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Taishin Shogi

Introduction

Taishin Shogi (大進将棋 taishin shōgi, literally "big advance shogi," but meant in the sense of "giant hexadecimal shogi") is by far my largest and craziest invention. It was based on Suzumu Shogi and Tai Shogi. And like Tai Shogi, this game is huge. It is played on a colossal 25×25 board, and each side has 177 pieces of 86 different types! You might be wondering how I could have dreamed up such an insanely large number of piece types. Actually, many of these are not very special at all, as they are restricted versions of the Queen in standard Chess. In fact, a lot of them actually appear in other large Shogi variants as well. Some even appear in popular chess variants, although they all have different names (For example, the Fierce Eagle and Violent Falcon have the moves of the Marsall (the Rook + Knight compound) and Archbishop (the Bishop + Knight compound), respectively). However, what spices up this game is that some pieces are extremely powerful. For example, some pieces can range-jump (meaning they can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking), some can multi-capture, and a few have 'hook moves' (Rook or Bishop moves with the additional option of turning 90 degrees at an empty square and continuing in a perpendicular direction). If this game were to be played using a physical set, it would take up several long sessions requiring each player to (theoretically) make over a thousand moves!

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. This diagram also serves as an alternative to reading the Pieces section, which is quite lengthy since there are so many different piece types to cover (86 present initially + 28 more available through promotion). The static images and the Mnemonic piece directory use H. G. Muller's Mnemonic pieces. The Shogi pieces used in the diagram and the table in the Pieces section are my own pieces, made using a free online pixel art drawing tool called Pixilart.

files=25 ranks=25 holdingsType=1 promoOffset=86 promoZone=0 maxPromote=77 promoChoice=+ graphicsDir=../membergraphics/MShanten-shogi/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b lightShade=#FFFF80 darkShade=#FFFF80 graphicsType=png squareSize=39 symmetry=rotate pawn:p:fW:p:a7-y7 dog:d:bFfW:d:h8,r8 knight:n:N:n:d2,v2 earth general:e:vW:e:d5,v5 stone general:o:fF:o:e5,u5 tile general:t:fFbW:t:f5,t5 iron general:I:fFfW:i5:g5,s5 copper general:C:fFvW:c:h5,r5 silver general:S:FfW:s:k2,o2 blind tiger:BT:FsbW:bt:j3,p3 ferocious leopard:FL:FvW:fl:c4,w4 gold general:G:WfF:g:k1,o1 cat sword:CT:F:ct:c3,w3 angry boar:AB:W:ab:k6,o6 evil wolf:EW:fFfsW:ew:l6,n6 coiled serpent:CO:bFvW:co:i5,q5 blind dog:BD:fFsbW:bd:f4,t4 old monkey:OM:FbW:om:h4,r4 reclining dragon:RN:WbF:rn:j6,p6 flying horse:FH:F2:fh:d1,v1 flying dragon:FN:W2:fn:d3,v3 roaring dog:RD:K3:rd:f1,t1 reverse chariot:RV:vR:rv:a2,y2 lance:L:fRbW2:l:a1,y1 whale:WL:bBvR:wl:c1,w1 white horse:WH:fBvR:wh:b3,x3 howling dog:HD:fRbW:hd:a6,y6 kirin:KY:FD:ky:n4,l4 phoenix:PH:WA:ph:i3,q3 warrior:WR:WfFA:wr:i4,q4 poisonous snake:PS:FvWD:ps:e2,u2 left chariot:LC:fRbWflbrB:lc:a5 right chariot:RC:fRbWfrblB:rc:y5 soldier:SO:RbB:so:a3,y3 side mover:SM:WsR:sm:f6,t6 vertical mover:VM:WvR:vm:g6,s6 bishop:B:B:b:g2,s2 side soldier:SS:WsRfnD:ss:e3,u3 vertical soldier:VS:WfRsnD:vs:f3,t3 rook:R:R:r:g1,s1 side chariot:SC:sRvW2:sc:b5,x5 vertical chariot:VC:vRsW2:vc:c5,w5 dragon horse:DH:BW:dh:h1,r1 dragon king:DK:RF:dk:i1,q1 fire dragon:F:RfB4bB2:f:i6,q6 water dragon:W:RbB4fB2:w:h6,r6 earth dragon:H:BsR4vR2:h:c6,w6 wind dragon:A:BvR4sR2:a:b6,x6 violent falcon:VF:BN:vf3:k4,o4 fierce eagle:VE:RN:ve3:k3,o3 chariot soldier:CS:BvRWnD:cs:a4,y4 mountain falcon:MF:RfBbB2fD:mf:d6,v6 left mountain eagle:LE:RlbfBrbB2lvA:le:e6 right mountain eagle:RE:RrbfBlbB2rvA:re:u6 horned falcon:HF:BbsRfWfDfcavWfmabW:hf:g4,s4 soaring eagle:SE:RbBfFfAfcavFfmabF:se:c2,w2 lion:LN:KNADcaKmcabK:ln:h3,r3 lion dog:LD:KADGHcafKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavK:ld:g3,s3 queen:Q:Q:q:j1,p1 free eagle:FE:QADcasFcafFmcabF:fe:m6 lion hawk:LH:BWNADcaKmcabK:lh:m5 bishop general:BG:pafpafcBmcBcpB:bg:d4,v4 rook general:RG:pafpafcRmcRcpR:rg:e4,u4 violent horse:VH:R3pafpafcBmcBcpB:vh:h2,r2 violent dragon:VD:B3pafpafcRmcRcpR:vd:i2,q2 vice master:VA:DpafpafcBmcBcpB:va:b2,x2 great master:GA:ApafpafcRmcRcpR:ga:b1,x1 water buffalo:WB:BsRWnD:wb:b4,x4 peacock:PC:bB2fBfmasB:pc3:j4,p4 capricorn:CA:BmasB:ca:e1,u1 left general:LT:FvrW:lt:l2 right general:RT:FvlW:rt:n2 deva:DV:lfbFW:dv:l1 dark spirit:DS:rfbFW:ds:n1 drunk elephant:DE:FsfW:de:m3 crown prince:CP:K:cp:m2 king:K:K2:k5:m1 free demon:HK:BsRvW5:hk:j2,p2 free dream eater:HB:BvRsW5:hb:f2,t2 furious fiend:FF:KNADGHcaKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavK:ff:m4 vice general:VG:pafpafcBmcBcpBKaKaaKmabK:vg:n3 great general:GG:pafpafcQmcQcpQ:gg:l3 heavenly tetrarch:HT:jsR3jBjvRcabK:ht:j5,p5 fire demon:FD:BsRKaKaaKcaKmcabK:fd:k5,o5 tengu:TG:WBmasB:tg:l5 hook mover:HM:RmasR:hm:n5 tokin:+P:WfF:p2: multi general:+D:bBfR:d2: side soldier:+N:WsRfnD:n2: reverse chariot:+E:vR:e2: side chariot:+O:sRvW2:o2: vertical chariot:+T:vRsW2:t2: vertical soldier:+I:WfRsnD: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:fh4: fierce eagle:+FN:RN:fn4: lion dog:+RD:KADGHcafKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavK:rd2: whale:+RV:bBvR:rv2: white horse:+L:fBvR:l2: great whale:+WL:bBvRsR2:wl2: great horse:+WH:fBvRsR2:wh2: roaring dog:+HD:K3:hd2: 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: cavalier:+SO:RfB:so2: free boar:+SM:BsR:sm2: flying ox:+VM:BvR:vm2: dragon horse:+B:BW:b2: water buffalo:+SS:BsRWnD:ss2: chariot soldier:+VS:BvRWnD:vs2: 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:BbsRfWfDfHfcafWfmcabWfcafmpafWfmpafcavW:f2: phoenix master:+W:RbBfFfAfGfcafFfmcabFfcafmpafFfmpafcavF:w2: earthward net:+H:BWaKmabK:h2: skyward net:+A:RFaKmabK:a2: violent horse:+VF:R3pafpafcBmcBcpB:vf2: violent dragon:+VE:B3pafpafcRmcRcpR:ve2: heavenly tetrarch:+CS:jsR3jBjvRcabK:cs2: horned falcon:+MF:BbsRfWfDfcavWfmabW:mf2: soaring eagle:+LE:RbBfFfAfcavFfmabF:le2: soaring eagle:+RE:RbBfFfAfcavFfmabF:re2: bishop general:+HF:pafpafcBmcBcpB:hf2: rook general:+SE:pafpafcRmcRcpR:se2: lion hawk:+LN:BWNADcaKmcabK:ln2: furious fiend:+LD:KNADGHcaKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavK:ld2: free eagle:+Q:QADcasFcafFmcabF:q2: golden bird:+FE:QDcasWcafWmcabW:fe2: great dragon:+LH:RFNADcaKmcabK:lh2: vice general:+BG:pafpafcBmcBcpBKaKaaKmabK:bg2: great general:+RG:pafpafcQmcQcpQ:rg2: horse master:+VH:pafpafcBmcBcpBKaKmabK:vh2: dragon master:+VD:pafpafcRmcRcpRKaKmabK:vd2: vice general:+VA:pafpafcBmcBcpBKaKaaKmabK:va2: great general:+GA:pafpafcQmcQcpQ:ga2: fire demon:+WB:BsRKaKaaKcaKmcabK:wb2: tengu:+PC:WBmasB:pc2: hook mover:+CA:RmasR:ca2: shogun:+LT:KaKaaKmabK:lt2: shogun:+RT:KaKaaKmabK:rt2: teaching king:+DV:QADGHcafKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavK:dv2: divine dragon:+DS:QNADcaKmcabK:ds2: crown prince:+DE:K:de2: king:+CP:K2:cp2: 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

  • a1, y1 Lance (fRbW2)
  • b1, x1 Great Master (ApafpafcRmcRcpR)
  • c1, w1 Whale (bBvR)
  • d1, v1 Flying Horse (F2)
  • e1, u1 Capricorn (BmasB)
  • f1, t1 Roaring Dog (K3)
  • g1, s1 Rook (R)
  • h1, r1 Dragon Horse (BW)
  • i1, q1 Dragon King (RF)
  • j1, p1 Queen (Q)
  • k1, o1 Gold General (WfF)
  • l1 Deva (lfbFW)
  • m1 King (K2)
  • n1 Dark Spirit (rfbFW)

Second rank

  • a2, y2 Reverse Chariot (vR)
  • b2, x2 Vice Master (DpafpafcBmcBcpB)
  • c2, w2 Soaring Eagle (RbBfFfAfcavFfmabF)
  • d2, v2 Knight (N)
  • e2, u2 Poisonous Snake (FvWD)
  • f2, t2 Free Dream Eater (BvRsW5)
  • g2, s2 Bishop (B)
  • h2, r2 Violent Horse (R3pafpafcBmcBcpB)
  • i2, q2 Violent Dragon (B3pafpafcRmcRcpR)
  • j2, p2 Free Demon (BsRvW5)
  • k2, o2 Silver General (FfW)
  • l2 Left General (FvrW)
  • m2 Prince (K)
  • n2 Right General (FvlW)

Third rank

  • a3, y3 Soldier (RbB)
  • b3, x3 White Horse (fBvR)
  • c3, w3 Cat Sword (F)
  • d3, v3 Flying Dragon (W2)
  • e3, u3 Side Soldier (WsRfnD)
  • f3, t3 Vertical Soldier (WfRsnD)
  • g2, s3 Lion Dog (KADGHcafKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavK)
  • h3, r3 Lion (KNADcaKmcabK)
  • i3, q3 Phoenix (WA)
  • j3, p3 Blind Tiger (FsbW)
  • k3, o3 Fierce Eagle (RN)
  • l3 Great General (pafpafcQmcQcpQ)
  • m3 Drunk Elephant (FsfW)
  • n3 Vice General (pafpafcBmcBcpBKaKaaKmabK)

Fourth rank

  • a4, y4 Chariot Soldier (BvRWnD)
  • b4, x4 Water Buffalo (BsRWnD)
  • c4, w4 Ferocious Leopard (FvW)
  • d4, v4 Bishop General (pafpafcBmcBcpB)
  • e4, u4 Rook General (pafpafcRmcRcpR)
  • f4, t4 Blind Dog (fFsbW)
  • g4, s4 Horned Falcon (BbsRfWfDfcavWfmabW)
  • h4, r4 Old Monkey (FbW)
  • i4, q4 Warrior (WfFA)
  • j4, p4 Peacock (bB2fBfmasB)
  • k4, o4 Violent Falcon (BN)
  • l4, n4 Kirin (FD)
  • m4 Furious Fiend (KNADGHcaKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavK)

Fifth rank

  • a5 Left Chariot (fRbWflbrB)
  • b5, x5 Side Chariot (sRvW2)
  • c5, w5 Vertical Chariot (vRsW2)
  • d5, v5 Earth General (vW)
  • e3, u5 Stone General (fF)
  • f5, t5 Tile General (fFbW)
  • g5, s5 Iron General (fFfW)
  • h5, r5 Copper General (fFvW)
  • i5, q5 Coiled Serpent (bFvW)
  • j5, p5 Heavenly Tetrarch (jsR3jBjvRcabK)
  • k5, o5 Fire Demon (BsRKaKaaKcaKmcabK)
  • l5 Tengu (WBmasB)
  • m5 Lion Hawk (BWNADcaKmcabK)
  • n5 Hook Mover (RmasR)
  • y5 Right Chariot (fRbWfrblB)

Sixth rank

  • a6, y6 Howling Dog (fRbW)
  • b6, x6 Wind Dragon (BvR4sR2)
  • c6, w6 Earth Dragon (BsR4vR2)
  • d6, v6 Mountain Falcon (RfBbB2fD)
  • e6 Left Mountain Eagle (RlbfBrbB2lvA)
  • f6, t6 Side Mover (WsR)
  • g6, s6 Vertical Mover (WvR)
  • h6, r6 Water Dragon (RbB4fB2)
  • i6, q6 Fire Dragon (RfB4bB2)
  • j6, p6 Reclining Dragon (WbF)
  • k6, o6 Angry Boar (W)
  • l6, n6 Evil Wolf (fFfsW)
  • m6 Free Eagle (QADcasFcafFmcabF)
  • u6 Right Mountain Eagle (RrbfBlbB2rvA)

Seventh and eighth rank

  • a7-y7 Pawns (fW)
  • h8, r8 Dog (bFfW)

Below is a image showing the setup of one player's pieces. The way one player sees their own pieces is the same way the opposing player will see their pieces.

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.

  • Emperor (U)
  • Divine Dragon (QNADcaKmcabK)
  • Teaching King (QADGHcafKmcabKcafmpafKmpafcavK)
  • Shogun (KaKaaKmabK)
  • Great Dragon (RFNADcaKmcabK)
  • Golden Bird (QDcasWcafWmcabW)
  • Phoenix Master (RbBfFfAfGfcafFfmcabFfcafmpafFfmpafcavF)
  • Kirin Master (BbsRfWfDfHfcafWfmcabWfcafmpafWfmpafcavW)
  • Dragon Master (pafpafcRmcRcpRKaKmabK)
  • Horse Master (pafpafcBmcBcpBKaKmabK)
  • Skyward Net (RFaKmabK)
  • Earthward Net (BWaKmabK)
  • Wizard Stork (BsfRbW)
  • Mountain Witch (BsbRfW)
  • Cavalier (RfB)
  • Free Dragon (RbB)
  • Flying Ox (BvR)
  • Free Boar (BsR)
  • Great Horse (fBvRsR2)
  • Great Whale (bBvRsR2)
  • Free Serpent (bBvR)
  • Running Boar (R)
  • Free Cat (B)
  • Right Army (KlvBlR)
  • Left Army (KrvBrR)
  • Flying Stag (KvR)
  • Free Wolf (KsR)
  • Multi General (bBfR)

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 growing too big in size.

Pieces that appear in the initial setup

Piece

Move description

King

The King can slide 1 or 2 squares in any direction, orthogonal or diagonal.

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

Prince

The Prince can step 1 square in any direction.

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

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.

Capricorn

The Capricorn can 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.

Peacock

The Peacock can slide 1 or 2 squares diagonally backward or slide diagonally forward, 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 forward.

Fire Demon

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. In addition, it has a unique multi-capturing ability known as a 'demon move' or 'demon power' - it can move one square in any direction twice, capturing up to two pieces. This power includes igui and skipping a turn, but not jumping. That is, when making a demon move, the Fire Demon can do the following:

  • 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

Heavenly Tetrarch

The Heavenly Tetrarch can slide diagonally or vertically. In addition, it can move two or three squares orthogonally sideways. It can also capture pieces on adjacent squares without moving (igui).

It cannot move to any adjacent square, and is not blocked from moving by pieces on those squares. However, it is not a range jumper and cannot jump a piece anywhere else in its path.

Great General

The Great General moves as a Queen but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking.

Vice General

The Vice General moves as a Bishop but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking. In addition, it can make a '3-square area move' - up to 3 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.

Great Master

The Great Master moves as a Rook but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking. In addition, it can jump 2 squares diagonally.

Vice Master

The Vice Master moves as a Bishop but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking. In addition, it can jump 2 squares orthogonally.

Violent Dragon

The Violent Dragon moves as a Rook but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking. In addition, it can slide up to 3 squares diagonally.

Violent Horse

The Violent Horse moves as a Bishop but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking. In addition, it can slide up to 3 squares orthogonally.

Rook General

The Rook General moves as a Rook but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking.

Bishop General

The Bishop General moves as a Bishop but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking.

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.

Furious Fiend

The Furious Fiend can move as a Lion or as a Lion Dog. That is, it can make up to 2 King steps per turn, changing direction between them, even when this returns it to its starting square, or step up to three times in a straight line. 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 or jump to the third square in any orthogonal or diagonal direction,
  • 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 or to the third square in the same direction, capturing up to two pieces (the former is equivalent to 2 turns for a King),
  • Capture a piece on the second square in any orthogonal or diagonal direction, then retreat to the first square (2 steps out, 1 in) or continue to the third square, capturing up to two pieces,
  • Stay in place without capturing anything if at least one adjacent square is empty, effectively passing a turn

If it skips a turn or captures without moving, it cannot then continue in the opposite direction: it is restricted to one orthogonal or diagonal.

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.

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 has a special movement ability commonly called a 'three square lion move' or 'three square lion power'. It can make up to 2 King steps per turn, changing direction between them, even when this returns it to its starting square. It can make the first step as a jump, when it chooses to do so. So it can:

  • Jump to the first, second, or third square in any orthogonal or diagonal direction,
  • Capture any adjacent piece without moving (igui),
  • Capture a piece on an adjacent square, and then continue to the second or third square in the same direction, capturing up to two pieces,
  • Capture a piece on the second square in any orthogonal or diagonal direction, then retreat to the first square (2 steps out, 1 in) or continue to the third square, capturing up to two pieces,
  • Stay in place without capturing anything if at least one adjacent square is empty, effectively passing a turn

If it skips a turn or captures without moving, it cannot then continue in the opposite direction: it is restricted to one orthogonal or diagonal.

Queen

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

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").

Water Buffalo

The Water Buffalo can slide sideways or diagonally. In addition, it can slide 1 or 2 squares vertically.

Chariot Soldier

The Chariot Soldier can slide vertically or diagonally. In addition, it can slide 1 or 2 squares sideways.

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.

Soldier

The Soldier can slide in any direction except diagonally forward.

Right Mountain Eagle

The Right Mountain Eagle can slide in any direction except diagonally backward to the left. In addition it can slide up to 2 squares diagonally backward to the left or jump 2 squares along either right diagonal.

Left Mountain Eagle

The Left Mountain Eagle can slide in any direction except diagonally backward to the right. In addition it can slide up to 2 squares diagonally backward to the right or jump 2 squares along either left diagonal.

Mountain Falcon

The Mountain Falcon can slide in any direction except diagonally backward. In addition it can slide up to 2 squares diagonally backward or jump 2 squares directly forward.

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.

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 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.

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.

White Horse

The White Horse can slide vertically or diagonally forward.

Whale

The Whale can slide vertically or diagonally backward.

Reverse Chariot

The Reverse Chariot slides vertically.

Lance

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

Howling Dog

The Howling Dog slides forward or steps 1 square 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 moves 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.

Right General

The Right General can step 1 square in any direction except orthogonally right.

Left General

The Left General can step 1 square in any direction except orthogonally left.

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").

Shogun

The Shogun can make a '3-square area move' - up to 3 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.

Great Dragon

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

In other words, the Great Dragon is a Lion enhanced by the orthogonal moves of the Queen.

Golden Bird

The Golden Bird moves as a Queen. In addition, it can move one square in any orthogonal 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 orthogonal direction,
  • Capture any orthogonally adjacent piece without moving (igui),
  • Capture a piece on a orthogonally 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 orthogonally adjacent square is empty, effectively passing a turn

In other words, the Golden Bird is a Queen enhanced by the orthogonal moves of the Lion.

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 two 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 two pieces. This power includes igui and skipping a turn, but not moving off the orthogonal. (see "Lion Dog").

Dragon Master

The Dragon Master moves as a Rook but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking. 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.

Horse Master

The Horse Master moves as a Bishop but can jump up to two pieces along the line of attack when taking. 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.

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.

Cavalier

The Cavalier can slide in any direction except diagonally backward.

Free Dragon

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

Flying Ox

The Flying Ox can slide vertically or diagonally.

Free Boar

The Free Boar can slide sideways or diagonally.

Great Horse

The Great Horse can slide vertically or diagonally forward. In addition, it can slide 1 or 2 squares sideways.

Great Whale

The Great Whale can slide vertically or diagonally backward. In addition, it can slide 1 or 2 squares sideways.

Free Serpent

The Free Serpent can slide vertically or diagonally backward.

Running Boar

The Running Boar slides orthogonally.

Free Cat

The Free Cat slides diagonally.

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 Fire Demon, Vice General, Lion Hawk, Free Eagle, Furious Fiend, Lion, Lion Dog, Soaring Eagle, Horned Falcon, Divine dragon, Teaching King, Great Dragon, Golden Bird, Shogun, Dragon Master, Horse Master, 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, it is illegal for a player to skip a turn more than three consecutive times. That is, a player is not allowed to perpetually skip a turn.

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
  • Prince -> King
  • Drunk Elephant -> Prince
  • Dark Spirit -> Divine Dragon
  • Deva -> Teaching King
  • Capricorn -> Hook Mover
  • Peacock -> Tengu
  • Great Master -> Great General
  • Vice Master -> Vice General
  • Violent Dragon -> Dragon Master
  • Violent Horse -> Horse Master
  • Rook General -> Great General
  • Bishop General -> Vice General
  • Lion Hawk -> Great Dragon
  • Free Eagle -> Golden Bird
  • Lion -> Lion Hawk
  • Lion Dog -> Furious Fiend
  • Queen -> Free Eagle
  • Soaring Eagle -> Rook General
  • Horned Falcon -> Bishop General
  • Water Buffalo -> Fire Demon
  • Chariot Soldier -> Heavenly Tetrarch
  • Soldier -> Cavalier
  • Right Mountain Eagle -> Soaring Eagle
  • Left Mountain Eagle -> Soaring Eagle
  • Mountain Falcon -> Horned Falcon
  • Fierce Eagle -> Violent Dragon
  • Violent Falcon -> Violent Horse
  • 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 Soldier -> Chariot Soldier
  • Side Soldier -> Water Buffalo
  • Vertical Mover -> Flying Ox
  • Side Mover -> Free Boar
  • Right Chariot -> Right Army
  • Left Chariot -> Left Army
  • White Horse -> Great Horse
  • Whale -> Great Whale
  • Reverse Chariot -> Whale
  • Lance -> White Horse
  • Howling Dog -> Roaring Dog
  • 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
  • Right General -> Shogun
  • Left General -> Shogun
  • 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, Tengu, Fire Demon, Heavenly Tetrarch, Great General, Vice General, Furious Fiend, Free Dream Eater, and Free Demon 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 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.

Below is an image of one army with all pieces promoted (except for the umpromotable ones). This image, like the one in the Setup section, uses H. G. Mullers's Mnemonic pieces. The pieces with dots in the center are the promoted forms of pieces that occur in the initial setup.

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:

  • 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
  • Protecting the royal piece (if the attacking piece is an Emperor)

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:

  • Making more than one move per turn
  • Skipping a turn four consecutive times
  • 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 (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 skipping a turn four consecutive times.

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

Sufficient Mating Material

Checkating a Prince

The Prince moves like the King in Shogi - 1 square in any direction. This means that any piece that can attack two orthogonally adjacent squares at once (i.e. a Rook) can checkmate a lone Prince with the help of their own Prince.

Note: Because the Prince promotes to a King (unless it is a promoted Drunk Elephant, of course), it is important that the player prevent it from capturing anything. If the Prince does promote to a King, checkmate it as you would checkmate the King from the initial setup (see below for details).

Checkating a Taishin Shogi King

In most of the games I have invented, the King moves like it does in standard Chess - 1 square in any direction (may or may not be able to castle, and when it can, it can move up to 3 squares, rather than just 2). However, in Taishin Shogi, it slides up to 2 squares in any direction. This makes it much more difficult to checkmate. I did some endgame studies with a King + 1 or 2 other pieces vs a lone King, and this is what I found out:

Note: Because the King promotes to an all-powerful Emperor (unless it is a promoted Prince, of course), it is imperative that the player prevent it from capturing anything.

  • A single Emperor or Hook Mover can easily checkmate a King without any help, provided that the King cannot immediately capture it (the former can only do this if the King is unprotected).
  • A single Fire Demon, Vice General or Shogun can also checkmate a King easily with its 3 square area move by forcing it to the edge of the board and delivering checkmate there.
  • A single Divine Dragon, Great Dragon, Dragon Master, Skyward Net, Furious Fiend can checkmate a King by forcing it to a corner.
  • 2 diagonal hook movers can checkmate a King by ensnaring it in their hook moves, provided that they are on opposite colors.
    • The stipulation "opposite colors" means that a King cannot be checkmated 2 Capricorns, 2 Peacocks, or 1 Capricorn and 1 Peacock unless one ot them promotes later on because the Capricorns and Peacocks all start on the same color.
  • A pair of 2 square area movers (Divine Dragons, Great Dragons, Lion Hawks, Furious Fiends, Lions, Dragon Masters, Horse Masters, Skyward Nets, or Earthward Nets) can checkmate a King by working together to force it to the edge of the board and delivering checkmate there.
  • 2 Fierce Eagles can work together to mate a lone King by having the Fierce Eagles form a box around the enemy King while protecting each other. The Fierce Eagles will slowly force the enemy King to the corner, where they deliver mate.
  • A King and 2 Dragon Kings can work together to mate a lone King by having the Dragon Kings form a box around the enemy King, while protecting each other via their diagonal stepping moves. If the Dragon Kings are both a Knight's move away from the enemy King and it is the stronger side's turn, the friendly King moves. Otherwise, the Dragon Kings will slowly force the enemy King to the corner, where they deliver mate.
    • Any piece that has the Dragon King's move contained within its own move is a viable substitute for the Dragon King.

If the King does promote to an Emperor, checkmating it will be an uphill battle. However, it is possible to checkmate an Emperor, provided that you have enough material (see below for details).

Checkating an Emperor

The Emperor is a very difficult piece to checkmate. However, there are a few combinations that are sufficient enough to do so:

  • The Hook Mover can checkmate an Emperor with the help of another piece (an Emperor for preference, although Kings and Princes can do this if the pieces are set up correctly). It is the only piece that has this property, so you may want to preserve it for that purpose.
  • Two Tengus can checkmate an Emperor by ensnaring it in their hook moves.
  • An Emperor cannot be checkmated by 2 Capricorns, 2 Peacocks, or 1 Capricorn and 1 Peacock unless one ot them promotes later on because the Capricorns and Peacocks all start on the same color. Even if they had started on opposite colors, it would still be very difficult to checkmate an Emperor with these combinations without the help of a friendly Emperor.
  • Believe it or not, it is actually possible to checkmate an Emperor without any hook movers by placing nine 3 square area movers (preferably 4 Fire Demons and 5 Vice Generals) and 4 pieces with Rook moves in a way so that the pieces cover every square of the board while protecting each other. Rotations and reflections of these positions also work. However, such a position is unlikely to occur due to the rarity of 3 square area movers.


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.
Web page created: 2019-08-03. Web page last updated: 2019-09-28