Drop a Silver at the King's belly.

(Gyoku no hara kara Gin wo ute.)


Vocabulary: Gyoku=King, ,b>no=of, hara=belly, Gin=Silver, wo=functional word that indicates the preceding noun works as the object of the verb. ute (imperative of utsu)= to drop


The Silver does not move sideways, but when a Silver is dropped just beside the King, it often paves the way to mate.

Diagram 1 is the position you should keep in mind.

White in hand: all the rest
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
| *  *  *  *  * bB+ * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  *  *  * bS wK  * |b
| *  *  *  *  *  * wP wP  * |c
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * wP |d
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |e
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |f
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |g
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |h
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: nothing
Diagram 1.
White's King is in hisshi, or brinkmate: White, despite all the pieces he has in hand, cannot prevent Black's next Sx2c+ or +B3a. Don't you ever play S*3a, which will only let the King escape from 1c. As another proverb goes, squeeze first, check later.

Diagram 2 is a variation from above. How would you play here?

White in hand: all the rest
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
| *  *  *  *  * bB+ * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * wK |b
| *  *  *  *  *  * wP wP  * |c
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * wP |d
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |e
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |f
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |g
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |h
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: G S 
Diagram 2.
G*2b, Kx2b will lead to the position in Diagram 1.

What if S*3b, instead? White will then play G*2b.

Diagram 3 also illustrates the useful tesuji based on the same idea.

White in hand: all the rest
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
| *  *  *  *  *  *  * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  *  *  * bG bS wK |b
| *  *  *  *  *  * wP wP  * |c
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * wP |d
| *  *  *  *  *  *  * bP  * |e
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |f
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |g
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |h
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: G 
Diagram 3.
If left alone, Black will play G*1c, Nx1c, S2a- (mate). If White plays R*5a to cover the 2a square, Sx1a+, Kx1a, G*2b (mate).

To drop a Silver on the side of the King can be a basis for multiple threatmates.@Hence, this is a very useful tesuji when approaching the King.


(2)

How do you approach the King from Diagram 1?

White in hand: nothing
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
| *  *  *  * bR+ *  * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  *  *  * wK  *  * |b
| *  *  *  * wP wP  * wP  * |c
| *  *  *  * wS  * wP  * wP |d
| *  *  *  * wB  *  * bP  * |e
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |f
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |g
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |h
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: S2 
Diagram 1.
Again, dropping a Silver on the King's side is the crucial move. It will at once block the King's only escape route, 3c, and make threatmate.

So White has to play K2b to escape from the threatmate. Now what will you play here?

 
White in hand: nothing
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
| *  *  *  * bR+ *  * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  *  * bS  * wK  * |b
| *  *  *  * wP wP  * wP  * |c
| *  *  *  * wS  * wP  * wP |d
| *  *  *  * wB  *  * bP  * |e
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |f
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |g
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |h
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: S 
Diagram 2. Up to ....K2b.
Again, the Silver on the side: S*3b.

Moves thereafter:
.......    K1c
+Rx2a  B2b
S3c+  --->Diagram 3.

White in hand: nothing
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
| *  *  *  *  *  *  * bR+wL |a
| *  *  *  *  *  * bS wB  * |b
| *  *  *  * wP wP bS+wP wK |c
| *  *  *  * wS  * wP  * wP |d
| *  *  *  *  *  *  * bP  * |e
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |f
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |g
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |h
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: N 
Diagram 3. Up to S-3c+.
White is unable to defend his King further.

The final diagram below shows a similar position in which a belly Silver tesuji is most effective.

White in hand: nothing
  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1
+---------------------------+
| *  *  *  * bR+ *  * wN wL |a
| *  *  *  *  *  *  * wK  * |b
| *  *  *  * wS wG wS wP wP |c
| *  *  *  * wP wP wP  *  * |d
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |e
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |f
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |g
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |h
| *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * |i
+---------------------------+
Black in hand: G S 
Diagram 4.
S*3b does the job. If left alone, +R2a. If Kx3b, then G*3a.

Remember, sometimes a belly Silver can do more than what check does.


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