I-tsu-tsu Co. Ltd.

Shogi 25 June 2020

Get Better Quickly! Effective Study Methods for Shogi Beginners #9 Bou Gin

Akiko Nakakura

I am Takashi Araki, a Shogi instructor for i-tsu-tsu Shogi classes in Motomachi, Kobe.
This newsletter is called “Bou Gin Special” and I will talk about it.

How to Break a Castle

Writer: Takashi Araki, a former member of Shorei-kai, who has a third dank rank.

1. Bou Gin Is All Around

There are several attacking forms in Shogi.  The most simple and destructive one is “Bou Gin (Climbing Silver)”.  When you learn about Bou Gin, you also learn how to link Hi (Rook) and Gin (Silver), how to add pieces, how to remove your opponent’s Kin (Gold) from his/her castle, which are the basics of attacking.  It’s one of most important tactics.

Bou Gin is one of attacking strategy in Ibisha, in which your Gin (Silver) advances along your Hi’s (Rook’s) file to break your opponent front.  It can be applied in Furibisha, though.  When your Hi (Rook) has moved to the 5th file, Nakabisha, the Gin (Silver) moves along the 5the file, and when it has moved to the 4th file, then the Gin (Silver) moves along the 4th file. With all most all strategies, you can use Bou Gin, which is an all-around tactic. 

2. . Focus on One Thing at a Time

Bou Gin is really versatile and aggressive attacking method but it also has a weak point.  You can’t attack over a wide range with it. 

Using  Bou Gin, Gin (Silver) literally advances along a straight file line and its attacking range will be narrowed. For example, Kaku (Bishop) can move widely and attack over wide range but it’s not for Bou Gin. 

When you apply an attacking form of  Bou Gin, you need to focus on one thing at a time.  To concentrate your forces on Bou Gin and not to distribute them, it is very important. 

3. The Way to Use Fu (Pawn) is Very Important

Now, think from your opponent’s point of view.  If your opponent enters your camp using Bou Gin which is a concentrated attack, you may not defence against it.  In the first place, you need to think the way to block Gin (Silver) from advancing.

For attacking side, how to proceed Gin (Silver) to an enemy’s camp is important

When you are attacking and your opponent’s defense is not strong enough, you can proceed Gin (Silver) without difficulties. What if the defense is strong enough to block the route for your Gin (Silver)?

What helps in the case is how to use Fu (Pawn), which is termed Fu no Tesuji in Japanese.  It’s not too much to say that the key point to use Bou Gin is the way to use Fu (Pawn). 

The powerful techniques tu use Fu (Pawn) are, Awase no Fu (opposing Fu (Pawn)), Tsukisute no Fu (push sacrifice Fu (Pawn)), and Tsugi Fu (joining Fu (Pawn)).   They are explained more in our textbook, “Shogi Lesson Book for Beginners Vol. 4”.  Please take a look!

この記事の執筆者Akiko Nakakura

I-tsu-tsu Co. Ltd. President, lady's professional shogi player. After winning successive victories in the female amateur master’s tournament in 1991 and 1992, she made her debut as a professional shogi player in her third (last) year in high school. She retired from professional shogi play after a 21-year career in March 2015, and currently involved in activities to spread the game of shogi among children.

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