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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Adam DeWitt. This game is a favorite of its inventor.

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Adam DeWitt wrote on 2021-09-30 UTC

My one issue is that the Demon is so weak in the Suzumu family of games that the flavour of Tenjiku is mostly absent; Tenjiku is almost defined by the terrifying presence of the Demon, much like the Lion in Chu Shogi. If the Demon were powered up to something in between the original and this one, I think this game would be even more interesting.

When designing the Suzumu Shogi pieces, I wanted pieces with moves representable in XBetza Notation, less brutal than those in Tenjiku, but in line with the original theme. Also, I wanted to make sure that the piece moves didn't create weaknesses in the start positions of any of these games. It's a difficult balancing act, I know.

All in all, though, I think I did pretty good. The range jumper's moves definitely fit in with the theme while also being sufficiently powerful, even in Taishin Shogi. The Fire Demon was much more difficult to design though. I went through a bunch of iterations with its move before settling on the current one. Giving it the burning ability from Tenjiku Shogi would kind of ruin the theme, not to mention be impossible to describe in XBetza Notation. I did try giving it the ability to burn one neighbor after moving (not when stationary) but that ended up being a mess both in terms of the XBetza move description and the legal moves display in the interactive diagram (which had question marks everywhere, making it kind of difficult to see what was really going on).

Do you think giving the Fire Demon the ability to slide in all eight directions (like a Queen) in addition to its other moves would help?

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