2.1.1 The moves of the pieces
Each player at the beginning of a shogi game has a total of 20 pieces of
eight different types. The moves of the shogi pieces can be divided
into three classes: "stepping" pieces, that only move one square at a
time; "ranging" pieces that move any number of unobstructed squares in
a line, and "jumping" pieces that can jump over obstructing pieces to
reach their destination squares. Most pieces can also promote to
different (usually stronger) pieces under certain circumstances (see the
next section). All pieces capture the same way that they move (even
pawns). The piece moves and promotions are as follows; each piece name
is followed by the standard piece abbreviation:
The king (K). The king can move one square in any horizontal, vertical,
or diagonal direction, just like the king in international chess. The
king does not promote.
The rook (R). The rook can move any number of squares in a horizontal
or vertical direction. The rook is the same as the rook in
international chess (except that it can promote). A rook promotes to a
"dragon king" or "dragon" for short (often just referred to as a
"promoted rook"), which can move as a rook or can move one square in
any diagonal direction.
The bishop (B). The bishop can move any number of squares in a diagonal
direction. The bishop is the same as the bishop in international chess
(except that it can promote). A bishop promotes to a "dragon horse"
or "horse" for short (often just referred to as a "promoted
bishop"), which can move as a bishop or can move one square in any
horizontal or vertical direction. Note: the horse should not be
confused with a knight (see below), as they are two completely different
The gold general (G). A gold general can move one square in any
horizontal or vertical direction, or one square in a forward diagonal
direction. Gold generals do not promote.
The silver general (S). A silver general can move one square in any
diagonal direction, or one square straight forward. A silver general
promotes to a gold general.
The knight (N). A knight can move one square straight forward followed
by one square to either forward diagonal, jumping over intervening
pieces if any. In other words, a knight moves like its international
chess counterpart, but forward only. A knight promotes to a gold
general. The knight is the only jumping piece, as in chess.
The lance (L). A lance can move any number of squares straight forward.
A lance promotes to a gold general.
The pawn (P). A pawn can move one square straight forward. The pawn
captures the same way that it moves, in contrast to international chess.
There is also no initial two-space move for pawns and no
en-passant capture. A pawn promotes to a gold general; a
promoted pawn is usually known as a "Tokin".
This document was generated
by Michael C. Vanier on July, 7 2004