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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-10-12
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Inventor: Fergus  Duniho and Roberto  Lavieri. Kamikaze Mortal Shogi. Send your Kamikazes on suicide missions in this Shogi variant. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Another cool concept by Fergus, this time in the field of shogi variants.


Greg Strong wrote on 2011-03-26 UTC

Oops, I noticed that in my previous post I forgot to rate the game, so I'll do it here.  [EDIT: moved comment to previous post so it shows under my 'Reviews']

Also a comment about the opening - the player with the first move has a very aggressive attack by marching the rook-pawn up, forcing an exchange, and dropping a kamikaze on 2c, which is protected by the rook and attacks the trapped knight. You have to respond to this attack immediately to prevent it.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2011-03-26 UTC
Thanks, Greg. There is a reason I consider this to be my best Chess variant, and you hit on it quite well. Huge thanks go to Roberto Lavieri, who came up with the initial idea for Mortal Shogi and who also came up with the underpromotion rule, which I think has made this game a lot more interesting. Thanks also go to Karl Scherer, whose Hydra Chess inspired Mortal Chessgi.

Greg Strong wrote on 2011-03-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is fantastic game; one of my favorites of all time.

I love shogi, but this game even improves on the classic.  The biggest difference is not the fact that the pieces get weaker with each capture, nor is it the addition of the kamikaze.  I find the biggest difference to be the change in the promotion rules, which has profound implications...

In shogi, when you promote a pawn, you get a piece that has the fighting power of a gold general.  But, when the opponent captures it, all he gets is a pawn.  This makes promotion a terrific thing.  In this game, though, if you choose to promote it to a gold, it fights as a gold, but when the opponent captures it, he gets a silver (i.e., the gold general demoted one step.)  So promotion is double-edged.  If it's going to get captured, (and, in combat areas, pieces are captured and re-dropped a lot,) you're really just giving your opponent a more powerful piece by promoting.  For this reason, holes in the promotion zone aren't nearly as deadly as in regular shogi.

In shogi, a gold general is slightly stronger than a silver, but only slightly, and, in some situations, the silver is actually better because it's diagonal move helps it to slip through the pawns.  In this variant, I feel that unless the current situation specifically needs a gold, the silver is actually much better.  The fighting power is very similar, but when your gold gets captured, you give the opponent a silver; when your silver gets captured, he only gets a lance.  That's a pretty big difference.

Also, promoting a bishop or rook is very dangerous.  If you promote your bishop to a dragon horse, for example, you better not let it get captured, or you've handed your opponent a rook! (which can probably be promoted to a dragon king!)  When it's still a bishop, though, if it gets captured, you're only giving your opponent a gold (which can't even be promoted.)

I find that with the introduction of the kamikaze, the opening becomes intense very quickly, much more quickly than shogi.  Later in the game, though, because of the promotion change resulting in promotion being risky and holes in the promotion zone being much less significant, I find the game stays even much longer.  When a player starts losing (measured in conventional terms - he has less material) he starts to gain a strange advantage.  The opponent's 'stronger' pieces can't engage because they can't risk getting taken by a 'weaker' piece, because if that trade takes place, the player who had the weaker piece now gets a stronger piece in hand, and, even if the other player can recapture, he only gets a piece even weaker than the weaker piece already was...  This is like the 'leveling effect' described by Ralph Betza, but to a much greater extreme, leading to very intense games that are in doubt right up until the end.

M Winther wrote on 2010-03-10 UTC
These video demonstrations are fantastic tools of learning. I have often watched the ICC opening survey videos. This one is professionally done, but the subject is very ambitious. This site could have good use of a video on Western piece movement and foundational chess principles. I have often noticed that amateurs wanting to learn chess come to this site.
/Mats

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-03-07 UTC
I have now uploaded a video on Kamikaze Mortal Shogi to Youtube:

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-04-05 UTC
A piece may keep promoting until it promotes to something that can't promote, which would be a Gold General, a Dragon Horse, or a Dragon King.

Greg Strong wrote on 2005-04-05 UTC
I'm not clear on something regarding promotion. Can I assume any piece may only promote once? Or can it keep moving in the promotion zone, gaining a rank each time?

Anonymous wrote on 2004-07-30 UTC
<ul><li>In the description of the Bishop, it says:<br> 'When it enters, exits, or moves with the promotion zone, a <b>Rook</b> may promote to a Dragon Horse.'

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