The 5e Vanguard Pawn is the Tennozan Mountain.

(Go-go no kurai wa Tennozan)


Vocabulary: go-go=5e, no=of, kurai=vanguard, foothold, wa=as for, Tennozan=the name of a mountain in Kyoto where a crucial battle for supremacy in central Japan took place in 1582, hence a very important spot

People used to take this proverb quite seriously, and did the best they could to prevent the opponent from maintaining a 5e vanguard Pawn. But in present-day shogi, it does not always hold true.

Diagram 1 shows where White has successfully realized the 5e vanguard Pawn. The position is supposed to be in favor of White according to the proverb, but not so in reality.

White in hand: P 
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
|wL wN  * wG  * wK  * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  * wR  * wG wB  * |b
|wP  * wP wP  * wS  * wP  * |c
| *  *  *  * wS wP wP  * wP |d
| *  *  *  * wP  *  *  *  * |e
|bP  * bP  *  * bP bP bR bP |f
| * bP  * bP bP bS bN  *  * |g
| * bB bK bG bS bG  *  *  * |h
|bL bN  *  *  *  *  *  * bL |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: P 
Diagram 1. Up to cK4a.
See how Black's R,B,S,and N are ideally placed for an attack.

Moves from Diagram 1:
P3e    Px3e
P4e    Px4e
P5f    Px5f
First he plays P3e before moving the Knight, and then P5f, thereby aiming at the Pawn on 5e. These are orthodox and effective moves on Black's part.

Then there will follow:
Bx2b+   Gx2b
Sx5f   -aDiagram 2.

White in hand: B P4 
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
|wL wN  * wG  * wK  * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  * wR  *  * wG  * |b
|wP  * wP wP  * wS  * wP  * |c
| *  *  *  * wS  *  *  * wP |d
| *  *  *  *  * wP wP  *  * |e
|bP  * bP  * bS  *  * bR bP |f
| * bP  * bP  *  * bN  *  * |g
| *  * bK bG bS bG  *  *  * |h
|bL bN  *  *  *  *  *  * bL |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: B P2 
Diagram 2. Up to Sx5f.
If White plays P*5e to keep the vanguard, Black can play S4e asking for Silver-exchange so that his Knight can leap onto 4e.

c.    P*5e  
Sx4e  Sx4e
Nx4e   -a Diagram 3.

White in hand: B S P3 
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
|wL wN  * wG  * wK  * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  * wR  *  * wG  * |b
|wP  * wP wP  * wS  * wP  * |c
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * wP |d
| *  *  *  * wP bN wP  *  * |e
|bP  * bP  *  *  *  * bR bP |f
| * bP  * bP  *  *  *  *  * |g
| *  * bK bG bS bG  *  *  * |h
|bL bN  *  *  *  *  *  * bL |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: B S P3 
Diagram 3. Up to Nx4e.
The series of moves above leaves White's camp in a complete mess with most of the pieces disconnected with each other, while Black has at least two possibilities to play: S*5c and R6f. Either looks good.

Diagram 3 clearly shows Black is dominant at this point.


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