The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, Adam DeWitt.

Hook Shogi

Hook Shogi (鉤将棋 kō shōgi, "hook shogi") is inspired by Maka Dai Dai Shogi and Taishin Shogi. The latter is by far the largest and craziest game I have ever conceived. Taishin Shogi can be a bit intimidating, though, with 177 pieces of 86 types on a 25x25 board. Hook Shogi is an attempt to shrink Taishin Shogi to a smaller game, with only 109 pieces of 51 types on a 19x19 board, without losing much of the original flavor of the original game.

Setup

An interactive diagram has been provided (The Javascript source code was written by H. G. Muller) to make it easier to understand how each piece moves. The Mnemonic piece directory uses H. G. Muller's Mnemonic pieces. The Shogi pieces used in the diagram are my own pieces, made using a free online pixel art drawing tool called Pixilart.

files=19 ranks=19 holdingsType=1 promoOffset=51 promoZone=0 maxPromote=49 promoChoice=+ royal=49 royal=99 royal=100 graphicsDir=../membergraphics/MSmitsugumi-shogi/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b lightShade=#FFFF80 darkShade=#FFFF80 graphicsType=png?nocache=true squareSize=41 symmetry=rotate pawn:P:fW:p:a6-s6 dog:D:bFfW:d:f7,n7 knight:N:N:n:c4,q4 earth general:E:vW:e:b1,r1 stone general:O:fF:o:c1,q1 tile general:T:fFbW:t:d1,p1 iron general:I:fFfW:i5:e1,o1 copper general:C:fFvW:c:f1,n1 silver general:S:FfW:s:g1,m1 blind tiger:BT:FsbW:bt:i2,k2 ferocious leopard:FL:FvW:fl:h2,l2 gold general:G:WfF:g:h1,l1 cat sword:CT:F:ct:c2,q2 angry boar:AB:W:ab:d3,p3 evil wolf:EW:fFfsW:ew:h3,l3 coiled serpent:CO:bFvW:co:g2 blind dog:BD:fFsbW:bd:e2 old monkey:OM:FbW:om:o2 reclining dragon:RN:WbF:rn:m2 flying horse:FH:F2:fh:g4,m4 flying dragon:FY:W2:fy:e4,o4 roaring dog:RD:K3:rd:a4,s4 reverse chariot:RV:vR:rv:a2,s2 lance:L:fRbW2:l:a1,s1 kirin:KY:FD:ky:h4,l4 phoenix:PH:WA:ph:i3,k3 warrior:WR:WfFA:wr:i4 poisonous snake:PS:FvWD:ps:k4 left chariot:LC:fRbWflbrB:lc:b5 right chariot:RC:fRbWfrblB:rc:r5 side mover:SM:WsR:sm:c5,q5 vertical mover:VM:WvR:vm:e5,o5 bishop:B:B:b:f5,n5 rook:R:R:r:a5,s5 side chariot:SC:sRvW2:sc:d5,p5 vertical chariot:VC:vRsW2:vc:f3,n3 dragon horse:DH:BW:dh:g5,m5 dragon king:DK:RF:dk:h5,l5 fire dragon:F:RfB4bB2:f:b3,r3 water dragon:W:RbB4fB2:w:a3,s3 earth dragon:H:BsR4vR2:h:b2,r2 wind dragon:A:BvR4sR2:a:b4,r4 lion:LN:KNADcaKmcabK:ln:j3 lion dog:LD:KADGHcafKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavKcafcafK:ld:j4 queen:Q:Q:q:j5 deva:DV:lfbFW:dv:i1 dark spirit:DS:rfbFW:ds:k1 drunk elephant:DE:FsfW:de:j2 king:K:K:k:j1 tengu:TG:WBmasB:tg:i5 hook mover:HM:RmasR:hm:k5 tokin:+P:WfF:p2: multi general:+D:bBfR:d2: side soldier:+N:WsRfW2:n2: reverse chariot:+E:vR:e2: side chariot:+O:sRvW2:o2: vertical chariot:+T:vRsW2:t2: vertical soldier:+I:WfRsW2:i2: side mover:+C:WsR:c2: vertical mover:+S:WvR:s2: flying stag:+BT:KvR:bt2: bishop:+FL:B:fl2: rook:+G:R:g2: free cat:+CT:B:ct2: running boar:+AB:R:ab2: free wolf:+EW:KsR:ew2: free serpent:+CO:bBvR:co2: wizard stork:+BD:BsfRbW:bd2: mountain witch:+OM:BsbRfW:om2: free dragon:+RN:RbB:rn2: violent falcon:+FH:BN:fh2: fierce eagle:+FY:RN:fy2: lion dog:+RD:KADGHcafKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavKcafcafK:rd2: whale:+RV:bBvR:rv2: white horse:+L:fBvR:l2: lion:+KY:KNADcaKmcabK:ky2: queen:+PH:Q:ph2: tengu:+WR:WBmasB:wr2: hook mover:+PS:RmasR:ps2: left army:+LC:KrvBrR:lc2: right army:+RC:KlvBlR:rc2: free boar:+SM:BsR:sm2: flying ox:+VM:BvR:vm2: dragon horse:+B:BW:b2: dragon king:+R:RF:r2: free demon:+SC:BsRvW5:sc2: free dream eater:+VC:BvRsW5:vc2: horned falcon:+DH:BbsRfWfDfcavWfmabW:dh2: soaring eagle:+DK:RbBfFfAfcavFfmabF:dk2: kirin master:+F:BbsRfWfDfHfcafWfmcabWfcafmpafWfmpafcavWfcafcafW:f2: phoenix master:+W:RbBfFfAfGfcafFfmcabFfcafmpafFfmpafcavFfcafcafF:w2: earthward net:+H:BWaKmabK:h2: skyward net:+A:RFaKmabK:a2: lion hawk:+LN:BWNADcaKmcabK:ln2: furious fiend:+LD:KNADGHcaKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavKcafcafK:ld2: free eagle:+Q:QADcasFcafFmcabF:q2: teaching king:+DV:QADGHcafKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavKcafcafK:dv2: divine dragon:+DS:QNADcaKmcabK:ds2: crown prince:+DE:K:de2: emperor:+K:U:k2:

Only the location of the pieces of one side are mentioned below, in normal (Chess-like) coordinates. The setup for the other side can be obtained by rotating the board 180 degrees. XBetza notation is included for easier reference.

First rank

Second rank

Third rank

Fourth rank

Fifth rank

Sixth and seventh rank

Pieces

The move of pieces from the initial setup is already given in Betza notation above, and should also be clear from the mnemonic piece glyphs in the image above. The Betza notation move of the piece types that can only be obtained through promotion is given below.

Below is a table describing the moves of each piece. The table's contents are limited to the name and move description of each piece to prevent the HTML code from messing with the format of the page.

 

The King can move into check at any time, although this is almost always a blunder.

Pieces that appear in the initial setup

Piece

Move description

King

The King can step 1 square in any direction.

Drunk Elephant

The Drunk Elephant can step 1 square in any direction except directly backward.

Dark Spirit

The Dark Spirit can step 1 square in any direction except diagonally forward to the left.

Deva

The Deva can step 1 square in any direction except diagonally forward to the right.

Hook Mover

The Hook Mover can slide orthogonally, then (optionally) make a 90-degree turn and continue in a perpendicular direction. It must stop when it captures, and the (bent) path it travels along must be empty up to that point. It can only change direction once per move.

Tengu

The Tengu can step 1 square orthogonally or slide diagonally, then (optionally) make a 90-degree turn and continue in a perpendicular direction. It must stop when it captures, and the (bent) path it travels along must be empty up to that point. It can only change direction once per move, and only when moving diagonally.

Lion

The Lion has a special movement ability commonly called a 'lion move' or 'lion power'. It can step up to three times in a straight line in any orthogonal or diagonal direction. It can make the first (or second) step as a jump, when it chooses to do so. So it can:

  • Jump directly to any square in the 5x5 area surrounding it,
  • Capture any adjacent piece without moving (igui),
  • Capture a piece on an adjacent square, and then continue to any of the squares adjacent to that square, capturing up to two pieces (this is equivalent to 2 turns for a King),
  • Stay in place without capturing anything if at least one adjacent square is empty, effectively passing a turn

Lion Dog

The Lion Dog can make up to three steps along any ray passing through it. It can return to, but not overshoot its starting square. Each of the steps can be a move, a capture or a hop, with the exception that it cannot hop back to its starting square. So it can:

  • Jump to the first, second, or third square in any orthogonal or diagonal direction,
  • Move or capture as King, optionally taking out an enemy on the second square (2 steps out, one in),
  • Move or capture to the second square on any ray, optionally taking out an enemy on the square it passes over in the process,
  • Move or capture to the third square on any ray, optionally taking out any enemies on the squares it passes over in the process,
  • Capture any adjacent piece without moving (igui),
  • Stay in place without capturing anything if at least one adjacent square is empty, effectively passing a turn

Queen

The Queen moves as it does in Chess - it slides orthogonally or diagonally.

Fire Dragon

The Fire Dragon can slide orthogonally. In addition, it can slide up to 2 squares diagonally backward or up to 4 squares diagonally forward.

Water Dragon

The Water Dragon can slide orthogonally. In addition, it can slide up to 2 squares diagonally forward or up to 4 squares diagonally backward.

Earth Dragon

The Earth Dragon can slide diagonally. In addition, it can slide up to 2 squares vertically or up to 4 squares sideways.

Wind Dragon

The Wind Dragon can slide diagonally. In addition, it can slide up to 2 squares sideways or up to 4 squares vertically.

Dragon King

The Dragon King moves as it does in Shogi - it can move as a Rook or as a King.

Dragon Horse

The Dragon Horse moves as it does in Shogi - it can move as a Bishop or as a King.

Rook

The Rook moves as it does in Chess - it slides orthogonally.

Bishop

The Bishop moves as it does in Chess - it slides diagonally.

Vertical Chariot

The Vertical Chariot can slide vertically or up to 2 squares sideways.

Side Chariot

The Side Chariot can slide sideways or up to 2 squares vertically.

Vertical Mover

The Vertical Mover can slide vertically or move one square sideways.

Side Mover

The Side Mover can slide sideways or move one square vertically.

Right Chariot

The Right Chariot can slide directly forward, diagonally forward to the right, or diagonally backward to the left. In addition, it can step 1 square directly backward.

Left Chariot

The Left Chariot can slide directly forward, diagonally forward to the left, or diagonally backward to the right. In addition, it can step 1 square directly backward.

Reverse Chariot

The Reverse Chariot slides vertically.

Lance

The Lance slides forward or up to 2 squares directly backward.

Poisonous Snake

The Poisonous Snake can step 1 square in any direction except orthogonally sideways. In addition, it can jump 2 squares orthogonally.

Warrior

The Warrior can step 1 square in any direction except diagonally backward. In addition, it can jump 2 squares diagonally.

Phoenix

The Phoenix can move 1 square orthogonally or jump 2 squares diagonally.

Kirin

The Kirin can move 1 square diagonally or jump 2 squares orthogonally.

Knight

The Knight moves as it does in Chess - it jumps to the nearest square that a Queen cannot.

Roaring Dog

The Roaring Dog can slide up to 3 squares in any direction, orthogonal or diagonal.

Flying Dragon

The Flying Dragon can slide 1 or 2 squares orthogonally.

Flying Horse

The Flying Horse can slide 1 or 2 squares diagonally.

Blind Tiger

The Blind Tiger can step 1 square in any direction except directly forward.

Ferocious Leopard

The Ferocious Leopard can step 1 square in any direction except orthogonally sideways.

Reclining Dragon

The Reclining Dragon can step 1 square in any direction except diagonally forward.

Old Monkey

The Old Monkey can step 1 square diagonally, or directly backward.

Blind Dog

The Blind Dog can step 1 square sideways, directly backward, or diagonally forward.

Coiled Serpent

The Coiled Serpent can step 1 square vertically or diagonally backward.

Evil Wolf

The Evil Wolf can step 1 square sideways, directly forward, or diagonally forward.

Angry Boar

The Angry Boar can step 1 square orthogonally.

Cat Sword

The Cat Sword can step 1 square diagonally.

Gold General

The Gold General moves as it does in Shogi - it moves 1 square orthogonally, or diagonally forward.

Silver General

The Silver General moves as it does in Shogi - it moves 1 square diagonally, or directly forward.

Copper General

The Copper General moves 1 square vertically or diagonally forward.

Iron General

The Iron General moves 1 square orthogonally or diagonally forward.

Tile General

The Tile General moves 1 square orthogonally backward or diagonally forward.

Stone General

The Stone General moves 1 square diagonally forward.

Earth General

The Earth General moves 1 square vertically.

Dog

The Dog moves 1 square orthogonally forward or diagonally backward.

Pawn

The Pawn moves as it does in Shogi - 1 square orthogonally forward.

Pieces that only appear with promotion

Piece

Move description

Emperor

The Emperor can jump to any square on the board. However, it cannot capture a royal piece (a King, Prince, or another Emperor) that is protected, even if this move would win the game.

Aside from the restriction above, the Emperor can move into check at any time, although this is almost always a blunder.

Divine Dragon

The Divine Dragon moves either as a Lion or as a Queen. This power includes jumping, igui and skipping a turn (see "Lion").

Teaching King

The Teaching King moves either as a Lion Dog or as a Queen. This power includes jumping, igui and skipping a turn (see "Lion Dog").

Lion Hawk

The Lion Hawk moves either as a Bishop or as a Lion. This power includes jumping, igui and skipping a turn (see "Lion").

In other words, the Lion Hawk is a Lion enhanced by the diagonal moves of the Queen.

Free Eagle

The Free Eagle moves as a Queen. In addition, it can move one square in any diagonal direction twice. This power includes jumping, igui and skipping a turn (see "Lion"). So it can:

  • Jump directly to any square in the second square in any direction,
  • Capture any diagonally adjacent piece without moving (igui),
  • Capture a piece on a diagonally adjacent square, and then continue to any of the squares diagonally adjacent to that square, capturing up to two pieces (this is equivalent to 2 turns for a Ferz),
  • Stay in place without capturing anything if at least one diagonally adjacent square is empty, effectively passing a turn

In other words, the Free Eagle is a Queen enhanced by the diagonal moves of the Lion.

Furious Fiend

The Furious Fiend can move as a Lion or as a Lion Dog. So it can:

  • Jump directly to any square in the 5x5 area surrounding it, or to the third square in any othogonal or diagonal direction,
  • Capture a piece on an adjacent square, and then continue to any of the squares adjacent to that square, capturing up to two pieces (this is equivalent to 2 turns for a King),
  • Move or capture as King, optionally taking out an enemy on the second square (2 steps out, one in),
  • Move or capture to the second square on any ray, optionally taking out an enemy on the square it passes over in the process,
  • Move or capture to the third square on any ray, optionally taking out any enemies on the squares it passes over in the process,
  • Capture any adjacent piece without moving (igui),
  • Stay in place without capturing anything if at least one adjacent square is empty, effectively passing a turn

Phoenix Master

The Phoenix Master can slide orthogonally or diagonally backward. In addition, It can step 3 times, or jump up to 3 squares, diagonally forward, capturing up to three pieces. This power includes igui and skipping a turn, but not moving off the diagonal. (see "Lion Dog").

Kirin Master

The Kirin Master can slide diagonally, sideways, or directly backward. In addition, It can step 3 times, or jump up to 3 squares, directly forward, capturing up to three pieces. This power includes igui and skipping a turn, but not moving off the orthogonal. (see "Lion Dog").

Soaring Eagle

The Soaring Eagle can slide orthogonally or diagonally backward. In addition, It can step twice, or jump two squares, diagonally forward, capturing up to two pieces. This power includes igui and skipping a turn, but not moving off the diagonal. (see "Lion").

Horned Falcon

The Horned Falcon can slide diagonally, sideways, or directly backward. In addition, It can step twice, or jump two squares, directly forward, capturing up to two pieces. This power includes igui and skipping a turn, but not moving off the orthogonal. (see "Lion").

Skyward Net

The Skyward Net can slide orthogonally. In addition, it can make a '2-square area move' - up to 2 King steps in independently chosen directions, stopping at the first capture. It can skip a turn, but it does not have the lion power of igui.

Earthward Net

The Earthward Net can slide diagonally. In addition, it can make a '2-square area move' - up to 2 King steps in independently chosen directions, stopping at the first capture. It can skip a turn, but it does not have the lion power of igui.

Wizard Stork

The Wizard Stork can slide diagonally, sideways, or directly forward. In addition, it can step 1 square directly backward.

Mountain Witch

The Mountain Witch can slide diagonally, sideways, or directly backward. In addition, it can step 1 square directly forward.

Free Dream Eater

The Free Dream Eater can slide vertically or diagonally. In addition, it can slide up to 5 squares sideways.

Free Demon

The Free Demon can slide sideways or diagonally. In addition, it can slide up to 5 squares vertically.

Fierce Eagle

The Fierce Eagle can move as a Rook or as a Knight.

Violent Falcon

The Violent Falcon can move as a Bishop or as a Knight.

Flying Ox

The Flying Ox can slide vertically or diagonally.

Free Boar

The Free Boar can slide sideways or diagonally.

Free Dragon

The Free Dragon can slide in any direction except diagonally forward.

Free Serpent

The Free Serpent can slide vertically or diagonally backward.

White Horse

The White Horse can slide vertically or diagonally forward.

Whale

The Whale can slide vertically or diagonally backward.

Running Boar

The Running Boar slides orthogonally.

Free Cat

The Free Cat slides diagonally.

Vertical Soldier

The Vertical Soldier can slide directly forward or move one square directly backward. In addition, it can slide 1 or 2 squares sideways.

Side Soldier

The Side Soldier can slide sideways or move one square directly backward. In addition, it can slide 1 or 2 squares directly forward.

Right Army

The Right Army can step 1 square in any direction. In addition, it can slide along the left orthogonal or either left diagonal.

Left Army

The Left Army can step 1 square in any direction. In addition, it can slide along the right orthogonal or either right diagonal.

Flying Stag

The Flying Stag moves as a King or slides vertically.

Free Wolf

The Free Wolf moves as a King or slides sideways.

Multi General

The Multi General slides orthogonally forward or diagonally backward.

Rules

Deciding who moves first

furigoma (振り駒 piece toss) is used to decide who moves first. One of the players tosses five pawns. If the number of tokins (promoted pawns, と) facing up is higher than unpromoted Pawns (歩), then the player who tossed the pawns plays Gote (後手 White) (that is, getting the second move).

The players may also decide who goes first through a game of chance or a mutual agreement.

Sente (先手 Black) moves first, then players alternate making a move. Making a move is required – skipping a move is illegal, even when having to move is detrimental. Play continues until a player's last remaining royal piece is captured, a player resigns, or a draw is declared.

Skipping a turn

The Lion Hawk, Free Eagle, Furious Fiend, Lion, Lion Dog, Soaring Eagle, Horned Falcon, Divine dragon, Teaching King, Skyward Net, Earthward Net, Phoenix Master, and Kirin Master have the ability to skip a turn if at least one adjacent square is empty. (The Free Eagle can only do this on the squares diagonally adjacent to it, the Golden Bird can only do this on the squares orthogonally adjacent to it, the Horned Falcon and Kirin Master can only do this on the square directly in front of them, and the Soaring Eagle and Phoenix Master can only do this on either of the two squares diagonally in front of them.) However, there are two restrictions when doing so:

Promotion

Whenever a piece captures something, it promotes. Promotion is indicated by turning the piece over after it moves, revealing the character of the promoted piece. Promotion is mandatory - it is illegal to defer the promotion of a piece that has just captured, even when having to do so is detrimental. It is also illegal to promote a piece without capturing, with the following exception:

When a Pawn, Stone General, or Iron General reaches the last rank, it may promote even on a non-capture. This is because these pieces cannot move backwards or to the sides, and would otherwise have no legal move on subsequent turns. This last-rank promotion of a Pawn, Stone general, or Iron general can likewise be declined, leaving it as an immobile "dead piece" (死に駒 shi ni koma). However, if these pieces capture something on the last rank, they must promote without exception.

The pieces promote as follows:

  • King -> Emperor
  • Drunk Elephant -> Prince
  • Dark Spirit -> Divine Dragon
  • Deva -> Teaching King
  • Lion -> Lion Hawk
  • Lion Dog -> Furious Fiend
  • Queen -> Free Eagle
  • Fire Dragon -> Kirin Master
  • Water Dragon -> Phoenix Master
  • Earth Dragon -> Earthward Net
  • Wind Dragon -> Skyward Net
  • Dragon King -> Soaring Eagle
  • Dragon Horse -> Horned Falcon
  • Rook -> Dragon King
  • Bishop -> Dragon Horse
  • Vertical Chariot -> Free Dream Eater
  • Side Chariot -> Free Demon
  • Vertical Mover -> Flying Ox
  • Side Mover -> Free Boar
  • Right Chariot -> Right Army
  • Left Chariot -> Left Army
  • Reverse Chariot -> Whale
  • Lance -> White Horse
  • Poisonous Snake -> Hook Mover
  • Warrior -> Tengu
  • Phoenix -> Queen
  • Kirin -> Lion
  • Knight -> Side Soldier
  • Roaring Dog -> Lion Dog
  • Flying Dragon -> Fierce Eagle
  • Flying Horse -> Violent Falcon
  • Blind Tiger -> Flying Stag
  • Ferocious Leopard -> Bishop
  • Reclining Dragon -> Free Dragon
  • Old Monkey -> Mountain Witch
  • Blind Dog -> Wizard Stork
  • Coiled Serpent -> Free Serpent
  • Evil Wolf -> Free Wolf
  • Angry Boar -> Running Boar
  • Cat Sword -> Freee Cat
  • Gold General -> Rook
  • Silver General -> Vertical Mover
  • Copper General -> Side Mover
  • Iron General -> Vertical Soldier
  • Tile General -> Vertical Chariot
  • Stone General -> Side Chariot
  • Earth General -> Reverse Chariot
  • Dog -> Multi General
  • Pawn -> Gold

Because promotion doesn't happen until the end of the turn, multi-capturing pieces that promote have a chance for a double capture.

The Hook mover and Tengu do not promote, nor can already promoted pieces promote further, with the following exception:

Any piece that captures a Deva or Teaching King promotes to a Teaching King. Similarly, any piece that captures a Dark Spirit or Divine Dragon promotes to a Divine Dragon. Multi-capturing pieces that capture both a Deva or Teaching King and a Dark Spirit or Divine Dragon promote to the promoted form of the piece they took on the second capture. The only exceptions to this rule are royal pieces and potentially royal pieces (Emperors,Kings, Princes, and Drunk Elephants) which promote to their normal promoted forms, or stay as they are if already promoted.

Check

When a player’s last remaining royal piece (an Emperor, King, or Prince) is under immediate attack by at least one enemy piece, it is in check. A player who's last remaining royal is in check is not required to remove the check, but this is almost always the best option, since a player who has no more royal pieces on the board loses the game. If a player has more than one royal piece in play, that player may sacrifice one (or two) of them. A check can be removed in one of three ways, depending on the situation:

The Emperor, King, and Prince need not move out of check, and can even move into check, though this is almost always a blunder. If it is not possible for a player who only has an Emperor, King, or Prince to get out of check, that piece is checkmated and the game is effectively over.

Illegal Move

A player who makes an illegal move loses immediately. Illegal moves include:

This rule may be relaxed in casual games, where a player can take back the illegal move and make a legal move.

End of the game

A player who captures the opponent's last remaining royal piece (an Emperor, King or Prince) wins the game.

Checkmate and Stalemate

If a player’s last remaining royal piece is placed in check and there is no legal move that will resolve the check, the checking move is also checkmate, and effectively wins the game.

If a player’s last remaining royal piece is not in check but that player has no legal moves, the game is a stalemate. Stalemate, like checkmate, leads to a win for the stalemating player.

Resignation

At any point in the game, a player may resign and their opponent wins the game.

Draw

There are only two ways for a draw to occur - 千日手 sennichite (repetition) and impasse.

Repetition Draw 千日手 sennichite - If the same game position occurs four times with the same player to move, then the game ends in a draw, as long as the positions are not due to turn-skipping violations.

Impasse – If neither player can hope to force checkmate or stalemate on the other player’s last remaining royal piece or gain any further material through a series of legal moves, the players may agree to a draw.

Notes

Similar Games



This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.


By Adam DeWitt.

Last revised by Adam DeWitt.


Web page created: 2019-08-05. Web page last updated: 2020-04-09