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Kyoto Shogi. Modern 5x5 Shogi variant where pieces promote and unpromote with every move.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-04-01 UTC

I think the points raised by Greg are moot:

In Shogi, stalemate is a win, and making an illegal move a loss. That makes win by checkmate equivalent to win by King capture. When I played my mini-Shogi program on 81Dojo, I had to modify it to actually capture the King. Because the server allowed people to play on in a checkmated position, and considered the illegal-move claim that the engine would respond with as an illegal move in itself, awarding the win to the checkmated player. OTOH, the server admin has issued a warning that people who do play on in a checkmated position, rather than resigning, will be banned! Point is that in Shogi etiquette it is essential that the losing player explicitly admits his defeat. So unlike chess, checkmate does not end the game automatically, the losing player must say 'makemashita' in response, and that ends the game. So basically the situation is that there is only one legal response to a checkmate, wich is resigning. Any other response is illegal, and thus forfeits the game. Making illegal moves intentionally is considered unsportsmanlike, and lack of sportsmanship can result in a ban.

As to mate by Pawn drop: pieces can be dropped with either side up. So if you can mate through a Pawn drop, you can certainly mate through a Rook drop instead. So from a game-theoretical point of view a rule forbidding mate by Pawn drop has no effect on the game at all.

A more important question is whether it would be allowed to drop a Pawns in a file where there already is one. My guess is that this would be allowed. You can get two Pawns in the same file anyway by moving a Rook to a file with a Pawn, so forbidding it would achieve little (although it does affect the game in a minor way). You have at most two Pawns, so long strings of Pawns can never arise. In addition, players would not be very happy having a Pawn, when there is a Rook on the flip side. They would prefer to drop as a Rook, and when they have a Pawn, move it as soon as they can to make it a Rook.

The phrase "is played like standard shogi" should be taken with a large grain of salt. Lance,  Knight and Pawn can move to and be dropped on locations where they would not be allowed in regular Shogi, and with the promoted side up. So why not also in files that already contain a Pawn?