How to Defend in Shogi

by Yasuharu Oyama


What is defence?

     It seems that amateur Shogi players, especially beginners, do not
like defence.  Naturally, they are not good at it.  Some of them say
that defence is so tedious that they cannot gain pleasure from it.
Certainly, a victory with a strong attack brings you an excitement as
if you knocked out your opponent.  On the other hand, while defending,
you are apt to be mercilessly defeated because of just one small
mistake.  You may have to yield before giving even one punch.  It is
not fun for beginners and that feeling is quite understandable.
However, for all players, especially professional players who are
evaluated by results only, it does not matter whether the game ended
in a great victory or a crushing defeat.  What matters, after all, is
that victory is victory and defeat is defeat no matter how the game
went.  In order to become strong in Shogi, you must learn to defend
well.  Defence is, so to speak, the way to correct your weaknesses. 
It is impossible to defeat your opponent while your own position is
full of weaknesses.  You don't have to be afraid of your opponent's
attack if your own position is sound.  Indeed, you may even welcome a
premature attack.  I would like many amateur Shogi players early in
their career to know that it's exciting to win with good defence,
making your opponent run out of breath and give up his strong attack.
That is the reason I decided to share my knowledge about defence in
Translated by Yoshinori Sawada & Randy Andrews

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99 February 7

Patrick Davin
davin [at] shogi [dot] net