You are on the backup site for Chessvariants.com. Any posts, moves, or other changes you make here will not be permanent, because the pages and database from the main site will be backed up here every midnight EST. Additionally, things may not be working right, because this site is also a testbed for newer system software. So, if you are not here to test, develop, or merely read this site, you may want to change .org to .com in the navigation bar and go to the main site.



The Chess Variant Pages




[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ]
[ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ]
[ List Latest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]

Comments/Ratings for a Single Item

Later Reverse Order Earlier
Gyaku-sama Shogi. Smaller version of Hanten Shogi on a 13x13 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Adam DeWitt wrote on 2021-10-02 UTC

I really like these experiments with reducing the size of Tenjiku Shogi with H. G. Muller's Nutty Shogi and Dr Eric Silverman's Makyou Shogi.

What I like about this version is that the powers of the super pieces are more limited and the weaker pieces have been boosted. The board is also about the right size and the prmotion rule is intriguing.

The original powers of the Fire Demon and Generals were such that they could cause devastation and that any mistakes could be punished very quickly.

I'm glad you like this game. I agree that the promotion rule is quite an interesting twist. The boosting of the weaker pieces and weakening of the stronger ones definitely helps make the game feel more balanced. In Tenjiku Shogi the Knights were so limited that they were a bit of a joke, and the Fire Demon and jumping generals are so powerful that some of the weaker pieces would rarely have a chance to get used.

In fact I would like to see a version with even more limited pieces, where generals can only leap one piece and area movers are limited to two king moves.

While this might be interesting for Gyaku-sama and Mitsugumi Shogi, the larger games in the Suzumu family would become too drawn out if the pieces are weakened further. Because of the larger board sizes, they need to have larger numbers of more powerful pieces in order to stay interesting.

In fact, I have made a new version of all Suzumu games (except Hook Shogi) which allows the Fire Demons to shoot an adjacent enemy piece after moving. Each game also has a new starting position to account for this. For Gyaku-sama Shogi and Mitsugumi Shogi, this alone isn't enough to eliminate all structural weaknesses in the new starting position. To solve this, I added the Horned Falcon and Soaring Eagle to these games, which solves the structural problem and balances out the Fire Demon's increased power by further limiting its movement in the opening. This should make these games more interesting while still preserving the original theme.

A couple of things I am curious about is the lack of symmetry with the Phoenix and Kirin which looks a bit odd, and if it would be a good idea to have a Dog on g5 and g9 to prevent the early trading of Rook Generals.

The lack of symmetry between the Phoenix and Kirin is there because I copy-pasted Nutty Shogi's starting position and then transposed the Rooks and Bishops to fix a structural weakness to regular captures. The new starting position has more symmetry between the two. As for the trading of Rook Generals, it isn't really a problem, because you wouldn't gain anything from trading these pieces anyway.


Adam DeWitt wrote on 2021-09-30 UTC

@Eric Silverman @H.G. Muller I think I found a real winner for a new version of the Suzumu Shogi Fire Demon and the games it appears in. The new Fire Demon has a novel burning ability instead of the Lion's double King step. This new moves allows it to optionally shoot (capture without moving) an enemy piece a King's move away from its final destination. This ability only activates when a Fire Demon moves.This makes it much more powerful then the previous iteration, but it's still weaker than the Tenjiku Shogi Fire Demon. This should make these game much more interesting while still being less brutal then Tenjiku Shogi.

This change will also necessitate changes to the starting positions for all games that the Fire Demon appears in to eliminate any exploitable weaknesses to the new ability in the starting positions, some more drastic than others. Each will be designed to protect from normal captures, double captures of all kinds, and the Fire Demon's new burning ability.

Mitsugumi Shogi/Gyaku-sama Shogi will introduce the Horned Falcon and Soaring Eagle from Suzumu Shogi/Hanten Shogi in adittion to rearranging ot some of the original pieces. Suzumu Shogi/Hanten Shogi and Chushin Shogi will rearrange the side/vertical soldiers and side/vertical movers (and in Chushin's case, the side/vertical chariots as well). I am not sure what Taishin Shogi's new starting position will look like, but it will likely be changed drastically.

Now the only question remaining is how to implement the new burning ability in Game Courier.

P.S. In case your wondering what the Fire Demon's XBetza string looks like, it's this:

BympacabBympacabBsRsympacabRsympabcabRKaKaaKmabKmpacabKmpabcabKmampacabKmampabcabKmamampacabKmamampabcabK


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?


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-07-06 UTC

Note that there are several rule variants of Tenjiku Shogi. The wikipedia article tries to describe what most likely have been the historic rules. But these are not the rules according to which the game is usually played today (e.g. on the gamerz.net PBeM server). And neither of those are the rules on which Colin Adam's book was based.

The major differences between the rule variations are (1) whether jumping generals are allowed to jump-capture jumping generals they are not allowed to jump over (Colin: no; Wiki, PBeM: yes) and (2) whether jumping generals can deliver check while jumping (PBeM: yes; Wiki, Colin: no).

The Jocly version uses rules similar to PBeM in this respect. Where there is controversy over the moves of some of the less important pieces, the Jocly implementation follows the Wikipedia.

You mention a weakening of the Fire Demon that fully burns, but has a less powerful move. It is interesting that the historic move of the Fire Demon already is a step in that direction: instead of a vertical slide (as used by PBeM and Colin) id has a sideway slide. This makes it significantly less dangerous in the opening.


Edward Webb wrote on 2021-07-05 UTC

A weakened version of the Tenjiku Fire Demon, but still having Demon character, could be made by limiting the burning to a maximum number of neighbors.

I like the idea of the Fire Demon capturing everything around it with either a more limited move, or if it did not instantly capture but had to stand still to capture everything, similar to the Heavenly Tetrarchs but with up to eight pieces.

Playing Tenjiku Shogi is highly recommended; a not-too-strong computer opponent that could be used as a sparring partner is available in the form of Jocly.

Thank you for the recommendation and the link. I have given this some thought over the weekend and will try Tenjiku again and learn how to play.


Edward Webb wrote on 2021-07-05 UTC

Thanks for mentioning Makyou Shogi, I'm glad someone noticed it :) It's a work-in-progress still, but I do enjoy it as a smaller, rapid-fire introduction to Tenjiku Shogi.

Looking forward to playing it when it's ready! Your website is a wonderful resource and persuaded me on the merits of the larger variants, including Dai Shogi, which I had assumed was superseded by Chu in all respects and has its own personality.

I appreciate the time people take into the simplified forms, and know that Japanese players feel the same about the large variants. They have attempted to reduce the game of Chu Shogi down to 10×10, and very recently 9×9:

Lion Shogi and board setup.

Give it a try before you go for even weaker pieces :) The original, full-power Demon is still usable even on 12x12. Personally I'd rather see this game with a stronger Demon than an even weaker one.

I've been thinking about this and will give it another go. Setup should be considerably faster now that I can recall the Chu Shogi start position by heart and aim to do the same for Tenjiku.

My hesitancy in playing was based on Colin Adams suggesting that Black may have a very strong opening advantage, and the choice paralysis of what to play as an opening.

The first seems to have been mitigated according to Wikipedia (based on the Chess Variants website rules). The second is something I'll have to try, and with ten pieces more powerful than the Lion on the board will take a bit of experimenting.

The Fire Demon does look like a lot of fun to play with and will have to accept that the first few games with my friend will just be the chess equivalent of a fireworks display!


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-07-02 UTC

A weakened version of the Tenjiku Fire Demon, but still having Demon character, could be made by limiting the burning to a maximum number of neighbors. Even with only a single burn victim (like the Forest Ox of Odin's Rune Chess), it would be a very dangerous piece, and could serve the same function as in Tenjiku: taking out a critical piece behind the Pawn wall.

Playing Tenjiku Shogi is highly recommended; a not-too-strong computer opponent that could be used as a sparring partner is available in the form of Jocly.


Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-07-02 UTCGood ★★★★

I really like these experiments with reducing the size of Tenjiku Shogi with H. G. Muller's Nutty Shogi and Dr Eric Silverman's Makyou Shogi.

Thanks for mentioning Makyou Shogi, I'm glad someone noticed it :) It's a work-in-progress still, but I do enjoy it as a smaller, rapid-fire introduction to Tenjiku Shogi.

I have never played Tenjiku.

Give it a try before you go for even weaker pieces :) The original, full-power Demon is still usable even on 12x12. Personally I'd rather see this game with a stronger Demon than an even weaker one.

Hence my rating for this game -- I love the use of the Microshogi promotion rule, and the overall goal of a less brutal Tenjiku/Nutty Shogi is an admirable one. 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.


Edward Webb wrote on 2021-06-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I really like these experiments with reducing the size of Tenjiku Shogi with H. G. Muller's Nutty Shogi and Dr Eric Silverman's Makyou Shogi.

What I like about this version is that the powers of the super pieces are more limited and the weaker pieces have been boosted. The board is also about the right size and the prmotion rule is intriguing.

The original powers of the Fire Demon and Generals were such that they could cause devastation and that any mistakes could be punished very quickly.

In fact I would like to see a version with even more limited pieces, where generals can only leap one piece and area movers are limited to two king moves.

I have never played Tenjiku. Me and a friend spent an hour setting up the game for the first time in a cafe and had to pack it away, just admiring the pieces all set up. I'll metion this game to him and see what he thinks of it.

A couple of things I am curious about is the lack of symmetry with the Phoenix and Kirin which looks a bit odd, and if it would be a good idea to have a Dog on g5 and g9 to prevent the early trading of Rook Generals.

Also a couple of issues with the page: in the piece table it currently it has a Rook General promote to a Free Eagle, and the King promotes to a Vice General in the interactive diagram.

The page is really well thought through and presented and must have taken a lot of work, well done.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-06-25 UTC

I changed H2 tags to H3 tags, because H2 tags are automatically used for each major section, and headings entered by the author should normally begin with H3. I didn't change anything else. I didn't read all the way through, because it's long, and Adam pays enough attention to detail that I don't have to comb through every detail myself.


10 comments displayed

Later Reverse Order Earlier

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.