刄再度歩兼二行 "as a free king or two times as a cat sword in two directions", which could be taken as requiring the piece to finish on one of the orthogonals, if not exactly a jump; while elsewhere in the Sho Shōgi Zushiki and in the Shōgi Zushiki it says that 奔王の動きに加えて、猫刄の動き(斜め四方向に1マス動く)を2度できる "in addition to moving as a free king, it can make a cat-sword move (one square in one of the four diagonals) twice", which has no such implication, but which Japanese Wikipedia says is thought to mean a jump.
  • Fire demon
TSA rules state that if you move your fire demon next to an opposing fire demon, only your fire demon is immolated; all other adjacent pieces survive. A few computer programs and books stipulate that other adjacent pieces are immolated as well, with only the opposing fire demon surviving, but this interpretation is not widely followed. Both variants are playable.[citation needed]
Japanese Wikipedia states only that 火鬼が火鬼の隣に移動したときは、動いた方が焼かれる "When a fire demon moves next to a fire demon, the moving piece is burnt," without mentioning the fate of surrounding pieces.
Edo-era sources differ in whether the orthogonal ranging move is along the rank or the file of the board. Western sources have it move along the file, but moving along the rank would be more in keeping with the fire demon being a promoted water buffalo.
  • Heavenly tetrarch
Western sources do not have the ranging move along the orthogonal. However, the Sho Shōgi Zushiki states it moves 如車兵亦近八方不行其外周二三要用歩 "as a chariot soldier, also the eight neighboring squares without moving and taking two or three steps outside the periphery", and this is consistent with it being a promoted chariot soldier.
  • Range-jumping generals
TSA rules state that the range-jumping generals cannot capture an equal or higher-ranking piece, not just that they cannot jump over them. This gives a huge advantage to Black, so that Black can win every game if played right, but is not supported by Japanese articles on tenjiku shogi and has been largely abandoned in the West as unplayable.[citation needed]

Strategy[edit]

Piece values[edit]

According to the German Chu Shogi Association, the average values of the pieces are (using the interpretations of the English-language sources):

Average piece values
Piece name Approximate
value
Promotion Approximate
value
Fire Demon 83
Great General 45
Vice General 39
Water Buffalo 17 Fire Demon 83
Rook General 23 Great General 45
Lion Hawk 25
Bishop General 21 Vice General 39
Free Eagle 22
Free King 22 Free Eagle 22
Lion 18 Lion Hawk 25
Soaring Eagle 18 Rook General 23
Horned Falcon 19 Bishop General 21
Chariot Soldier 18 Heavenly Tetrarchs 12
Dragon King 14 Soaring Eagle 18
Dragon Horse 12 Horned Falcon 19
Rook 12 Dragon King 17
Vertical Soldier 8 Chariot Soldier 18
Side Soldier 7 Water Buffalo 17
Bishop 10 Dragon Horse 12
Vertical Mover 7 Flying Ox 16
Side Mover 7 Free Boar 16
Phoenix 3 Free King 22
Kirin 3 Lion 18
Lance 6 White Horse 14
Reverse Chariot 6 Whale 10
King 4
Drunk Elephant 3 Crown Prince 4
Gold General 3 Rook 12
Ferocious Leopard 3 Bishop 10
Blind Tiger 3 Flying Stag 9
Silver General 2 Vertical Mover 7
Copper General 2 Side Mover 7
Iron General 2 Vertical Soldier 8
Knight 1 Side Soldier 7
Dog 1 Multi General 6
Pawn 1 Tokin (Gold General) 3

These average values do not take into account the special status of the king and crown prince as royal pieces. They have also been normalized so that the pawn is worth 1 point to avoid fractions. Additionally, pieces gain in value if they have a good chance of promotion (particularly for the water buffalo, which promotes to the most powerful piece in the game), and the jumping generals and fire demon tend to lose some power as the board empties (because they then cannot make full use of their jumping and burning abilities).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Struggle for Survival, by Colin Adams, p. 5.

External links[edit]