Japanese Chess extract

The Paratroops

Now that you have an idea of how the pieces work, it is time to introduce you to a revolutionary feature of Shogi, found in no other form of chess.

This is the “drop” – a sort of paratroop attack.

When you capture an enemy, it is not dead.

It becomes yours and you keep it by the side of the board.

Any time, instead of a move, you can drop one of these captured men on any vacant square. The piece points towards the enemy, and it is your piece and works for you.



The King moves like a chess king: the rook, bishop, knight have basically similiar moves to the corresponding chess pieces; the Lance is a Rook that can move only straight forward down a file.



The pieces are here shown with the Japanese character on top, and a Western-style icon (such as a crown for the King, and a castle for the Rook), and a big initial letter (K or R) below that. In this way players will gradually become accustomed to the Japanese characters, but having always the key on the piece. Two specifically Shogi pieces are the Gold and Silver Generals: they are like a weaker King.

© Trevor Leggett