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Larry Smith wrote on 2006-05-10 UTC
Yes, the standard Demon game has all the leapers on the back row. This was
entirely intentional to prevent the early use of leapers in a rather
leaper-heavy game. In other words, with this set-up, the players will need
to make a few developing moves.

And this also slows down the use of the 'castling' move, since another
piece must be moved before this privilege can be exercised.

But I also have noted(at the bottom of the Demon Game webpage) that
Knights can be moved forward one rank at setup if the players want that
particular form of play.

And it would be a mistake to think that early occupation of the central
cells of the field would be advantageous. Those two Queens are similar to
Free Kings in some Shogi variants, creating a lot of pressure on the
central files. After a series of violent exchanges, you could simply end
up with a really big hole in the center of your defenses. It may be best
to simply threaten the central cells of the field, concentrating the
efforts on the flanks.

But I would not advocate exchanging the positions of the Knights and
Bishops. The initial position of the Bishop is to support Pawn structure
development and take advantage of the powers of the Cardinals and Queens.

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