The Three Pawns (歩三兵 fu sanbyō) handicap in shogi is used to teach novice players the vulnerability of bishops and the threat of dropped pawns.
White has only their king on the board with no other pieces (like the Naked King 裸玉 handicap) and three pawns held in hand. Black has the usual setup of twenty pieces.
1...P*86. As with all traditional handicap games, White has the first move. The standard first move is to drop a dangling pawn (垂れ歩) on the eighth file attacking the head of Black's bishop (角頭 kaku tō). White is threatening to promote this pawn to a tokin (と) on their next move.
The test here is to see if Black can respond adequately to this threat. There are three ways to respond to avoid the loss of the bishop.
2. S-78. Moving the silver up to rank 8 defends the 87 square rendering White's pawn attack futile.
2...Px87+, 3. Sx87. Although White can promote their pawn and capture Black's pawn (obtaining 3 pawns in hand again), Black can simply capture the promoted pawn.
Furthermore, Black's advanced silver can always retreat back to the 78 square if White threatens with another pawn drop (3...P*86, 4. S-78).
If White does drop another pawn and Black captures it (3...P*86, 4. Sx86), then Black's silver offers no protection for the bishop from White's subsequent pawn drop. However, now the 79 square is free for the bishop to retreat to. White's pawn on 87 is not a threat.
If Black plays from here on without major errors, they should become the victor.
2. G-78. Moving the gold to defend the bishop's head is a standard move in many Double Static Rook openings, such as Bishop Exchange, Double Wing Attack, or Side Pawn Capture.In the Three Pawns handicap, using the gold is slightly more complicated than using the silver (shown above).
2...Px87+, 3. Gx87. White's pawn promotes, and Black's gold recaptures.
3...P*86. White can then strike with another dangling pawn.
4. Gx86. Unlike the case with the silver defense, a gold cannot retreat and must move forward and capture the pawn.
4...P*85. White will try another a drop with a striking pawn (叩きの歩). The hope is White can lure Black's gold forward.
5. G-86. The correct response to the striking pawn is for the gold to retreat. After this, White's attack on the eighth file is exhausted.
If instead Black captures the striking pawn (5. Gx85?), the gold will be positioned on the 85 square and no longer able to defend the bishop's head, the 87 square, where White can drop their last pawn (5...P*87!) and capture Black's bishop on their next move (6...Px88+!).
Similar comments apply to the gold moving sideways to either the left (5. G-96?) or right (5. G-76?).
2. P-76. Another possible but suboptimal move is to create an escape hatch for Black's bishop.
2...Px87+, 3. B-33+. Although White can promote their pawn, Black's bishop can escape to 33 and promote as well checking White's king.
After White resolves Black's check, White has a further chance to exchange pawns for more powerful pieces. For example, White can sacrifice a pawn (4...P*98, 5. Lx98) and then drop another pawn (5...P*88) in order to attack both Black's lance and knight allowing White to trade a pawn for a lance and possibly the other pawn for another piece.
Thus, although Black has saved one their most powerful pieces, opening up the bishop diagonal gives White more of an advantage compared with protecting the bishop's head with a silver or gold. Furthermore, the bishop's diagonal can always be opened after proper defense of the bishop's head.
2. Px86? Black reflexively capturing White's pawn on 86 is a blunder. Although this captures White's pawn, it does not remove the threat to Black's bishop as the bishop's head is still vulnerable.
2...P*87! White can now drop a pawn directly on the bishop's head. At this point, Black has no way to prevent White from capturing their bishop and dramatically improving White's chances.
This pawn drop on the bishop's head is a tactic that can be applied to real even game openings such as the Double Wing Attack opening if either Black or White does not appropriately defend their bishops' heads.
Tsume shogi or tsume (詰め) is the Japanese term for a shogi miniature problem in which the goal is to checkmate the opponent's king. Tsume problems present a situation that might occur in a shogi game, and the solver must find out how to achieve checkmate. It is similar to a chess problem.
Shogi, like western chess, can be divided into the opening, middle game and endgame, each requiring a different strategy. The opening consists of arranging one's defenses and positioning for attack, the middle game consists of attempting to break through the opposing defenses while maintaining one's own, and the endgame starts when one side's defenses have been compromised.
A shogi opening is the sequence of initial moves of a shogi game before the middle game. The more general Japanese term for the beginning of the game is 序盤 joban.
In shogi, Double Wing Attack or simply Wing Attack or Centre Game is a Double Static Rook opening in which both sides directly advance their rook pawns forward on the second and eighth files toward their opponent's bishop often with the first several moves on each side being identical or very similar.
In shogi, Tsukada Special is a Floating Rook variant of the Double Wing Attack shogi opening developed by professional Yasuaki Tsukada in the 1980s.
In shogi, Retreating Rook is a variant of the Double Wing Attack opening and joseki in which Black's rook retreats all the way back to their camp after a pawn exchange in the eighth file allowing White to also exchange rook pawns.
In shogi, the Ureshino opening is a newer aggressive Static Rook opening characterized by moving the right silver to the sixth file and then pulling back the bishop to the silver's start position.
In shogi, Side Pawn Capture is a Double Static Rook opening.
In shogi, Bishop Exchange is a Double Static Rook opening in which each player's bishop is captured relatively early so that they keep their bishops in hand. Throughout the game, each player has a bishop drop threat that can exploit any weakness in form that their opponent inadvertently creates.
In shogi, Snowroof or Snow Roof Fortress is a Static Rook opening that characteristically uses a Snowroof castle.
In shogi, the Bishop Head Pawn or Bishop's Head Pawn Push is a surprise opening.
In shogi, Bishop Exchange Reclining Silver or Reclining Silver With Bishops Off or Bishop Exchange Sitting Silver is a Bishop Exchange opening that uses a Reclining Silver attacking formation.
In shogi, Side Pawn Capture Bishop-33 is a set of variations stemming from the Side Pawn Capture opening, in which White first trades pawns on the eighth file and then blocks Black from trading bishops by moving White's bishop to the 33 square.
Shogi notation is the set of various abbreviatory notational systems used to describe the piece movements of a shogi game record or the positions of pieces on a shogi board.
In shogi, Side Pawn Capture, Bishop*45 variation or Side Pawn B*4e is a Rapid Attack Side Pawn Capture variation in which White drops their bishop on the 45 square after the bishops are traded attacking Black's rook.
Side Pawn Capture Rapid Attack Bishop*33 is a variation stemming from the Side Pawn Capture opening, in which White drops their bishop to 33 after they first trade pawns on the eighth file and then trade the bishops after Black takes White's side pawn.
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The 10-Piece handicap in shogi has all of White's pieces removed except for the king and their line of pawns.
The 2-Piece handicap in shogi has both of White's major pieces removed. Thus, White is left with pawns, golds, silvers, knights, and lances.
No Guard is a Double Static Rook shogi opening that is a subvariation of a Double Wing Attack opening with mutually open bishop diagonals. The opening gets its name from White omitting their defensive left gold development (...G-32) and instead opting for an early bishop trade in order to initiate a quick attack line with their bishop in hand. The missing defensive gold leaves White lacking a 'guard.'