ABC of Tsumi

Tsumi explained in three minutes.

If you have learned the Shogi rules, this diagram  (Tsume_A) should be relatively easy to figure out. The next move is for you to drop the Gold (beside the 三) at 3二. That will checkmate the king.

Then how about this one?

3二 is protected by the opponent's Gold, so the drop of the Gold at 3二 will not work.

Now,  a Dan degree player will not even think twice on this diagram.

This diagram shows the drop of the Knight at 4三. If the King moves to 4一, the Gold can be dropped to 5一 for a checkmate. (image that in your head)

If the Gold takes the Knight, dropping the Gold at 3二 will checkmate the King.  Moves for this checkmate in Japanese notation is as follows.

  1. 4三桂馬 (Knight drop at 4三)
  2. 同金  (Gold take the Knight at 4三)
  3. 3二金 (Gold is dropped at 3二)

まで3手詰め (3 moves to checkmate)

Now, things get a little more interesting. This looks more like a real Tsume Shogi (詰め将棋)

Hint-- Think how you can make the "Tsume_B" diagram from this one.

For this one, your first move is to move your Rook to 3一

Yes, you have just sacrificed your Rook so that the King will be forced to move from 4一 to 3一. Note that the King can not move to 5二 because the Gold drop at 6三will finish the King.

Here is the complete notation(Japanese way) for this Tsume Shogi.

  1. 3一飛車成り (Rook to 3一 from 3四 and promote to Dragon)
  2. 同玉 (King to the same position)
  3. 4三桂馬 (Knight to 4三 from 5五)
  4. 同金 (Gold to the same position)
  5. 3二金  (Gold is dropped at 3二)

まで5手詰め (5 moves to checkmate)

Did you notice that tsume techniques shown aboves involves the sacrifice of some of your pieces?  It is even said Tsume technique is all about how you will sacrifice your pieces.

There are tons of tsume-shogi problems available on the internet. The problem is that most of the sites are probably in Japanese.  However, as you can see in the above, all it takes is to learn board coordinate notation (1一 to 9九) and Shogi pieces in Japanese.  


Better yet, several site now started using interactive Shogi board to show tsume shogi problems.  For instance, see here.  That particular site referred there is maintained by Pro-shogi player Nobuo Mori (7 dan) and it posts new tsume shogi almost everyday.

For more tsume problem resouces, please see here

This page last updated : 4 years ago