Rule of Shogi

Illegal Move; Kinjite – the Rules of Shogi (Japanese Chess)

Posted: 02/09/2019 Updated:

Kyousuke
In shogi, there are some illegal moves.

This post describes illegal moves.

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Illegal Move

There are some illegal moves in shogi. These moves are called "kinjite (禁じ手)" in Japanese. A player who makes illegal move losses immediately.

However, if neither player notices an illegal move, the player who makes an illegal move does not lose.

 

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Type of the Illegal moves; Kinjite

Illegal moves are as follows.

Two Pawns; Nifu

"Two pawns" is the condition that two or more pawns line up in the same row as shown in the lower figure. "Two pawns" is one of the illegal moves, and is called "nifu (二歩)" in Japanese.

Fig1. Two Pawns; Nifu

Fig1. Two Pawns; Nifu

 

In addition, two or more promoted pawns lined in the same row is not illegal as shown in the lower figure.

Fig2. Two Promoted Pawns lined in the same row is not illegal

Fig2. Two Promoted Pawns lined in the same row is not illegal

Kyousuke
Beginner players should be careful not to do "two pawn"

 

Drop Pawn Mate; Uchifuzume

Checkmate by a dropped pawn is illegal as shown in the lower figure. it's called "Drop pawn mate," or called "uchifuzume (打ち歩詰め)" in Japanese.

Fig3. Checkmate by dropped pawn is illegal

Fig3. Checkmate by a dropped pawn is illegal

 

In addition, checkmate by a moved pawn is not illegal as shown in the lower figure.

Fig4. Checkmate by moved pawn is not illegal

Fig4. Checkmate by a moved pawn is not illegal

Ayumi
Why is there such a rule?

 

Dropping or Moving a Piece to Position Where It cannot Move

A pawn, a knight or a lance cannot move backward. Therefore, these pieces that have moved too far cannot move as shown in the lower figure.

Fig5, Pieces in the position where they cannot move is illegal

Fig5. A piece in the position where they cannot move is illegal

Dropping or moving a piece to the position where it cannot move is illegal. A player has to promote a piece if the piece moved to position where it cannot move. All promoted pieces can move backward.

 

Perpetual Check Four Times

If a player checks the opponent's king four times in the same game position the player loses a game. It's called "perpetual check" or "sennichite." This situation is so complicated and so rare that I will explain in detail in another post.

Fig6. Perpetual check

Fig6. Perpetual check

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I’m Konan, and I live in Tokyo, Japan. I would like to tell you how interesting shogi is on this blog.