< Diagram#4 : The fourth move of my P7g-7e>
The diagram above is the position that I moved my pawn on the 7th file from 7f to 7e. Different from FIDE chess, shogi's pawn can't advance two squares at once when it moves first. So it takes two moves to take vanguard position on a specific file. Taking vanguard position on a specific file means advancing your pawn twice to occupy a square of the e-row on a specific file while the opponent's pawn stay on its original square of the file of g-or-c-row. Please see the 7th file of the Diagram#4, my pawn advanced to 7e while Hamster's pawn still stayed on 7c. It's called I took vanguard position on the 7th file. My aim is to transfer Rook to 7h of the 7th file from 2h which will give it two free squares(7f and 7e) to move forward and trade pawns on 7d by Rook in my following move.
< Diagram #5:The fifth move of Hamster's P9c-9d>
Hamster advanced the left edge pawn in the diagram from 9c to 9d. Its intention is to prevent me from developing Bishop to 9e by way of 7g using two moves. What do you think I made a move next?
< Diagram #6:The sixth move of my R2h-7h >
The answer is R2h-7h, transferring Rook from 2nd file to 7th file. When the Rook was located on 2h, it could move horizontally only since my Pawn on 2g and kNight on 2i disabled it to move vertically. Now, my Rook on 7h can move both horizontally and vertically. It apparently functions better on 7h than on 2h. The aim of the Rook's transfer to the 7th file is to trade the Rook's pawns on 7d to break through Hamster's defensive horizontal line of the pawns on c-row. Please remember Hamster's King cannot come to defend the 7th file since my Bishop's diagonal line has gone through the square of 3c since the 2nd move. My attacking formation is ready now which means the end of the Opening. My next move will be the start of the middlegame.
< Diagram 7 : The seventh move of Hamster's 1c-1d >
Hamster advanced the right edge file in the diagram from 1c to 1d. The intention of this move is not so positive. Actually he has no effective pieces to move in this big handicapped game. Anyway, Hamster keeps the horizontal defensive line of the pawns on c-row. What do you think I made a move next to break though the defensive line?
< Diagram 8 : The 8th move of my P7e-7d >
The answer is advancing my Pawn from 7e to 7d just in front of Hamster's pawn on 7c. Both pawns faces each other on the 7th file now. My pawn on 7d is to be captured by Hamster's next move of Px7d. Is that ok? Anything wrong with my attack? Don't worry. Right after Hamster takes my Pawn on 7d by Px7d, I can take it back by the Rook such as Rx7d. Please remember, in shogi, the middlegame almost always starts by facing both pawns each other on a file like this. The intention of P7e-7d is to trading the Pawns on the 7th file to advance my Rook to work better. What do you think Hamster did in the next move?
< Diagram #9 : The 9th move of Hamster's P7cx7d >
The answer is Hamster's P7cx7d. Hamster had to take my pawn. Otherwise, he would have lost a Pawn by Px7c+ in my next move. Now, I lost a pawn first on the 7th file. What do you think I did in the next move?
< Diagram #10 : The tenth move of my R7hx7d >
The answer is my R7hx7d, taking back the pawn on 7d. It's a natural move to take back a pawn after you lose a pawn. Let's look back at the recent moves. I offered Hamster to take my pawn at the 8th move, and then Hamster took the Pawn by his Pawn at the 9th move, after that, I captured back his Pawn on 7d by my Rook at the 10th move. Both sides have a Pawn in hand during this sequence from the 8th to 10th move. We call the sequence "Hisha ni Yoru Fu no Kokan(Pawn exchange by Rook)." Pawn exchange by Rook is almost always a good trade in the opening and the middlegame. So when it is possible, do not forget to do that. Please watch the diagram #10 carefully to count how many squares my Rook on 7d can go horizontally and vertically and compare them with that at the original position. Now, my Rook can go to 8 squares horizontally and 7 ones vertically. And Hamster has no measure to prevent my Rook from invading his camp. It works better and better through the process of Pawn exchange by Rook.
(to be contined to Hamshogi Walkthrough - 10 piece handicap(4))