Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tsumeshogi (詰将棋)

Tsumeshogi (詰将棋) is the shogi equivalent of chess puzzles. Chess puzzles and Japanese chess puzzles are both mentally stimulating, and just plain fun. Since I just finished creating my 200th tsume (詰) for my Japanese chess site, I figured this is a great time to share a few more of my thoughts on shogi (将棋) puzzles.

If your'e reading this, you probably know about my book on Japanese chess puzzles. I sell it on amazon and basically every other outlet worldwide. Creating all those puzzles for the book was a real eye opener. I learned a lot more about the movement of knights (桂馬), silver generals (銀将), and capturing kings (王) than I every knew before. The most exciting thing was learning novel ways that the pieces work together. The game is a lot more intricate than the rules imply.

One of the most surprising results of writing the book is the new insights I have. Now, when I examine tsume (詰) created by other people, I see hints of the solution that they did not intend to give away. For example, there are certain ways rooks (飛車) and bishops (角行) are used in tsumeshogi (詰将棋) that hint that the creator of that puzzle was trying to limit the number of solutions. I spot those placements very quickly, now.