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Nutty Shogi

Introduction

Nutty Shogi is inspired by Tenjiku Shogi, which probably is the wildest Chess game ever conceived. Tenjiku Shogi is a bit intimidating, though, with 78 pieces of 36 types on a 16x16 board. Nutty Shogi is an attempt to shrink Tenjiku to a smaller game, with only 50 pieces of 25 types on a 13x13 board, without losing much of the original flavor of this highly tactical game. The purpose was not so much to speed up the game, which, due to its violent nature, was quick enough, but just to not drive the players crazy.

Setup

Forth and Fifth rank
  • a4-m4, a10-m10 Pawns (fW)
  • d5, j5, d9, j9 Dog (fWbF)
First rank
  • g1, g13 King (K)
  • f1, h13 h1, g13 Tiger (FsbW)
  • e1, i1, e13, i13 Gold (WfF)
  • d1, j1, d13, j13 Silver (FfW)
  • c1, k1, c13, k13 Leopard (FvW)
  • b1, l13 (Shogi) Knight (ffN)
  • a1, m1, a13, m13 Lance (fR)
Second rank
  • g2, g12 Fire Demon (BsR(K-aK-aK), see below)
  • f2, h12 Lion (KNAD(cK-aK)(mK-bK), see below)
  • h2, f12 Queen (Q)
  • d2, j12 Buffalo (BsRfW2)
  • j2, d12 Phoenix (WA)
  • c2, k12 Kirin (FD)
  • k2, c12 Chariot (BfRsW2)
  • a2, m2, a12, m12 Vertical Mover (vRsW)
Third rank
  • g3, g11 Jumping Rook (RcppR, see below)
  • f3, h11 Jumping Bishop (BcppR, see below)
  • h3, f11 Regent (BcppRW(K-aK)(K-aK-aK), see below)
  • e3, i11, i3, e11 Castle (RF)
  • d3, j3, d11, j11 Crowned Bishop (BW)
  • c3, k3, c11, k11 Rook (R)
  • b3, l11, l3, b11 Bishop (B)
  • a1, m1, a11, m11 Soldier (F2)

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 diagram. The move of piece types that can only be obtained through promotion is given in the rules section. Some pieces that move in special ways are discussed below

Fire Demon

The Fire Demon burns all enemies standing on any of its eight neighbor squares. It does this both actively, after it moved, and passively, when an opponent's move lands next to it. The latter has priority: if one Fire demon lands next to another, the moving Demon gets burned, (before it burns anything else) and the stationary one survives. So approaching a Fire Demon is always suicide. (What you capture with such a move will disappear too, though.) Fire Demons can be captured by pieces that exactly land on them, though, without any ill effects on the moving piece. As an alternative to sliding, a Fire Demon can make an 'area move': upto 3 King steps in independently chosen directions. It must stop at the first capture, however, and burning only takes place after its last step. When a Buffalo promotes to Fire Demon, this does not burn anything yet.

Jumping sliders

The Jumping Rook and Jumping Bishop move as Rook and Bishop, and their promoted forms Jumping Queen and Regent move as Queen and Bishop, respectively. But when capturing, all of these can move over an arbitrarily large number of other pieces. They cannot always jump over each other, however, but only over lower-ranked jumpers. The ranking is
3. (highest) Jumping Queen
2. Regent
1. Jumping Rook and Jumping Bishop
0. (lowest) other pieces
But they can capture each other irrespective of rank, even when jumping something else. An additional, very important rule is that they cannot capture a King when jumping. The Regent can also make upto 3 King steps, arbitrarily changing direction between them. These steps cannot jump, and must stop after making a capture ('area move').

Lion and Griffon

The Lion and Griffon are a double movers: they can make upto 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 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 Griffon can in addition move as a normal Bishop.

Harpy

The Harpy 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 any square in 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 Harpy is a Queen enhanced by the diagonal moves of a Lion, like the Griffon is a Lion enhanced by the diagonal moves of a Queen.

Tetrarchs

The Tetrarchs 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 sideway, but can slide arbtrarily far in all other 6 directions. Like any slider it must stop after a capture, or before hitting a friendly piece. Alternatively the Tetrarchs can annihilate any opponent next to it, without moving.

Eagle, Unicorn

Eagle and Unicorn 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 Unicorn does this only straight forward, the Eagle in the two diagonally forward directions.

Rules

Goal

The game is won by capturing the opponent's King, or burning it with a Fire Demon (be it in your own turn or in the opponent's).

Promotion

The last 4 ranks of the board are the promotion zone. Not only Pawns can promote, but almost any piece can. There is no choice for what they promote to, however, for each piece type the promoted type is predefined. Promotable pieces can optionally promote at the end of their turn when they enter the promotion zone. (I.e. start outside it, end within it.) They can also optionally promote when they start their move inside the promotion zone and capture something.

Many pieces promote to a type already on the board initially. But in that case it would be an unpromotable version of that piece, as pieces can only promote once, and then will keep that form for the rest of the game (or until captured or burnt).

The strongest pieces in the initial setup might promote to even stronger piece types not present initially. This applies to Lion, Queen, Chariot, Rook General and Bishop General. Other pieces promote as follows:

  • Buffalo -> Fire Demon
  • Lion -> Griffon (Lion + Bishop)
  • Queen -> Harpy (QA(cF-vF)(mF-bF))
  • Jumping Rook -> Jumping Queen (QcppQ)
  • Jumping Bishop -> Regent (BcppBK(K-aK)(K-aK-aK))
  • Chariot -> Tertarchs (A(A-fB)sD(sD-fR)vD(vD-fW)(cK-bK))
  • Castle -> Eagle (RbBfFfA(fcF-vF)(fmF-bF)
  • Crowned Bishop -> Unicorn (BbsRfWfD(fcW-vW)(vmW-bW))
  • Rook -> Castle (RF)
  • Bishop -> Crowned Bishop (BW)
  • Soldier -> Chariot (BfRsW2)
  • Vertical Mover -> Narrow Queen (BvR)
  • Lance -> White Horse (vRfB)
  • Tiger -> Stag (vRFsW)
  • Gold -> Rook (R)
  • Leopard -> Bishop (B)
  • Silver -> Vertical Mover (vRsW)
  • Knight -> Soldier (sRfW2bW)
  • Kirin -> Lion
  • Phoenix -> Queen
  • Dog -> Greyhound (fRbB)
  • Pawn -> Gold (WfF)

King, Fire Demon, and Regent do not promote.

Repetition

Repeating a position that has occurred previously (with the same side to move) is in principle forbidden. But to prevent abuse of this rule for material gains and allowing draws in positions where really nothing can be achieved anymore, the outcome of the game is not automatically a loss for the side whose move created the repeated position, but will depend on all moves since the previous occurrence of the position as follows:

  • If one side has been checking with all his moves, that side loses. (In other words: perpetual checking is always forbidden).
  • If one side did not attack anything with any of his moves, but the other did, that latter side loses. (This outlaws perpetual chasing.)
  • If neither side attacked anything with any of their moves, the game is drawn.

Notes

The initial setup is 'Fire-Demon proof'. That means every Pawn is potentially protected by a piece on the second rank when an opponent Fire Demon toasts the third rank by ramming into the wall of Pawns. So a Fire Demon trying that can always be recaptured. And as Fire Demons don't jump, it cannot penetrate deeper into your lines, as long as the 4th rank stays closed. Be careful to not allow the Fire Demon to sneak in behind your lines through a hole, with its area move. Once it is in, you probably won't last longer than a few moves!



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By H. G. Muller.
Web page created: 2015-03-09. Web page last updated: 2015-03-09