21st century Tenjiku Shogi Essential advice









Tenjiku Shogi Lessons
The first pieces to learn are from Chu Shogi;
P, K, SE, HF and from Tenjiku: Fi, GG, VG, RG, BG and WB
(Any other pieces that you know will be a bonus)

In the beginning (after learning the rules)
It is recommended that for your first games of Tenjiku you should always play a fast attack.
Only when familiar with vital points and methods for checkmating should you try other opening ideas.
Mating methods learned may occur at any time, in any opening, so be on the lookout.

The early diagonal attacks:
(White in brackets)

The primary mating diagonal is from the red spots to the king in the direction of the red arrow.
After an initial pawn push 7k (10f), the vice general threatens mate on 2g (15j).
When only one piece protects the early mating diagonal, then 4i (13h) if it is unprotected, becomes a useful post for the Vice General.
From this square the 1h (16i) mating square can be reached and that is covered by the Bishop General (green arrow).
If the Vice General is taken by the "only" defender then when the Bishop General retakes it is mate (if the king can't move off the diagonal and there is no jumping general to block the check).
This kind of mate can occur even in the middle game if the king has too few flight squares. Over 50% of the early PBeM games ended this way. Frontal mates by the Great general or Rook general are a little less common.
Now play through some early mate openings until you understand what is going on. Look up problem pieces when needed.

Essential hints and tips.
Play moves with a purpose
- If you can't see a reason for playing a move, avoid playing it. Strive to find the purpose in your opponents move. Many Tenjiku plays have a dual purpose and cannot be countered if you fail to find it.
Make every move count - This is similar to the above tip. One slip in the opening can prove fatal, this seems more true of Tenjiku than any other game I know. Slack moves leave weaknesses for the opponent to exploit. If a move neither threatens nor defends then it is probably wrong!
Respect the Bishop General shield - Because it has the same rank as the Rook General, when it comes to jumping generals leaping over it, the Bishop General can form a useful shield. When placed in front of Rook General it blocks the jumping powers of that general and defends it from an exchange by another Rook General.
Bishop General shields kill - When the Bishop General in the above shield is moved it reveals an attack. Try to ensure that you have no very high valued piece in the line of a shielded Rook General. This shield can easily produce double attack or double check (can't be blocked). Be on the lookout for opportunities to set such traps.
Exchange the left Rook General - Only when the opponent's right Fire Demon has moved away and while there is a chance that your king will be attacked from the left diagonal. Then it is correct to exchange Rook Generals on that side of the board. This will give your Fire Demon mobility and allow your Vice General to block a diagonal attack if needed.
Don't assume the game will win itself - Never relax, give your opponent as little chance as possible. Pay particular attention to stopping your opponents threats, then continue with your own active plan.
Don't be afraid of losing - It will inhibit your play. If you are playing someone "considered stronger" remember that all the pressure is on that opponent, you don't need to worry.
Write your move down first - Then look at it and then find your opponent's best move, it may make you reconsider your move. This tip is tried and tested even in correspondence games, the best solution to reduce those fantastic blunders.

Remember, there are always exceptions to the rule.