During the game, it helps to stop and assess the situation of the game.
If you determin the game is going in your favor, you will want to increase the superiority. If you are in lesser position, then you will want to prevent the gap from widening, or you want to make a risk move to try to turn around the situation. In theory, if you have a superiofity, then you will want to keep your move simple and straight. If that is not the case you will want the board situation more complex to create come back opportunities.
Make it a habit to conciously assess the situation three times during the game. One is right before commencing attack, then after the first wave is finished, and thirdly when going into the end of the game.
But how do you "assess" the situation?
In order to determine if the game that is being played is in your favor or not, you need to consider the following.
- Balance of pieces. (駒の損得): Each player starts with the same set of shogi pieces. throughout the game, you gain, lose or exchange pieces. Keep total value of pieces comparable to your opponents, or even better, add more value to your pieces through forced exchanges. This is most relavent at the beginning of the game (Joban : 序盤) while flow of the game is still slow and situation is totaly depending on who has more power.
- Effectiveness of pieces (駒の効率)：Pieces with the same function can work differently depending on the situation. For instance, gold at 5i works much better than gold at 1b. This is most relevant in the middle game (Chuuban:中盤)
- Next Turn (手番): This is basically about who has a next turn. This is most relevant towards the end game(終盤) while utmost priority is how fast you can close into opponent's King.
Clearly, it is not like you only need to consider balance of pieces at the beginning of the game. All three factors need to be continuously evaluated. For instance in the middle game, attacking side will be more concerned about how efficiently his pieces can close into the opponent king, and defending side will compromise on the efficiency of his attacking pieces but expects to gain more pieces in exchange to prepare for counter attack.