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Shogi-set Nearlydouble Variants


Following Nearlydouble Chess I applied its logic - double sets minus second King on boards also nearly twice the size of the original - to a range of other variants. Xiang Qi proved unsuited to the Nearlydouble principle for want of long-range pieces, and the same would seem to apply to Shogi. As Yang Qi proved better suited than Xiang Qi, though, resulting in my 11x16 Long Yang and 13x13 Strong Yang, I considered Yang-like adjustments to Shogi. The addition of Mitregi's eponymous piece was one approach, but promotees would still need tackling, as that game promotes forward-only pieces to short-range generals. So began one variant, which I term HANDY MITREGI in reference to two of its pieces.

For a while I had been considering a variant using the standard Shogi array but with longer moves on an equine theme, but rejected it in its original form as piece ranges seemed too long for that board. While developing this variant I realised that such pieces might better suit an enlarged board, and resurrected the idea as a second variant for this page. I also used the name that I was planning for the 9x9 variant, KYOOMAGI - literally "fragrant horse game", in reference to Knightwise versions of the Wing, Japanese name Kyoosha ("fragrant chariot"). It also inspired giving promotees oblique moves in the first variant.

A third idea came from reflecting on a theme of the inner Solar System. The symbols for Venus and Mars inspired pieces making short symmetric moves, but with a 2-step forward leap beforehand. This gave a third option, PLANETARY SHOGI.

I also considered Nearlydouble versions of Chogi and Symgi, whose short-range piece are not that short, many of the latter making leaps of up to 3 steps.

A further idea was to simply let all capturable pieces make two "normal" Shogi moves in the same direction in one move, but when I first posted the variant I was not entirely happy with my then piece name suggestions and so decided against it then. This I term PASHTUN SHOGI as the pieces are developments of the Pashtun which is my new name for the piece moving 1 or 2 steps along any forward radial. This name derives from the Pasha (an older but until 2010 little-known piece name) of which it is the forward-only version. Another "something to all capturable pieces" variant involves a range of pieces devised since I originally posted the page, as an offshoot of a preamble to cataloguing Ajax pieces. These pieces, turning the Ajax concept around somewhat, are long-range pieces with capturing restricted to the first step or leap. I term them pacifiers and so the game PACIFIER SHOGI. Fortuitously all three prefixed Shogis thus start with P!

All variants use a board of 13 files and 12 ranks. This gives 156 squares, 6 short of the 162 that is twice the 81 of standard Shogi. It preserves the existence of a central file and divisibility into three equal-sized groups of ranks. The 2x20-1=39 pieces aside turn Shogi's nearly 50% coverage of the board into exactly 50%.

Since posting this page it has occurred to me that there are overtones of it in Alibishogi, but that variant starts with 3/13 of its pieces in Reserve and a board much further short of twice (if still well over once) the Shogi one's size.


Handy Mitregi (for which the images are chosen),
Kyoomagi, Nearlydouble Chogi, all three P. Shogis

Nearlydouble Symgi


The KING, ROOK, and BISHOP are the same as in Shogi, and indeed FIDE Chess, except as regards promotion. This means not carrying through all Chogi's piece enhancements, but keeps the pieces constant for the whole page. In all this page's variants the Rook is promotable to MARSHAL and the Bishop to CARDINAL, as these are the Chogi promotees and were always intended as Kyoomagi ones.

The remaining pieces vary between variants, so I set them out in the following table. Many are described in terms of the 1:0 Wazir, 1:1 Ferz, 2:0 Dabbaba, 2:1 Knight, 2:2 Elephant, 3:0 Trebuchet, and 3:1 Camel. The top piece is always the promoted form of those below it.

ImageHandy MitregiKyoomagiPlanetary ShogiND ChogiPashtun ShogiPacifier Shogi
Wazir step optionally preceded by forward Dabbaba leap
Wazir+FO Ferz+FO Dabbaba
Wazir+FO Ferz+Dabbaba+FO Elephant
Goldrider (Rook+FO Bishop) capturing only as Goldgeneral
FO Bishop
Ferz step optionally preceded by forward Elephant leap
Ferz+FO Wazir+FO Elephant
Ferz+FO Wazir+Elephant+FO Dabbaba
Silverider (Bishop+FO Rook) capturing only as Silvergeneral
Gnu confined to moving 2 or 3 ranks forward
Nightrider restricted to two most forward directions
Wazir step optionally preceded by 3-rank Handyman leap
FO Knight+FO Trebuchet
makes 2:1 and 3:2 leaps in two most forward directions only
Helmrider capturing only as Helm
FO Rook
As Helmrider, but alternates between the two directions within each move
Wazir step necessarily preceded by forward Rook move of at least 2 steps
FO Rook+remaining Wazir steps
FO Rook
FO Rook
FO Wazir+FO Dabbaba
Knight restricted to moving 2 ranks forward
Wazir step necessarily preceded by forward Dabbaba leap
FO Wazir+FO Dabbaba
FO Wazir+FO Dabbaba
Wing capturing only as Point
NotesMerges pieces in both kinds of oblique direction from largest normal Mitregi.The 9x9 game would have had Maos and Crabs rather than Carpenters and Kangaroos.The first-stage of a 2-stage move must be to an empty square. For more "planetary" pieces see my piece article Man and Beast 13: Straight and Crooked Moving.The Catapchick and Wazchick are Nearlydouble rather than Chogi enhancements.Added once I improved the names for these piecesAdded once I devised the pieces
Pieces in Nearlydouble Symgi are the same as those of Symgi itself, except that it too has its Points replaced by Wazchicks.


Promotable pieces may be promoted on moving into, within, or out of the 4 ranks of the enemy camp. If a piece has no further move unpromoted promotion is compulsory, otherwise it is optional. Note that Comets and Asteroids can move only if the square two steps ahead exists and is empty, even when their net move is only one step forward. As Sowon to Goldsow might be thought a demotion I imagine it being rarely used.

A player capturing an enemy piece may, in place of a future move, add that piece to their own army, in unpromoted form on a square where promotion would not be compulsory. An exception is that Wazchicks promoted to other array pieces in Nearlydouble Symgi return promoted. In this variant Waffles and Newts can return interchangeably, reflecting representation by opposite faces of the same physical piece. Warpers and Frogs can also return interchangeably for the same reason.

Variants using Wazchicks prohibit a player having three or more unpromoted ones, and Pacifier Shogi three or more unpromoted Pointpacifiers, on the same file.

Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are as standard.

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 Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2007-10-30. Web page last updated: 2016-04-19