Shogi

2 Jul 2020

The Method of Battle in the Mid-game: #3 Create a Foothold

Hello, everyone. My name is Takashi Araki, and I am an instructor of i-tsu-tsu Shogi class, Kobe Motomachi.

This is the third in this series. Last time, I introduced a technique called Tare Fu, or “Dangling Fu (Pawn)”, which increases the number of offensive pieces by making To-Kin (Promoted Pawn).

However, the troublesome part of Shogi is that it is not always possible to do Tare Fu. Most times, your opponent is also defending well to avoid allowing you to make To-Kin (Promoted Pawn) easily.

Don’t worry! There are other ways to make To-Kin (Promoted Pawn) in Shogi other than Tare Fu! Let’s learn that this time!

Create Your Foothold!

This is sudden, but please look at the situation below first. How should you attack the enemy camp from here?

It seems that the defence is strong, but…

I told you in the last lesson that the most effective way to increase the number of offensive pieces is to make To-Kin (Promoted Pawn). But I find no place to drop Fu (Pawn).

Now, you’re in trouble. You may say thoughtfully, “What should I do?” The truth is, if you do “something” from here, it’s easy to make To-Kin (Promoted Pawn)!

First, drop Fu (Pawn) on the square of 2d.

This is the first step to make To-Kin (Promoted Pawn).
“Drop Fu (Pawn) on the square of 2d, ▲P-2d*.

Gote will move Gin (Silver), △S-1b, to keep it from being captured. Now, drop Gin (Silver) on the square of 2c ahead of your Fu (Pawn), ▲S-2c*.

The tip is to drop a piece on a head of a foothold.

Taking Gin (Silver), △Sx2c, is the only thing Gote can do here. You will be able to take Gin (Silver) back, ▲Px2c*, and make To-Kin (Promoted Pawn)!

Yes! You made To-Kin (Promoted Pawn).

There are two important parts in this sequence of steps. The first one is the first move, ▲P-2d. Fu (Pawn) which is on the fourth rank is called a “foothold”. Since the footholds are similar to Tare Fu, it is easy to confuse them, but frankly, there is no problem to confuse them. Because their main goal is the same.

However, you can’t upgrade your foothold to To-Kin (Promoted Pawn) just by dropping it. It’s different from Tare Fu. To evolve a foothold into To-Kin (Promoted Pawn), you have to drop another piece on the head of the foothold. That’s right, the second point is to drop Gin (Silver), ▲S-2c*.

In this way, even if you can’t use Tare Fu, create a foothold, and drop a piece on the head of it. Using this, you can make To-Kin (Promoted Pawn). It’s a technique to use your handpieces in a gorgeous way, and strangely enough, it was popular with my students, hahaha…

*By popular demand, we will offer an additional Kobe Motomachi Class, “First Time Shogi Class”, only during the summer (from July to September).

If you are interested, click here. (Please note that this information is in Japanese only.)

AuthorAkiko 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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