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Suzumu Shogi. (Updated!) 16x16 Shogi variant based on Tenjiku Shogi.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Adam DeWitt wrote on 2020-09-23 UTC

The rule against perpetual check was intentional back in 2019. It was meant to compensate for stalemate being a win for the stalemating player. In Chess, if you're in a lost position, then the stalemate rule can save you. The rule against perpetual check had the same purpose. However, I removed it from all of my Shogi variants some time ago, as I believed it would add nothing but confusion as to why someone lost a game.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-11-08 UTC

The Q=9 > LH=8 was from, which discusses the 'modern' version of the game, i.e. with full Lion power for the LH. (Which, IMO, also is the historic move.) But I admit that these values are controversial. In the ongoing game (#2188) at the PBeM server the opponent of my engine happily traded his Queen for the bot's Lion Hawk. As neither of the remaining Q/LH has engaged in battle so far, it has still remains to be seen who had the good deal there. It should also be taken into account that a Queen is promotable, and a Lion Hawk not. But the Q=9 value comes from a rule set that uses the TSA move for the Free Eagle, which is a rather insignificant promotion (no igui, just 4 extra jump moves to already accessible squares).

It is difficult to guess whether GG or VG is the strongest general in Suzumu Shogi. I think that even in Tenjiku Shogi GG is only better than VG because of the ranking. An area move is very powerful (up to 48 targets!), and could very well be worth more even than the orthogonal jump-captures over arbitrarily many pieces. Limiting it to jumping 2 pieces would obviously weaken the latter further.

As to the number of checks: it is obvious that the conventional rules for perpetual checking can make some theoretically won end-games very tedious, and in combination with a 50-move type rule possibly even draws. I am not sure that limiting this to 4 doesn't hurt the game, though, by making it too easy to draw. On such a big board it might be too easy to deliver 4 checks before a King can reach shelter. Think of a Rook versus an exposed King; normally the King would just creep up to a checking Rook, after which it cannot continue checking, and the checked side gets the opportunity to start his counter attack (say in K + Ln vs K + R). Especially with Jumping Generals it could be difficult to defend against checking, when the board population thins.


dax00 wrote on 2019-11-08 UTC

I noticed that all your games of this sort forbid 4 consecutive checks for some reason. Is this a misunderstanding of the repetition rule of historical (and current) shogi variants, which forbids fourfold repetition of a position with check, or is this intentionally something different?

Adam DeWitt wrote on 2019-11-08 UTC

These are some very good questions. Here are my answers:

  • When I said that the moves of the Fire Demons and the range-jumping generals were unplayable, I was talking about when I was still experimenting with piece moves. This was before I had even joined the Chess Variant Pages. Back then, the range-jumping pieces could only jump a single piece, and I was still experimenting with moves for the Fire Demon. I'll be honest with you - some of them got very crazy. At one time I gave it the move whose XBetza notation was the incredibly long BsRvW5KaKaaKmabKcaibQ5cafKcafafKcafafafKcafafafafKafcabKafcafKafcafafKafcafafafKafafcabafKafafcabK


I know. It basically defies description.

  • I prefer the promotion rule from standard Shogi because not only is it much simpler to understand, it is also easier to program in Game Courier. By using the standard prommotion rule all I have to do is keep track of where the piece started and where the piece ended. If I would have used the Chu Shogi promotion rule, it would have made programming the Game Courier preset much more difficult, to say the least.
  • The reason the Fire Demon cannot jump is because allowing it to jump wouldn't fit well with the theme of the game being based on Tenjiku Shogi. Furthermore, this would potentially make the game of Mitsugumi Shogi (Suzumu Shogi's smaller counterpart) too fast-paced, even though there is only one Fire Demon in that game. Nonetheless, I have to admit that giving it the move you suggested, at least in Suzumu Shogi, could make for an interesting twist. Though I didn't really plan on giving the Fire Demon jumping moves, it's a good idea to think about.
  • Now that I think about it, I think you're right on this one. I'd say it's slightly more valuable than a single Great General or Vice General, and I definitely think it's more valuable than a Rook General or Bishop General.  Make no mistake though - even though it is not as powerful as it is in Tenjiku Shogi, the Fire Demon is still a force to be reckoned with. As for the values of the Lion Hawk and the Queen, sure, the Queen can slide in all directions, but the Lion Hawk has a fully-fledged Lion move, plus the move of the Bishop. Because of this, I would, in many cases, find it hard to believe that the Lion Hawk is less valuable than the Queen in Suzumu Shogi. The only reason it would be less valuable in Tenjiku Shogi would be because you are using the TSA rules (Bishop + 2 square area move, rather than Bishop + Lion).

H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-11-07 UTC

Interesting game. It begs some questions, however:

  • What made you decide the move of the Demon and Jumping Generals in Tenjiku Shogi make that game 'unplayable'?
  • Why do you prefer the standard Shogi promotion rule over the Chu Shogi rule?
  • What is the point of disallowing a jump for the double King move of the Demon? The area move it has would be able to reach the same squares through multiple paths, and they are unlikely to be all blocked. Especially since any obstructing enemy can be destroyed in the process. So in practice it would only delay development of the Demon, when the latter is still behind a solid wall of own pieces. Which you probably would not want to develop very quickly anyway, valuable as it is. So it doesn't seem worth introducing a new type of move, rather than just taking Demon = Buffalo + Lion + Area Move.
  • The value of the Demon with the move you give it would not nearly be 3 Jumping Generals. I am not even sure it is worth more than a single VG or GG (even when the latter have limited jumping power). The Lion power isn't worth that much, since most Tenjiku pieces are 'Lion proof' (i.e. have all King moves, so you cannot bring igui to bear on them as an attack). Note that some Tenjiku players value the Lion Hawk (as Bishop + full Lion) less than a Queen. BTW, the rule of thumb that a Demon is worth three Jumping Generals in Tenjiku Shogi only holds when these Generals are still able to inflict smothered mates, which can only be averted by giving a Demon back. Otherwise Demons that burn are priceless: losing one is losing the game. Conventional pieces have no defense against a Demon.

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