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Tsume Puzzles for Japanese Chess: Introduction to Shogi Mating Riddles Paperback – 7 Jul 2011
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About the Author
Gene is the author of two computer programming books, a poetry book, and a book of tsume puzzles. He attended the University of Utah where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English. He has spent the last few decades working as a graphic designer, web designer, editor, computer programmer, and author. T. Gene Davis learned to play shogi from a roommate while living on Oahu in Hawaii in the early 1990's. He has been a devoted fan of the game ever since. Gene maintains the Daily Tsume Puzzle at japanesechess.net. He provides shogi information, shogi board PDFs, and a shogi applet at japanesechess.org. He also writes and maintains the Shogi: Samurai Chess computer program at genedavissoftware.com.
Top customer reviews
I am a beginner at Japanese chess (=Shogi) having only played a handful of games and those with Western style pieces, that is the pieces have letters on them rather than Japanese writing. I have played a fair amount of (international) chess, done a fair number of chess problems and enjoy puzzles. I hoped that by doing the puzzles in this book I could learn to cope with the Japanese writing and get a sense of how the Shogi pieces can be made to work together. Working through the puzzles in the book has worked very well for this.
The book begins with a reminder of how the pieces move and the specific conventions of tsume (=mating) puzzles. The first puzzles are 'mate in one' making them very simple and suitable for somebody still trying to associate piece symbols with movements. There are 37 of these 'mate in one's so that by the end of them I was just fine with how the pieces move. The next 63 puzzles were 'mate in three's which in Shogi means black moves, white moves, black mates. These were still fairly simple and even as a beginner I was by end of the sequence feeling it was well past time to move on to something a bit more challenging. There are 62 puzzles of the 'mate in five' variety (black, white, black, white, black mates). Finally there are 46 more challenging puzzles in which mate takes between seven and thirteen moves but you are not told upfront how many. These took a bit longer but I was still coping at the end of the book so I think the progression in difficulty was reasonable for somebody of my inexperience.
So generally excellent for a beginner but perhaps if you are a more experienced Shogi player you are probably not going to find any challenge at all in the 'mate in one' and 'mate in three' puzzles which comprise the first half of the book leaving you at best half a book's worth and maybe far less. The other issue is that some of the puzzles are broken which is really a bit of a let down. How long are you prepared to keep pushing against a frustrating puzzle when it rather than you may be the one missing something. Four stars.
I haven't had an opportunity to try any of the puzzles yet so I cannot comment on them. In the back there is also an advert for a Shogi program which interests me.
P001 Chapter 1 Tsume Rules
This gives a brief history of Shogi, the rules of Shogi, Tsume rules and Tsume notation.
P019 Chapter 2 One Move Puzzles
Contains an introductory page and 36 puzzles.
P057 Chapter 3 Three Move Puzzles
Contains an introductory page and 63 puzzles.
P121 Chapter 4 Five Move Puzzles
Contains an introductory page and 61 puzzles.
P183 Chapter 5 Seven or More Move Puzzles
Contains an introductory page and 46 puzzles.
P231 Chapter 6 Tsume Solutions
P263 Chapter 7 Quick Reference
Recaps which symbol is used for each piece (including promoted side) and how the pieces move
P267 Chapter 8 About the Author
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Each puzzle focuses on a different aspect of Shogi or teaches a different kind of lesson, it's important to try new and different things in each one, moves which may seem counterintuitive, including piece sacrifice to force board position.
While the move difficulty is not that much, it may not be good for true beginners because the book gives only solutions and not
commenting enough why the particular solution is best. In Japanese tsume book almost one page is set aside for one to two tsume problems with comprehensive diagrams. For the next tsume book I suggest the author seek professional help from real Japanese tsume books writers for the quality of the problems as well as comprehensive comments with diagrams for kyu-level players.
Verdict: Good workbooks of Japanese Chess
Rating: 80 out of 100. It needs a lot more comprehensive comments. Also the problems need technical "proofreading" to improve the quality of tsume problems.
Recommended for Japanese chess fans
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