The Chess Variant Pages

Pawn Shogi

Pawn Shogi is a Shogi variant, invented in 1997 by Eric Greenwood.


The game is played by two players on an 7 by 7 board. Below, you see the board; after that the full names and movement of the pieces follow.

King d1; Elephant a1; Lancer b1; Silver c1; Gold e1; Horse f1; Dabbabah g1; Berlonina Pawn a2; Korean Pawn b2; Chinese Pawn c2; Copper d2; Japanese Pawn e2; Shatranj Pawn f2; Congo Pawn g2; Jetan Pawn d3.

King d7; Elephant g7; Lancer f7; Silver e7; Gold c7; Horse b7; Dabbabah a7; Berlonina Pawn g6; Korean Pawn f6; Chinese Pawn e6; Copper d6; Japanese Pawn c6; Shatranj Pawn b6; Congo Pawn a6; Jetan Pawn d5.

Pieces + Pawns

All pieces with 2 letters are Pawns; 1 letter are minor/major pieces. Drops are allowed and encouraged! Promotion Zone is the Last 2 ranks.


(All moves are 1 square at a time.)
Be: Berolina Pawn
moves diagonally forward, and captures straight ahead. Promotes to Silver.
Ko: Korean Pawn
moves and captures forward and sideways. Promotes to Wazir.
Ch: Chinese Pawn
straight ahead move and capture. Promotes to Firzan.
Ja: Japanese Pawn
same as Chinese.
Sh: Shatranj Pawn
straight ahead move, Diagonally forward capture. Promotes to Copper.
Co: Congo Pawn
moves and captures forward and diagonally forward. Promotes to Gold.
Je: Jetan Pawn
Moves and captures any except straight back. Promotes to Bishop(+).


C: Copper
moves 1 square forward, backwards, or Diagonally forward. Promotes to Marshall.
S: Silver
moves 1 square forward or diagonally. Promotes to Horse.
G: Gold
moves 1 any except diagonally backwards. Promotes to Lancer.
H: Horse
moves as Chess Horse (1 straight + 1 diagonal, w/ jumping). Promotes to Tiger.
L: Lancer
moves vertically forward, 2 squares backwards, and 1 square Sideways. Promotes to Rook.
E: Elephant
jumps and captures to the second square diagonally, and may move w/o capturing to the 1st square diagonally. Promotes to Veterans.
D: Dabbabah
jumps and captures on the 2nd square horizontally or vertically, and can move w/o capturing to the 1st square Horizontally or Vertically. Promotes to Warriors.
K: King
Normal move.

Promoted Ranks not already active:

F: Firzan (promoted Chinese/Japanese Pawn)
Moves 1 square diagonally.
W: Wazir {Promoted Korean Pawn)
moves 1 square horizontally or vertically.
B: Bishop (promoted Jetan Pawn)
Moves as the regular bishop, w/ the option of moving 1 square sideways also.
M: Marshall (promoted Copper)
Moves 1 square any direction.
T: Tiger (promoted Horse)
Moves as the Horse or Marshall.
V: Veterans (promoted Elephant)
Moves and captures 1 or 2 squares diagonally or one square straight back.
W: Warriors (promoted Dabbabah)
Moves and captures 1 or 2 squares horizontally or vertically or 1 square diagonally back.
Pawns may not be dropped only if there is an allied pawn of the same nationality unpromoted in the same file. All pawns and pieces must be able to make a legal move upon dropping.


Many variations are Possible!

Var. 1: No drops. Promotion Zone is the same.
Var. 2: No drops. Promotion zone limited to back rank.
Var. 3: No drops. Promotion is by capturing.
Var. 4: Drops allowed, but promotion zone limited to back rank.
Var. 5: Drops allowed, but promotion is by capture.
Var. 6: No drops. Promotion is by both capture and full zone.
Var. 7: No drops. Promotion is by both capture and back rank zone.
Var. 8: Drops allowed, and promotion is by both capture and Zone.
Var. 9: Drops allowed, and promotion is by capture and back rank.

Since that's 10 games for the price of 1, I'm sure something will appeal! Comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated. More variants can be made by combining w/ any of the existing variations different Pawn Drop rules; I.E. pawns may not drop on a file w/ ANY allied pawn unpromoted, may drop on a file w/ any pawn anywhere, may not drop on a file that has an enemy pawn of the same nationality, etc.

Written by Eric Greenwood. Edited by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: October 21, 1997. Last modifief: March 16, 1998.