Suzumu Shogi (進将棋 suzumu shōgi, literally "advance shogi," but meant in the sense of "hexadecimal shogi") is a large Shogi variant based on Tenjiku Shogi, which is among the most fast-paced chess variants out there, despite its huge size (16x16 board with 78 pieces per player). In fact it is so fast paced that it can easily devolve into a one-man show where a Fire Demon easily burns away everything in its path or a jumping General delivers a smothered mate (in rulesets where jump-capture of royalty is allowed). Chess is meant to be a team game, and chess variants of all kinds are no exception. So I decided to make Suzumu Shogi a version of the Tenjiku Shogi with the strongest pieces severely weakened (but with more options for how to utilize their moves as a compensation), and the weakest pieces boosted. This makes it actually feel like a team game, as the strongest pieces now need each other's help to break through the opposing army's defenses. I also took the opportunity to eliminate the remaining lacunae in the game's rules to eliminate any possibility of confusion.
Most pieces move like their counterparts in Tenjiku Shogi, assuming you are using the Wikipedia/CVP ruleset. However, there are exceptions. The Fire Demon can optionally burn up to two non-Fire Demon pieces of its choosing adjacent to another square. Furthermore, instead of passivly burning pieces on the opponent's turn, it can capture up to two adjacent pieces without moving, which is known as double igui and has no restrictions. The jumping Generals can only jump two pieces at most, but can optionally capture any enemy pieces they jump over, and have no restrictions on what they can capture. The Heavenly Tetrarch has the double igui ability and can freeze (immobilize) adjacent non-Heavenly Tetrarch pieces, and the Lance, Knight, and Iron General are boosted in ways that let them move backwards, and in the case of the latter two reach every square on the board.
files=16 ranks=16 holdingsType=1 promoOffset=37 promoZone=5 maxPromote=31 promoChoice=+ royal=37 royal=46 captureMatrix=/"25/.27^^.5^^.^.8^.13^^..^^=/"//"4/.34^^.^.8^.17^^=/.35^.^.8^.18^=//"23/.27^^.5^^.^.8^.13^^..^^=/"///.34^^.^.8^.17^^=/.35^.^.8^.18^= trackPieces=66 trackedTypes=2 stalemate=win graphicsDir=/membergraphics/MSsuzumushogi/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b lightShade=#FFFF80 darkShade=#FFFF80 graphicsType=png squareSize=33 symmetry=rotate firstRank=1 rimColor=#000000 coordColor=#FFFFFF newClick=1 pawn:P:fW:p:a5-p5 dog:D:bFfW:d:e6,l6 iron general:I:fFbW:i:d1,m1 copper general:C:fFvW:c:e1,l1 silver general:S:FfW:s:f1,k1 ferocious leopard:FL:FvW:fl:c1,n1 gold general:G:WfF:g:g1,j1 blind tiger:BT:FsbW:bt:f2,k2 drunk elephant:DE:FsfW:de:i1 knight:N:N:n:b1,o1 kirin:KY:FD:ky:g2 phoenix:PH:WA:ph:j2 lance:L:fRbW2:l:a1,p1 reverse chariot:RV:vR:rv:a2,p2 side mover:SM:vWsR:sm:a4,p4 vertical mover:VM:sWvR:vm:b4,o4 side soldier:SS:bWsRfW2:ss:a3,p3 vertical soldier:VS:bWfRsW2:vs:b3,o3 bishop:B:B:b:c3,n3 rook:R:R:r:c4,n4 dragon horse:DH:BW:dh:d3,m3 dragon king:DK:RF:dk:e3,l3 horned falcon:HF:BsbRfWfDfcavWfabW:hf:d4,m4 soaring eagle:SE:RbBfFfAfcavFfabF:se:e4,l4 lion:LN:KNADcaKmcabK:ln:h2 queen:Q:Q:q:i2 bishop general:BG:B(cpaf)2cBcafpafcBpafcafcB:bg:f4,k4 rook general:RG:R(cpaf)2cRcafpafcRpafcafcR:rg:g4,j4 chariot soldier:CS:BvRsW2:cs:c2,n2 chariot soldier:CS:BvRsW2:cs:d2,m2 water buffalo:WB:BsRvW2:wb:f3,k3 free eagle:FE:QADcaFmcabF:fe:i3 lion hawk:LH:BWNADcaKmcabK:lh:h3 vice general:VG:B(cpaf)2cBcafpafcBpafcafcB(a)2KabK:vg:i4 great general:GG:Q(cpaf)2cQcafpafcQpafcafcQ:gg:h4 value=3500 fire demon:FD:shQshy(mpacab)2Q(a)2Kmcab(mpacab)1K(a)2mpacabK(a)2mpacabmpacabK:fd:g3,j3 king:K:K:k:h1 tokin:+P:WfF:p2: multi general:+D:bBfR:d2: vertical soldier:+I:bWfRsW2:i2: side mover:+C:vWsR:c2: vertical mover:+S:sWvR:s2: bishop:+FL:B:fl2: rook:+G:R:g2: flying stag:+BT:FsWvR:bt2: prince:+DE:K:de2: side soldier:+N:bWsRfW2:n2: lion:+KY:KNADcaKmcabK:ky2: queen:+PH:Q:ph2: white horse:+L:fBvR:l2: whale:+RV:bBvR:rv2: free boar:+SM:BsR:sm2: flying ox:+VM:BvR:vm2: water buffalo:+SS:BsRvW2:ss2: chariot soldier:+VS:BvRsW2:vs2: dragon horse:+B:BW:b2: dragon king:+R:RF:r2: horned falcon:+DH:BsbRfWfDfcavWfabW:dh2: soaring eagle:+DK:RbBfFfAfcavFfabF:dk2: bishop general:+HF:B(cpaf)2cBcafpafcBpafcafcB:hf2: rook general:+SE:R(cpaf)2cRcafpafcRpafcafcR:se2: lion hawk:+LN:BWNADcaKmcabK:ln2: free eagle:+Q:QADcaFmcabF:q2: vice general:+BG:B(cpaf)2cBcafpafcBpafcafcB(a)2KabK:bg2: great general:+RG:Q(cpaf)2cQcafpafcQpafcafcQ:rg2: value=3500 heavenly tetrarch:+CS:jvhQjsQ3cab(mpacab)1K:cs2: heavenly tetrarch:+CS:jvhQjsQ3cab(mpacab)1K:cs2: fire demon:+WB:shQshy(mpacab)2Q(a)2Kmcab(mpacab)1K(a)2mpacabK(a)2mpacabmpacabK:wb2:
Only the location of the pieces of one side are mentioned below. The setup for the other side can be obtained by rotating the board 180 degrees. The promotion and XBetza notation of each piece has been included in brackets for easier reference ([ixK] is an ad hoc atom for immobilizing adjacent pieces, and [R] indicates that the piece has restrictions on its movement or abilities).
Lines below can be clicked to see how the pieces move:
Fifth and sixth ranks
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 diagram. Some pieces that move in special ways are discussed below.
The Fire Demon can slide sideways or diagonally, or make an 'area move' - up to 3 King steps in independently chosen directions, stopping at the first capture, including returning to the starting square to skip a turn. In addition, it has the power to "burn"; it can move to another square and then capture up to two non-Fire Demon opponents adjacent to that square without moving. Or it can simply capture up to two adjacent opponents without moving (double igui).
The Fire Demon cannot burn another Fire Demon (move to another square and then capture a Fire Demon without moving). It can capture a Fire Demon via any other type of capture however, and can even capture other pieces after the fact, as long as this does not involve burning a Fire Demon.
The Heavenly Tetrarch is a sliding piece that skips the first square in any direction, totally ignoring (and not affecting) what is on it. It can end maximally 3 squares away from its starting square sideways, but can slide arbitrarily far in all other directions. Like any slider it must stop after a capture, or before hitting a friendly piece. Alternatively the Heavenly Tetrarch can annihilate up to two opponents next to it, without moving (double igui). In addition, it has the power to "freeze"; all stationary non-Heavenly Tetrarch opponents are immobilized, and cannot move at all (not even to skip a turn) until the Heavenly Tetrarch moves away or is captured.
Heavenly Tetrarches cannot freeze each other.
The Bishop General, Rook General, Vice General, and Great General move as Bishop, Rook, Bishop, and Queen respectively. But when capturing, all these Generals can jump over up to two other pieces, and each enemy piece they jump over may be either captured or ignored. However, they can only jump pieces of lower rank, whether friend or foe. The ranking is, in descending order:
- King and Prince
- Great General
- Vice General
- Rook General and Bishop General
- All other pieces
These pieces can capture each other irrespective of rank, even when jumping something else.
The Vice General can also make an 'area move' - up to 3 King steps in independently chosen directions, stopping at the first capture, including returning to the starting square to skip a turn.
Lion and Lion Hawk
The Lion and Lion Hawk are double movers: they can make up to 2 King steps per turn, changing direction between them, even when this returns them to their starting square. They can make the first step as a jump, when they choose to do so. So each of them can:
- Jump directly to any square in the 5x5 area surrounding it,
- Annihilate any opponent standing next to it, without moving (formally one step, and then a step back),
- Annihilate any opponent standing next to it, moving on to an empty square next to that ('hit and run'),
- Annihilate any opponent standing next to it, and normally capture an opponent standing next to that ('double capture'),
- Stay in place without capturing anything if one of the neighboring squares is empty (effectively passing a turn)
The Lion Hawk can in addition move as a normal Bishop.
In other words, the Lion Hawk is a Lion enhanced by the diagonal moves of a Queen.
The Free Eagle can move as a Queen, but as an alternative can make two diagonal steps, in independently chosen directions, even when this makes it return to its starting square. It can make the first step as jump, when it chooses to do so. So it can:
- Jump directly to the second square in any direction,
- Annihilate any opponent standing diagonally next to it, without moving (formally one step, and then a step back),
- Annihilate any opponent standing diagonally next to it, moving on to an empty square diagonally next to that ('hit and run'),
- Annihilate any opponent standing diagonally next to it, and normally capture an opponent standing diagonally next to that ('double capture'),
- Stay in place without capturing anything if one of the diagonally neighboring squares is empty (effectively passing a turn)
In other words, the Free Eagle is a Queen enhanced by the diagonal moves of a Lion.
Soaring Eagle and Horned Falcon
The Soaring Eagle and Horned Falcon move as Queen, except that in some directions they do not slide, but have a 'stinging' move, which can:
- Move to the first or jump to the second square,
- Jump to the second square, annihilating an opponent on the first square,
- Annihilate an opponent on the first square without moving (formally one step, and then a step back),
- When the first square is empty, move there and step back (effectively passing the turn).
They can do any of this while capturing an opponent on the final square, or when moving to an empty square. The Horned Falcon does this only straight forward, and the Soaring Eagle in the two diagonally forward directions.
The Drunk Elephant promotes to a Prince, which is basically a second King. When you have both the King and the Prince in play, you can afford to let one of them be captured. Only when you are left entirely without royals does the opponent win.
The Lance, in addition to sliding directly forward, can slide up to two squares directly backward.
The Knight makes a (1,2) leap in any direction (rather than just the two forward-most directions).
The Iron General steps one square diagonally forward or directly backward (rather than stepping only in the forward directions).
The Pawn occurs in its Shogi form, moving as well as capturing one square directly forward.
Deciding who moves first
A 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 Fire Demon, Vice General, Lion Hawk, Free Eagle, Lion, Soaring Eagle, and Horned Falcon can all skip a turn if at least one adjacent igui or area move square is empty. However, it is illegal for a player to skip two consecutive turns. Note that if a piece promotes without moving, this does not count as skipping a turn.
A player's promotion zone consists of the furthest five ranks of the board, at the original line of the opponent's pawns and beyond. The zone is typically delineated on the game board by two inscribed dots. When a piece is moved, if its move starts and/or ends within the promotion zone, then the player has the option to promote the piece at the end of the turn. Promotion is indicated by turning the piece over after it moves, revealing the character of the promoted piece.
The pieces promote as follows:
Because promotion doesn't happen until the end of the turn, multi-capturing pieces that promote have a chance to make a multi-capture before doing so.
The King, Fire Demon, Great General, Vice General, Lion Hawk, and Free Eagle do not promote, nor can already promoted pieces promote further.
When a player’s last remaining royal piece (a 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 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 both a King and a Prince in play, that player may sacrifice one of them. A check can be removed in one of three ways, depending on the situation:
- Blocking the check by placing a piece in between the royal piece and the attacking piece
- Capturing the attacking piece
- Moving to a safe square
The 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 a King or a Prince to get out of check, that piece is checkmated and the game is effectively over.
A player who makes an illegal move loses immediately. Illegal moves include:
- Making more than one move per turn
- Skipping two consecutive turns
- Moving a piece contrary to how its movements are defined
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 (a 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.
At any point in the game, a player may resign and their opponent wins the game.
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.
You can play Suzumu Shogi online with Game Courier.
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: 2022-09-28. Web page last updated: 2023-02-08