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

Chu Seireigi

Chu Seireigi (中精霊棋 chu seireigi, "middle spirit's game") is a Shogi variant that is essentially a version of Chu Shogi that is playable with drops (or rather, an attempt to make one thereof). Because of this, most unpromoted pieces have a forward bias in their movements and are quite weak, and the Lion is replaced with the Lion Hawk, which moves as a Bishop or jumps anywhere within a distance of exactly two squares. It was conceived from wanting to make such a game that also had the promotions from normal Seireigi. It took quite a bit of work, but I was successful.

Rules PDF and Cutouts for playing Chu Seireigi over-the-board

Play Chu Seireigi with others or against an AI via the Ludii Player

Play Chu Seireigi with others or against an AI via Jocly

Play Chu Seireigi against others via Game Courier

Setup

An interactive diagram has been provided (The Javascript source code was written by H. G. Muller) to make it easier to understand how each piece moves. The Mnemonic pieces are enlarged versions of H. G. Muller's Mnemonic pieces. The Shogi pieces used in the diagram and the Pieces section are from Eric Silverman's 1kanji set, which were originally made for use in Stephen Tavener's Ai Ai. The Chess-like images are from Bob Greenwade's graphics set for the Seireigi games.

Only the location of the pieces of one side are mentioned below. The setup for the other side can be obtained by rotating the board 180 degrees. The promotion and XBetza notation of each piece has been included for easier reference.

Lines below can be clicked to see how the pieces move:

First Rank

  • 12l, 1l Lance (fR) -> Free Tiger (sRvWsN)
  • 11l, 2l Ram's-Head Soldier (fB) -> Treacherous Fox (vRsWvN)
  • 10l, 3l Copper General (fFvW) -> Great Leopard (sRfFbW)
  • 9l, 4l Silver General (FfW) -> Running Wolf (vRfFsW)
  • 8l, 5l Gold General (WfF) -> Great Elephant (fBbFsfW)
  • 7l King (K)
  • 6l Great Elephant (fBbFsfW) -> Teaching King (fBvRbFsW)

Second Rank

  • 11k, 2k Knight (fN) -> Heavenly Horse (FfWbNfAfD)
  • 9k, 4k Running Rabbit (fBfR) -> Prancing Stag (fBsRvW)
  • 8k, 5k Strong Bear (FsfW) -> Whale (fBbRbFfWbsN)
  • 7k Kirin (FD) -> Bishop (B)
  • 6k Phoenix (WA) -> Rook (R)

Third Rank

  • 12j, 1j Flying Swallow (fAfD) -> Golden Bird (fFvWfhNbAsbD)
  • 10j Great Leopard (sRfFbW) -> Flying Ox (BvR)
  • 8j Bishop (B) -> Dragon Horse (BW)
  • 7j Lion Hawk (FafyafFNAD)
  • 6j Queen (Q)
  • 5j Rook (R) -> Dragon King (RF)
  • 3j Running Wolf (vRfFsW) -> Free Boar (BsR)

Fourth Rank

  • 12i-1i Pawn (fW) -> Tokin (WfF)

Pieces

The following table shows the moves of the pieces (XBetza notation is included for easier reference) and the picture below shows the piece promotions (Pieces promote to the piece on the square directly above them, if present).

Piece Promoted Piece



King
王将/玉将
ōshō/gyokushō

The King moves one space in any direction, but not into check. (K)

The King does not promote.



Queen
奔王
honnō

The Queen moves as it does in Chess - it slides orthogonally or diagonally. (Q)

The Queen does not promote.



Lion Hawk
獅鷹
shiō

The Lion Hawk can slide diagonally or jump anywhere within a distance of exactly two squares. (FafyafFNAD)

The Lion Hawk does not promote.



Rook
飛車
hisha

The Rook moves as it does in Chess - it slides orthogonally. (R)




Dragon King
龍王
ryūō

The Dragon King moves as it does in Shogi - it can move as a Rook or as a King. (RF)




Bishop
角行
kakugyō

The Bishop moves as it does in Chess - it slides diagonally. (B)




Dragon Horse
龍馬
ryūma

The Dragon Horse moves as it does in Shogi - it can move as a Bishop or as a King. (BW)




Phoenix
鳳凰
hōō

The Phoenix jumps to the second square in any diagonal direction, or moves one square in any orthogonal direction. (WA)




Rook
飛車
hisha

The Rook moves as it does in Chess - it slides orthogonally. (R)




Kirin
麒麟
kirin

The Kirin jumps to the second square in any orthogonal direction, or moves one square in any diagonal direction. (FD)




Bishop
角行
kakugyō

The Bishop moves as it does in Chess - it slides diagonally. (B)




Great Elephant
大象
taizō

The Great Elephant slides diagonally forward. In addition, it can move one square diagonally backward, sideways, or directly forward. (fBbFsfW)




Teaching King
教王
kyōō

The Teaching King slides vertically or forward. In addition, it can move one square sideways or diagonally backward. (fBvRbFsW)




Running Wolf
走狼
sōrō

The Running Wolf slides vertically. In addition, it can move one square sideways or diagonally forward. (vRfFsW)




Free Boar
奔猪
honcho

The Free Boar slides sideways or diagonally. (BsR)




Great Leopard
大豹
daihyō

The Great Leopard slides orthogonally sideways. In addition, it can move one square diagonally forward, or directly backward. (sRfFbW)




Flying Ox
飛牛
higyū

The Flying Ox slides vertically or diagonally. (BvR)




Strong Bear
強熊
kyōyū

The Strong Bear moves one square diagonally, sideways, or forward. (FsfW)




Whale
鯨鯢
keigei

The Whale can slide diagonally forward or directly backward, move one square diagonally backward or directly forward, or jump one square sideways and then one square diagonally backward. (fBbRbFfWbsN)




Gold General
金将
kinshō

The Gold General moves as it does in Shogi - it moves one square orthogonally, or diagonally forward. (WfF)




Great Elephant
大象
taizō

The Great Elephant slides diagonally forward. In addition, it can move one square diagonally backward, sideways, or directly forward. (fBbFsfW)




Silver General
銀将
ginshō

The Silver General moves as it does in Shogi - it moves one square diagonally, or directly forward. (FfW)




Running Wolf
走狼
sōrō

The Running Wolf slides vertically. In addition, it can move one square sideways or diagonally forward. (vRfFsW)




Copper General
銅将
dōshō

The Copper General moves as it does in Chu Shogi - it moves one square vertically, or diagonally forward. (fFvW)




Great Leopard
大豹
daihyō

The Great Leopard slides orthogonally sideways. In addition, it can move one square diagonally forward, or directly backward. (sRfFbW)




Flying Swallow
飛燕
hien

The Flying Swallow jumps to the second square in any forward direction. (fAfD)




Golden Bird
金翅
kinshi

The Golden Bird can step one square in any vertical or forward direction, jump two squares along any sideways or backward direction, or jump one square diagonally forward and then one square orthogonally outward. (fFvWfhNbAsbD)




Knight
桂馬
keima

The Knight moves as it does in Shogi - it jumps one square forward and then one square diagonally outward. (fN)




Heavenly Horse
天馬
temma

The Heavenly Horse can step one square in any diagonal or forward direction, jump two squares along any forward direction, or jump one square backward and then one square diagonally outward. (FfWbNfAfD)




Running Rabbit
走兎
sōto

The Running Rabbit slides in any forward direction. (fBfR)




Prancing Stag
踊鹿
yōroku

The Prancing Stag slides sideways or diagonally forward, or step one square vertically. (fBsRvW)




Ram's-Head Soldier
羊兵
yōhei

The Ram's-Head Soldier slides diagonally forward. (fB)




Treacherous Fox
隠狐
inko

The Treacherous Fox can slide vertically, step one square sideways, or jump one square vertically and then one square diagonally outward. (vRsWvN)




Lance
香車
kyōsha

The Lance moves as it does in Shogi - it slides directly forward. (fR)




Free Tiger
奔虎
honko

The Free Tiger can slide sideways, step one square vertically, or jump one square sideways and then one square diagonally outward. (sRvWsN)




Pawn
歩兵
fuhyō

The Pawn moves as it does in Shogi - one square orthogonally forward. (fW)




Tokin
と金
tokin

The Tokin moves as it does in Shogi - as a Gold General. (WfF)

Rules

All rules, unless stated otherwise, are identical to those of standard Shogi.

Board Style

The board may be either a traditional uncheckered Shogi board, or a checkered board with a dark square at each player's left-hand corner.

Promotion Zone

The promotion zone is the farthest four ranks of the board.

Promotion and Drop Restrictions

These rules are the same as in standard Shogi. However, the ones that do not specifically apply to Pawns apply to a different set of pieces, specifically to the Pawn, Lance, Ram's-Head Soldier, and Running Rabbit on the last rank, and to the Knight and Flying Swallow on the last two ranks.

Impasse

This rule is the same as in standard Shogi, except that the minimum number of points needed to not lose is 56. Each Queen, Lion Hawk, Rook, Bishop, Phoenix, or Kirin, promoted or not, scores 5 points for the owning player, and all other pieces except Kings score 1 point each.

Notes

Similar Games

Backstory

Chu Seireigi was initially conceived after deciding that I wanted to make a version of Chu Shogi that was playable with drops, while also incorporating the promotions from normal Seireigi. I experimented with this idea and eventually came up with a first draft. I eventually replaced the placeholders there with sideways-and-forwards-only versions of the Side Mover and Vertical Mover. However, Edward Webb had some good points in his critique, shown below.

This looks good. You could remove the Side Movers as they make the game too defensive, and the Coppers that promote to them at the same time. Lances that promote to Great Tigers cover at least the same movement capability as Side Movers.

Knights could move to where the Coppers are, allowing them to move freely in the opening.

The Drunk Elephant could also be removed as its promotion to Crown Prince would drag the game out needlessly.

A defender is needed for the second pawn (in particular) and second-to-last pawn. The Dragon Horse can capture and promote without being captured otherwise.

At that time, I had already finalized the Copper General's promotion to Great Leopard, and was in the processing of finalizing the name for the promoted Lance. However, after some more experimentation, I made a new iteration with the Side Mover and Vertical Mover present in only a single copy, and limited ranging pieces in place of the initial Side Mover and Vertical Mover pairs. After that, I decided that the limited range was too irregular and that there were too many moves to remember, and went through another experimentation phase, and after that an overhaul phase because I wasn't happy that the Lion was an exception to the consistency of the simple move set of sliding, steping, jumping, and Lion (originally stinging) moves. Eventually I found a solution that worked, arriving at the current, final form. However, this also necessitated that the Lion be made weaker, as the area jump was too strong, even without Lion moves. To fix this, I removed the multi-move abilities, replaced the King step with a Bishop move, and renamed the Lion to Lion Hawk, resulting in a piece comparable to the Queen without sacrificing balance.



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 A. M. DeWitt.

Last revised by A. M. DeWitt.


Web page created: 2023-10-07. Web page last updated: 2023-10-07